Clinched: How the 2015 Pirates made it back to Buctober

It’s official: with a victory over the Rockies on Wednesday night, the Pirates have sealed their third consecutive playoff berth. Yes, it’s the third year in a row that the Bucs have clinched on September 23rd. Turning into the best day of the year.

Further, it’s now the third time that the Pirates have appeared in the postseason three years in a row:

Pirates Consecutive Playoff Appearances
(The playoff format expanded to two rounds in 1969… Three rounds in 1994… And expanded Wild Card in 2012.)

In 2013, the feeling was pure joy; finally, the playoffs were back in Pittsburgh. Last year, it was almost relief; the Pirates hovered around .500 for more of the season than we would have liked (they were only three games over on September 3rd), but a late run proved that the previous season wasn’t exactly a fluke. This team had what it took to be among the league’s best.

This season, though, the feeling is a little different. They expected to be here. They’re not celebrating as much yet, at least not publicly all-out. Chasing the Cardinals all year has, once again, been unsatisfying, and the thought of another do-or-die Wild Card game is not exactly flattering. This team, despite having the second best record in all of Major League Baseball, has spent exactly zero days in first place. That’s just too bad: they could finish with or near triple-digit wins to be the best Bucco club since at least the early 1990s.

Still, many teams would love to be in the Bucs’ position right now. It’s an awesome accomplishment. Regardless of what happens next month, this has been another great year for the team. Let’s take a look at how they got here.

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2015 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Preview

2015 Pittsburgh Pirates

“So how hungry are the Pittsburgh Pirates? Hungrier than Kobayashi at Coney Island. Hungier than Adam Richman at an all-you-can-eat buffet line.

Hungry. Ravenous. Ready.” – Jayson Stark, ESPN

This blog enters its fourth season, and it’s honestly hard to believe we’re writing this sentence: The Pittsburgh Pirates have made the playoffs two years in a row. 

This time last year, there was still skepticism — 2013 very well could have just been a fluke. After all, t was the very first time we didn’t enter a season wondering if it would be the year that The Streak would end. Frankly, we didn’t know what to expect.

By October, the script was different, but the result was the same: the Pirates landed in baseball’s postseason, albeit the National League Wild Card game once again. It resulted in another early exit, but we had our answer: this team was no joke.

Since 2013, only four Major League teams — Dodgers, Cardinals, A’s, Tigers — have won more games than the Pittsburgh Pirates.

And that’s what gives this city more confidence and more hope for their baseball team. More than at any point in the previous two decades. The expectations are high, but this team is hungry. They want the division. And then some.

Here are your 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates…

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