In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

For a moment, just a moment, they looked like that team we all know and love. That team that clawed its way to the 2013 Wild Card Game, and back there again in 2014.

After falling 4 runs behind the LA Dodgers early, the Pittsburgh Pirates showed signs of life. A five run 3rd inning, thanks to heroics by Starling Marte, Josh Harrison and John Jaso, gave the Buccos a lead in the game. It was like a Vitamin B shot for the guys in the dugout and took mountains of pressure off of starter Jameson Taillon, who had another uncharacteristic start.

I tweeted this:

Sometimes, I’m a little clairvoyant. Although, it doesn’t exactly take a touch of supernatural powers to predict the Pirates’ fate these days.

That lead didn’t last long – in the top of the 4th Chris Taylor singled, scoring Yasiel Puig – tying the game. In the top of the 6th, Johnny Barbato coughed up a line-drive single to Corey Seager, scoring Adrian Gonzalez, giving the Dodgers the lead.

That’s when I went to bed.


I’ve sat through a lot of bad baseball. A LOT. I mean, in 2017, I regularly watch the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Toronto Blue Jays for crying out loud. It takes a lot for me to turn off the TV mid-game, just ask my family. But last night, I’d had enough.

And maybe it’s because of that five-run third that I finally said uncle. That inning proved what the players always say, “Hitting is infectious.” It was crack-of-bat after crack-of-bat, running hard out of the box, taking advantage of fielding miscues, mid-2010’s Pittsburgh Pirates baseball at its best. It was a run-in-from-the-kitchen-while-you’re-trying-to-refill-your-wine-because-the-hits-just-keep-coming inning that breathed life into Pirates fans. People started doing the math in their heads to determine if they could still make the wildcard – Pirates twitter even got happy. Then POOF – it was over.

And that’s how this season goes.

Sure, the team’s hit peaks and valleys like this since the 2013 Wildcard run – but the peaks are getting fewer and farther apart and those valleys are deep and wide.

I’m forever an optimist, so I’m not giving up. I never give up. Even when they’re out, it’s still baseball. And even bad baseball is better than the long, cold winter.

Baseball Talk on the Web

  • Jonah Keri is a unique voice in baseball and his storytelling is unparalleled. He gives a first-person account of the epic 6:14 Montreal Expos vs. LA Dodgers 22-inning game, in which Youppi! was ejected.
  • Hardball times has a fascinating long-form piece about Don Baylor’s childhood.

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Joy Frank-Collins

Joy Frank-Collins is a Communications professional who got her start writing as a journalist at a daily newspaper in southeastern Ohio. She was born in Reds country, but "found" baseball watching the 1986 Mets win the World Series. She lives in Marietta, Ohio, with her family, who all share her passion for Pirates baseball. She loves the suicide squeeze, a crisp 6-4-3 double play and catchers (especially Russell Martin). When not obsessing over baseball, Joy likes to work out, travel and drink wine. Check her out on Instagram @JoyFC