Friday, August 9, 2013

Why Are the Pittsburgh Pirates Sitting Atop the National League?

Though everyone knows the Chicago Cubs are the perennial lovable losers of Major League Baseball, an equally sad story for the past three decades has been the dismal Pittsburgh Pirates who haven't seen the playoffs since 1992. That was back when a young player name Barry Bonds was on the team. However, fortunes have changed in the past three years with the leadership of people like manager Clint Hurdle and player Andrew McCutchen. Granted, the past two seasons, which have started strong, have ended on the same disappointing meltdown. So, what's different now? What is the secret to the rise and sustainability of the Pirates - who have now passed the ever competitive and consistent St. Louis Cardinals.

It's the simple rule of sports - defense wins championships.

As the Pirates visit Colorado, and manager Clint Hurdle returns to his old team, the Denver Post profiles the secret to their success - pitching and fielding. No team achieves success in Major League Baseball without solid and consistent work on the mound ... and in the grass and dirt behind it.  Hurdle remembers having the solid offense in Colorado, especially during the miracle Rocktober run of 2007 to the World Series. However, it's the pitching that makes the difference in the long run. Because losing games 9-7 is a standard problem in Colorado. And not being able to hold teams when the offense falters is another "hurdle."

So, Pittsburgh marches on, winning games one pitch and one groundball out at time.

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