The Pittsburgh Pirates have won 81 games for the first time in 20 years, as they have broken the all time losing record streak in any sport. With their 4-3 win over Milwaukee last night, they will not have a losing season for the first time since 1992, when they went 96-66.
How have the Pirates rebuilt themselves? And, how far could they go this season? Well, the drafting of Andrew McCutchen in 2005 with the 11th overall pick definitely helped boost this lineup, and made the Pirates a much better team. He has the complete package; fielding, speed, hitting, hitting for power, and arm. Andrew McCutchen is the heart and soul of the team.
But, it takes nine players to field a team. They have amazing pitching this season, as their 3.17 team ERA leads the majors. Their batting is mediocre, but they are able to score enough runs to give their pitching staff a lead. Which is usually kept that way. They've also built their team around good transactions, as Pedro Alverez (2008 First Round, 2nd Overall), Neil Walker (2004 First Round, 11th Overall), and Andrew McCutchen (2005 First Round, 11th Overall) are the only notable Pirates draftees that currently are on the squad.
GM Neil Huntington is a big part to the Pirates success, making the right moves at the right time to help get a winning baseball team in Pittsburgh. Since 2008, Huntington has been improving the team, and getting a winning formula in the Pirates organization. He does a good job in valuing pitching, as the Pirates have arguably the best staff in all of baseball. Making things right behind the scenes is the first step to getting your team to have a winning record, into the playoffs, and ultimately winning the World Series.
I think that the Pirates are ready to win a championship within the near future. A tough NL with the Cardinals, Reds, Braves, and Dodgers may prevent them from getting there this year. But, I do think that the Pirates will win a playoff spot as well, as pitching is important come September. They have great pitching, which will help them keep racking up the victories. This will get them into October, and possibly further. But first, they need to get over .500.