The pitching depth has been a huge reason why this year is different than the last two years. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

It's time for the annual "The Pirates are for real this year" post. Two years ago the Pirates were in first place in mid-July. They were "contending" up until the end of July. Then they suffered a collapse and finished with a losing record. Last year the team was contending and in first place in mid-July. Then they suffered a bigger collapse and finished with a losing record.

In short, no matter how good the Pirates look this year, Pirates fans will be waiting for The Collapse Part 3. The only similarities between this season and previous seasons are that the Pirates weren't expected to contend, and now we enter July and they're contending. But if you look at this...

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