The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates were playing a meaningless baseball game last night, with the Cubs already clinching the best record in the NL and the Pirates eliminated from post-season contention. But that didn’t stop Clint Hurdle from referencing an obscure baseball rule
Just ask the Texas Rangers – having the St. Louis Cardinals down to their final strike doesn’t even come close to ensuring victory. This was the case on Tuesday night as the Pittsburgh Pirates clung to a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, trying to snap their seven game losing streak. Two strikes on Matt Carpenter and he responds.
On June 26, 2001, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon took issue with some questionable calls made by first base umpire Rick Reed. After one of the calls, McClendon stormed onto the field, argued vehemently and was ejected. Instead of simply leaving, McClendon went over and pulled first base out of the ground and carried it off the field, eventually throwing it into the dugout.
In sports, there is nothing more exciting than an elimination game, and it’s why we, as fans, gravitate towards every single game 7, March Madness tournament, and Super Bowl. Fans expect teams to play their best with their backs against the wall – and most of the time they do.
After a 21-year absence, the Pirates clinched at least a National League wild card Monday night when they beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 and the Washington Nationals lost to St. Louis.
It was victory No. 81 for Pittsburgh, ensuring it will not finish with a losing record for the first time since it went 96-66 in 1992. More importantly, it boosted the Pirates’ lead in the NL Central to two games over St. Louis.
The Arizona Diamondbacks traded shortstop John McDonald to Pittsburgh on Wednesday for a player to be named or cash, giving the Pirates some much-needed infield depth.
The NL Central is home to some very potent teams in 2013, including the Cardinals, Brewers and of course the Reds. Get the latest 2013 NL Central predictions from the sports bloggers who know the teams best. Find out where your favorite National League team is projected to finish in their division.
The Reds were the surprise of the division last year, but it is tough to say whether they can repeat as 2011 NL Central Champs. The Cardinals are always going to contend for the title, and the Cubs should be able to bounce back from a down year to contend in 2011.