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

A Pleasant Surprise

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 and FINALLY won a series against their NL Central rivals. Since 2014 no team has dominated the Pirates like the Reds. It took until nearly September but the Pirates left Cincinnati a winner.

I’ve discussed this before but it’s genuinely fascinating how badly the Pirates struggle against the Reds. Even in their 98 wins 2015 campaign, the Pirates went 8-11 vs. the Reds so the quality of the Pirates team is irrelevant when it comes to Cincinnati. However, at least for one series vs. the Reds, the Pirates managed to actually play a couple really solid baseball games.

Gerrit Cole did some ace-type stuff on Saturday as he pitched and hit the Pirates to a 1-0 victory. Cole has gotten a lot of flack this year for his up and down season but he really showed that when he’s on, he is one of the most talented pitchers in the league.

Yesterday, the Pirates simply out-played the Reds for most of the ballgame. They won 5-2 and for the most part looked good doing it. Small victories can still feel good, even in the middle of a disappointing season. The Reds have been such a boogeyman to the Pirates that beating them feels cathartic. It’s never good when your nemesis is a team that’s a combined 70 games under .500 over the last three seasons.

September, where the pace of play goes to die.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s almost September, which means it’s almost time to expand the rosters. Get ready for longer baseball games because each manager can suddenly make a nearly unlimited amount of pitching changes. I know that September is a great chance to see young prospects get their first taste of the Big Leagues. However, I hate how it makes every game drag to a freaking halt. It’s just strange that during the month when pennant races are

It’s just strange that during the month when pennant races are at their most intense, you almost play a different game. I am not sure if I am in the minority or not but I hate September Roster Expansion. If it were up to me, I’d either get rid of it or simply decrease the number of players allowed to be on the active roster. It’s absurd that you have access to 40 players during September baseball games.

I’ve always thought, you should still limit your active roster to 25 once the game starts. However, if you want to see more players, perhaps 30 active players would be a fair compromise. You could see your top prospects but not have so many players that you bring games to a painful slowdown. I just can’t fathom how 40 players on a team’s roster is good for baseball or its fans.

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Steve Kubitz

Steve Kubitz was born and raised in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a long time and annoyingly positive baseball fan. He bought into the Pirates' 5-year-plan before it was cool. He is best known for staying calm about losing streaks on twitter and trying his best to make sure other fans don’t overreact to when the Pirates lose a tough ballgame to a division rival. The only thing he isn’t positive about is the wave during close ballgames.