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

I don’t know what I expected

Last night the Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Chicago Cubs 6-1. However, it really wasn’t THAT close. The Pirates never generated any kind of offensive threat and the bullpen fell apart after a relatively solid start from Trevor Williams.

Williams allowed two runs over five innings of work and struck out four. It was far from his best start but he did his job and kept the Pirates in the game. He escaped several huge jams, including a bases-loaded, one out jam in the fourth inning that prevented the Cubs from putting the game away early.

Mike Montgomery completely shut down the Pirates offense as they managed only one run on six hits. The one run was provided via a Jordy Mercer solo home run in the eighth inning. The Pirates aren’t going to win too many ballgames with such a paltry offensive output. However, that’s what the Pirates gave in the so-called “biggest game of the season.”

Over before it started

For some reason, the AT&T Sports Network promoted this series as the Pirates’ last chance at competing for a playoff spot. Umm, what? The Pirates entered game one seven games behind the Cubs with a month left to play. The Pirates fell out of contention a long time ago and this loss didn’t do anything to hurt their playoff chances because they really don’t have any.

This team is only playing for one thing and that’s pride. There will be no playoffs for a second straight season and that is disappointing but that’s the reality of the situation. The NL Central may be very weak this year but not weak enough for a mediocre Pirates team to truly compete. I don’t want to disrespect this team and the men that go to work every day but they simply aren’t good enough this year. I am reminded of when Chuck Noll took over for the Steelers and held his first team meeting. ‘The reason you are losing isn’t schematic, it isn’t lack of effort, it’s simply because many of you aren’t good enough.”

As I said yesterday, I normally hate September roster expansion because it brings games to a screeching halt. However, the Pirates can use this September to see some top prospects and see if those prospects can contribute in 2018. The team is playing for the future right now. If the next wave of prospects can’t contribute, you may see a full fledge rebuild a lot sooner than anyone expected.

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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.