September 12th, 1992. That was the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had clinched being above .500 for the conclusion of a Major League Baseball season with their 82nd win, which was a 9-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Some interesting things about that game:
- Future D'Back Jay Bell hitting second for the Pirates.
- Former Arizona State Sun Devil Barry Bonds playing out his final season in Pittsburgh before going to San Francisco and reaching the pinnacle of any Baseball career: Being intentionally walked with the bases loaded.
- The manager of the Pirates is current Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who also made stops in Miami and Colorado after his time in Pittsburgh.
- The leadoff hitter for the Phillies was Ruben Amaro, their current GM. He was hitting .220 at the time, so he would have been the perfect player that present-day Ruben Amaro would have given 5 years/$100 Million. A whole lot of stuff just started to make sense.
- That loss would be the 82nd for the Phillies, clinching a losing season. They would finish 70-92 on the year, but go on to win the NL Pennant the next year, so have hope fans of under .500 teams.
At some points in 1992, people thought that Ross Perot was a viable Presidential Candidate. The #1 song on the billboard charts on the aforementioned day was "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men. "Core" by Stone Temple Pilots, "40 Oz to Freedom" by Sublime, and "Automatic for the People" by R.E.M came out which is noteworthy because those are all the albums that came out in 1992 that I own.
Al Pacino would win best actor for "Scent of a Woman" and unfortuneately use his performance from that movie for every character he played for the rest of his career so far. Anthony Perkins and Chuck Conners left us, and Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez came into the world. Insert your own snarky commentary about that here.
Someone born on that day is less than a month away from being of legal age to purchase alcohol in the United States. This is all roundabout way of saying that since then, the Pirates have endured the Todd Van Poppels and Warren Morrisses of the world and have yet to be above .500 for a season since.
Or maybe not. Sure, the Pirates have 71 wins right now in August, and are in a somewhat comfortable first place in the NL Central, with the buffer of two wild cards should they falter almost ensuring their first -playoff appearance since then.
HOWEVER. They still gotta hit 82. Until then, the last over .500 memory Pittsburgh fans will have is Sid Bream sliding. Before you start to feel too sorry for them, remember that the Penguins have won a Stanley Cup and the Steelers winners of two Super Bowls since then.
POORLY REASEARCHED POSSIBLE LINEUPS
1. Starling Marte - LF
2. Neil Walker - 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen - CF
4. Pedro Alvarez - 3B
5. Russell Martin - C
6. Garrett Jones - 1B
7. Travis Snider - RF
8. Clint Barmes - SS
1. A.J. Pollock - CF
2. Adam Eaton - LF
3. Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
4. Aaron Hill - 2B
5. Martin Prado - 3B
6. Wil Nieves - C
7. Gerardo Parra - RF
8. Didi Gregorius - SS
FRIDAY: Brandon McCarthy (2-6, 4.73 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.95 ERA)
This will be McCarthy's third start from the disabled list, he pitched fairly well in both, although his pitch count got a little higher than it probably needed to be in Boston. However, the Diamondbacks decided on both of those starts to go "Run Support? That's scary, I can't do that. STOP TALKING TO ME."
If players drafted out of UCLA in the first round of the 2011 draft were a random issue of "Highlights" magazine. Gerrit Cole would be Gallant to Trevor Bauer's Goofus.
Gerrit only gives up two walks per nine innings, because he can control his stuff.
Trevor gives up over eight, because he can't and can be headstrong with his approach.
Gerrit has been able to help out his team since being called up with some solid if not spectacular numbers.
Trevor can barely stay in the majors on a pitching deficient team.
SATURDAY: Trevor Cahill (3-10, 4.66) vs. Jeff Locke (9-3, 2.43 ERA)
The pitching probables thing on MLB.com says that Cahill is pitching, and I'm not one to argue with machines. It's easy to forget that before his disastrous June, Cahill was more or less the second best starter on the team. Actually, it's not easy to forget, because human memory and all, but some people like to selectively remember that because I dunno.
Apparently Jeff Locke is on try number five to get win number ten. Patrick Corbin is playing the world's smallest violin at the moment, which is impressive for a human to do with such a small musical instrument.
SUNDAY: Wade Miley (9-8, 3.63 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (4-3, 3.79 ERA)
Remember how everyone was predicting that Wade Miley would regress in 2013? It was the Pogs of 2013 Diamondbacks predictions. He went through that regression earlier this year, but now he's like anti-regressing. Not so smart now, are ya? Miley's also won his past three decisions, which is good because that means the team has won in his starts, and not an endorsement of the Win as an individual statistic.
One reason why the Pirates are doing so well this year is that generic pitchers with names like "Jeff Locke" and "Charlie Morton" are doing reasonably well. Morton is coming off of Tommy John surgery and seems to be another poster child for how pitchers can come back at full strength.
Andrew McCutchen is probably going to win MVP, right? Probably the front-runner at this point. He's putting up a pretty good .316/.389/.513 line at this point, but more importantly he is the best player on a first place team.
Not to degrade his accomplishments, but he might win an individual because of the performance of the rest of his team? How does that make sense? Take it up with the BBWAA.
ZM also gets us pizza, so can you get us some? Look, I'm not gonna fall for that again. I had to sell a kidney to some shady Laotian men to pay rent after getting you all Ice Cream last time I pinch hit. Sure I'll get pizza, BUT IT'LL BE ON MY TERMS AND YOU WILL GET NONE OF IT. NONE, NADA, ZILCH. I'M THE GOD I'M THE GOD I'M THE GOOOOOOD.
Pirates SBN Blog: Bucs Dugout. They also have a writer named Charlie, and small sample size shows that SBN Baseball Blogs with writers who go by Charlie are awesome.