Last September, the Pirates were technically contenders, but not really contenders. They were 2.5 games out of the Wild Card race on September 1st. A week later, they were four games back, followed by 5.5 games back a week after that, and finishing the season at 6.5 games back.

This also ignored the fact that if they made the Wild Card, and if they won the Wild Card, their rotation was not going to be good enough to beat the Cubs in a five game series.

But the Pirates continued playing for the Wild Card, and in my opinion, they pursued that for too long. This led to a few instances where they played veterans for too long, while benching young prospects who should have been getting a chance for the following season.

Some of this made sense in hindsight. My biggest complaint at the ...

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