‘The worst loss of the season.’
Apparently, that’s what some Pirates fans are calling last night’s 3-2 loss to the San Diego Padres.
You know, not like that 13-0 loss to St. Louis was bad. Or the 14-inning loss in St. Louis August 13. Those were worse, and will impact the Pirates’ postseason prospects more than any one-run loss to San Diego.
Primarily, that’s because the Pirates are about as close to being in the playoffs as a team can get without actually being in the playoffs. According to the Pirates’ playoff odds, there are just about three universes out of 100 that would hold a scenario in which a service like Baseball Prospectus sees the Pirates missing the postseason.
And, following three straight losses, expect the Pirates to rebound in these next four games as they have all season. Last week was a perfect example, when the Pirates went 2-5 in seven games leading up to a three-game set in Texas against the Rangers.
The Pirates swept the Rangers. The Pirates have not lost more than four games in a row this season. The Pirates have never done worse than 3-7 in a 10-game stretch, which has occurred just twice this season out of a lot of possible 10-game permutations.
The Pirates think you should stop worrying.
“When you’re up, you try not to get too high, you enjoy the moment, you know you’ve got more work to do,” Hurdle said. “When things don’t work your way, hey, you’ve gotta be steadfast, you gotta keep plowin’.”
Keep plowin’. The Pirates do so today, when Gerrit Cole brings his ‘Cali Swag’ to the mound against the Padres.
For those still not convinced, take it from the Pirates themselves. For one, the Pirates entered last night’s ninth inning with a 2-1 lead and a 74-2 record when leading after eight innings. While the Pirates lost, the loss wasn’t necessarily easier because of the team’s success in such situations this season mostly because of Jason Grilli’s 30 saves and Mark Melancon’s 16.
“I don’t know about easier,” Morton said. “I honestly feel like the guys have done a great job regardless of the circumstance to bounce back.”
Today’s the bounce-back day. And nothing seems different for Morton, after a loss that should really be chalked up as an anomaly.
“I don’t sense anything out of the ordinary. I’ve said this all year, I think one of the strengths of this team has been the ability to move past what happened, good or bad,” Morton said. “When we win, everybody’s in a good mood, yeah. I think everybody goes home, comes back with the emphasis on the next day. I don’t expect anything different.”
Anyone on the outside looking in shouldn’t expect any different either. Despite the offense woes , or San Diego winning over 75 percent of its games at PNC Park since the stadium opened, the Pirates enter Thursday’s game with the same attitude they’ve carried into every one.
“I think results are often a byproduct of attitude, but that’s not a given,” Morton said. “We could have a great attitude and just not win. If you could execute and not win, there are circumstances that are out of our hands.”
Attitude is one thing, though. As Morton said, the Pirates could have it and not win. Action, on the other hand, is another issue.
“I honestly think that the way we move on is just to move on and play tomorrow.”
- Jose Tabata LF
- Neil Walker 2B
- Andrew McCutchen CF
- Justin Morneau 1B
- Marlon Byrd RF
- Pedro Alvarez 3B
- Tony Sanchez C
- Jordy Mercer SS
- Gerrit Cole P
- Will Venable RF
- Chris Denorfia LF
- Jeff Gyorko 2B
- Chase Headley 3B
- Tommy Medica 1B
- Ronny Cedeno SS
- Nick Hundley C
- Reymond Fuentes CF
- Ian Kennedy P