Pittsburgh Pirates seek to reassert baseball prowess

Ryan Haddox

Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992. Michael Jordan won his the second of six NBA titles, LeBron James was seven years old, and Boyz II Men had the year’s top single with “End of the Road.” 

That was the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates played post-season baseball . Barry Bonds was leading the way at the plate, a 26-year-old phenom. Tim Wakefield was making waves with his new found knuckleball, and Jim Leyland was captaining the ship as manager.

It’s been a long wait for the baseball faithfuls in the Steel City, and it looks like they’re about to snap out of the bad dream. With nine games left in the 2013 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a 89 percent chance of clinching a wild card spot, and are only one games back of the Cardinals for the National League Central crown.

Andrew McCutchen has done his usual deeds to help the team that drafted him 11th overall in 2005, but the explosion of Pedro Alvarez in 2013, plus the addition of Russell, Martin over the winter has helped push the Pirates over the hump. With 33 home runs and 91 RBIs, Alvarez appears to have given the Pirates a little more thump in the lineup, much to Andrew McCutchen’s long awaited approval.

Francisco Liriano has channeled his inner 2010 form for the Pirates, posting a 2.92 ERA in 24 starts and delivering 16 wins. 23-year-old Gerrit Cole, former number one overall pick, has also provided a shot in the arm for the black and yellow this summer. Cole has a 3.33 ERA in his 17 starts, and along with A.J. Burnett and Jeff Locke, has provided starting pitching depth the Pirates haven’t seen since Tupac was still alive.

“Jurassic Park,” “The Sandlot”, and “Forrest Gump” had yet to be released the last time the Pirates were in the playoffs. It has indeed been a long couple of decades for the Pirates faithfuls, but 2013 appears to be the end of a long and lonely road.