The Pittsburgh Pirates are ripped through this season like a hurricane, especially compared with their last place finish in 2007. They currently hold a decent 37-41 record which puts them in 4th place in their division. This is a good start for the Pirates to work their way back into contention, but they're not quite a playoff contender just yet. Their offense is built around home run sluggers Nate McLouth and Jason Bay. They lead the Pirates with 12 home runs apiece, while McLouth leads the team with his solid 39 RBIs. From the pitching mound, it looks all good on defense with the help of Paul Maholm's team leading 45 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched. The Pittsburgh Pirates look to work themselves up the ladder towards contention, and they have already done a good job thus far this season even without their #2 draft pick, 3rd baseman Pedro Alvarez, who will stay at Vanderbilt for one more year. Ticket sales are on the rise as the Pirates are experiencing a decent season after last year's disappointing performance.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the few baseball
teams that have been playing since the 19th century. Their inaugural
season in Major League Baseball was in 1887. The team has had
Hall of Famers like Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Willie
Stargell. The team has won seven National League pennant and
five World Series Trophies. The last time the Pirates were in
the World Series was in 1979. The team was lead by Willie Stargell,
Dave Parker and Bruce Kison. They scrapped their way to a 98-64
record on their way to a divisional crown. In the playoffs they
dismissed the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 and then managed to get by
the Baltimore Orioles to win their fifth World Series title.
The last time Pittsburgh got to the playoffs was in 1992 where
they squared off against the Atlanta Braves. The series was intense
and went the distance of seven games. In the deciding game the
Pirates took a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth at
Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium. The Braves rallied and
scored three runs including Sid Bream’s final run on a
play at the plate. It was heartbreaking for Pirates fans everywhere
but it made for great baseball. In 2003 the Pirates weren’t
quite as successful as they would’ve liked to have been.
The Lloyd McClendon led club finished in fourth place in the
NL Central with a 75-87 record.
The off-season was anything but huge for the Pittsburgh
Pirates. The team is in “rebuilding” mode right now so they weren’t in the market
looking for the superstar names that most teams were looking for. They made a
good deal of minor league deals that they hope will help them out in the years
to come. However, in the 2003 season, the team did pull off a huge deal with
the San Diego Padres. The Pirates traded superstar outfielder Brian Giles for
outfielder Jason Bay, and left handed pitcher Oliver Perez.
Many thought that with the losses of Brian Giles,
Kenny Lofton and Reggie Sanders the Pirates batting order would
look rather toothless. That idea couldn’t
be any further from the truth. Through the month of June the team was batting
.272 which ranked them fourth in the NL. The team is lead by shortstop Jack Wilson,
utility man Craig Wilson and one of the few guys that have been kept around catcher
The Pirate starting pitching staff is rich with
young arms. The average age of their starters is 26.2. Their
ace, Kris Benson, is their elder statesman at the ripe old
age of 29. The main man in the bullpen is ageless wonder
Jose Mesa. The 16 year veteran has saved 265 of his 308 save
PNC Park is the home field for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This 38,365 stadium opened its doors for the first time for
the 2001 season. The stadium is situated on the bank of the
Alleghany River and displays the Pittsburgh skyline as its
scenery in center field.
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