PITTSBURGH - Well, at least fewer people saw this loss against the Cubs than the last one.

That represents a thinly veiled attempt at context for the Pirates' 7-2 home loss Monday night to the Chicago Cubs, their first crack at them since the 2015 Wild Card Game.

In every year previous to this, a May loss to the Cubs at PNC Park would be treated with an attitude of "ah well, get 'em next time."

Problem is, this year, early season Pirates-Cubs games take on more significance, both in perception and the cold-hard standings, than they have in...

((clicks through Baseball-Reference seasons pages))

... 43 years!

Truly every win or loss has a substantive effect on the Bucs' chances of making the elusive 8-team tournament known as the "real" MLB Playoffs, so every win or loss me...

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