NEWS STORIES

Brewers Topple Liriano, PiratesSubmitted: 09/04/2013
Story By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - Toast them with a bottle of Iron City. Wear that 1970s-era Pittsburgh painter's cap with pride. Celebrate the end of "The Streak."

Just don't expect the Pirates to join in the fun. There's an NL Central title to win.

The Pirates ended their 20-year run of losing baseball Tuesday night, reaching the 81-win mark with a 4-3 victory at Miller Park.

"I've won 81 games before, and this team is going to win more than 81 games. A lot more," newly acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd said before Wednesday night's game at Milwaukee.

Win No. 82 will have to wait.


The Pirates lost 9-3 in game interrupted for a couple minutes in the fifth after Brewers starter Wily Peralta (9-14) plunked left-handed cleanup hitter Justin Morneau in the forearm following Andrew McCutchen's 19th homer of the year.

Morneau slowly walked to first and gestured to Peralta. The benches emptied and relievers scurried in from bullpens as far as short right and left, but the umpires quickly took control and the teams never got close to making any physical contact.

Still, the determined Pirates showed some spunk.
"It's about changing the culture, and they've done that the past two years," Byrd said. "This was inevitable that this team was going to get to this point."
Easy for him to say. He recently joined the club, obtained from the Mets in a deal to bolster the lineup for the playoff push.

Second baseman Neil Walker, on the other hand, is a little more passionate. He grew up in Pittsburgh and still lives in the Steel City.

Walker was bombarded with messages on his Twitter account Tuesday night.
"To be part of this group that has righted the ship, per se, in the win column is pretty significant. I don't think anybody is going to admit that too much in here just because baseball players are so superstitious," Walker said.
"But the fact that I've lived and breathed Pirates baseball since I can remember, being a baseball fan since I was 5 or 6 years old, it holds a little more significance to me."

Left-handed starter Francisco Liriano (15-7) gave up seven runs, seven hits and two wild pitches in three innings Wednesday. Trailing 7-3, the Pirates loaded the bases in the seventh to bring up the tying run with two outs, but reliever Donovan Hand got John Buck to fly out to right-center to end the inning.

Closer Jason Grilli, in his first appearance since July 22 after coming off the DL for a right forearm strain, allowed a hit and struck out two in the eighth.

The Pirates took a one-game lead over the Cardinals into a three-game series in St. Louis. Cincinnati was 3 3 1/2 games back after a 16-inning loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday night.

Pittsburgh is aiming to finish first and avoid a best-of-one matchup between
wild cards.

No matter what, at least the Pirates don't have to answer any more questions about the drought.

In western Pennsylvania, "The Streak" made one segment of fans miserable. Others viewed the franchise like lovable losers, the "Bad News Bears" of sorts of the majors.

The Pirates went 20 years, 11 months and 26 days since they last had 81 wins in a season.
More perspective on the two-decade run of misery since 1992:
-The Pirates were 1,374-1,796 during the streak for a .437 winning percentage.
-The Penguins and Steelers had seven losing seasons combined during that period.
-The franchise went through three ownership groups and seven managers, including current skipper Clint Hurdle.

Hurdle said he was humbled by all the messages that he had received.
"And they're not from my buddies. They're actually from people that we've come to know in the North Hills (suburbs) and the city of Pittsburgh that have reached out," he said. "The emails and texts are quite meaningful."
After the win, Hurdle said he was especially happy for the family of Roberto Clemente, the late Hall of Famer who wore No. 21.

"They told me earlier in the season that we can't have 21 losing seasons, that we've got to find a way to not have Roberto's number tied to that," Hurdle said. "I told them we'd find a way to take care of that. It's been taken care of."

The Pirates seemed loose before Wednesday's game, but there were no cases of champagne waiting on ice. No trophy in another room waiting to be presented in a pregame ceremony.

Outfielder Travis Snider, whose pinch-hit homer in the ninth led to Tuesday's win, talked fantasy football. Others watched the ever-present baseball highlights on the big-screen TVs.

Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates' MVP candidate, put it best. He posted a simple message on his Twitter account shortly after the Pirates got win No. 81.
"Keep going ..."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The ski clinic was held this morning. It only cost $10.

The class was sponsored by Mel's Trading Post and the School District of Rhinelander Community Education Program

+ Read More

ST. GERMAIN - One person got hurt in a snowmobile crash this morning.

The crash happened near highway 70 in St. Germain.

Officers say a 19-year-old Beaver Dam woman went off the trail and hit a tree.

The woman had to be airlifted to Wausau hospital.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - The exhibition, called Medieval to Metal: The Art and Evolution of the Guitar opened Saturday.

It's a touring exhibition from the National Guitar Museum.

The executive director of that museum led a gallery walk Saturday.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Some local students could win state and national awards by taking a math exam.

Students at Northland Pines High School will take the Trig-Star Exam in March.

The exam tests students on trigonometry they've learned in high school.

Students need to be able to apply that knowledge to real life situations as if they're a land surveyor.

"Land surveying in itself is a basis for a lot of things in our country," says Vilas County Land Information/Mapping Department GIS Technician Tony Jones. "It's a chance to work outside, it's a chance to work with your hands, it's also a professional level position. You get to work with mathematics, and architecture, and history, and law."

+ Read More

Play Video

MOSINEE - Seven people sit in jail, suspected of involvement in a home invasion armed robbery in Mosinee last week.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Students in Wausau will be able to go to school online next school year.

The Wausau School District is working on a virtual school program. The program, named Wausau Area Virtual Education, is for sixth through 12th graders.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A 35-year-old Rhinelander man will spend four years in prison for burglarizing a number of businesses in Rhinelander in March 2014.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here