So tonight I was sitting outside and doing a little Pirates talk when I started thinking about where I had the Pirates before the season started. Prior to the year I had the Pirates with 73-75 wins and with the way the Pirates have been playing this year that prediction has been blown out of the water. While my win expectation was a modest win total now I feel myself bumping that up to 85 or 86 wins with the ceiling being 88 or 89 wins and maybe reaching 90. That isn't really why I am getting into this post but I just thought I would set the mood (if you say that) for how the Pirates season has gone and how preseason expectations can largely mean nothing when the team goes out and plays better than you thought they would.
Tonight the Pirates earned their 53rd win in game 93. While the 53-40 record is very nice to see (very nice) there are still a bunch of games left to play and thing could either go really good (I hope) but in the same respect they could go really bad (we hope not). For the purpose of this post I am just going to focus on the 53 win mark for the Pirates.
What really spurned this conversation was a tweet I got from Jon Pennline:
For the last ten years this is the date and game number of when the Pirates have won their 53rd game:
2012: July 21, game 93
2011: July 25, game 100
2010: September 22, game 151
2009: August 27, game 125
2008: August 8, game 115
2007: August 20, game 123
2006: August 30, game 134
2005: August 19, game 122
2004: August 11, game 111
2003: August 9, game 114
As you can see the last two years the Pirates have made some pretty significant progress at this point in the season. It is pretty amazing to think about that 2010 season and how truly bad it was. In the midst of the past two years, even with the collapse last season, it has made me forgot just how rock bottom the Pirates were in 2010 and how far they really have come despite coming off being the worst team in the league in 2010.
This isn't to say that the Pirates are going to go and win 95 games this year or that they are a for sure playoff team but this team is making progress and they are getting better. The team has been in a stagnant phase for a majority of these past ten years in terms of wins but after the 2010 season we are starting to see the fruit of the labor that the front office is putting in.
Do I think that the Pirates will get to win 53 in 85 games next year? Probably not but if this team keeps improving as the years go and and keeps adding talent then we could see more years like this. Things are uncertain going forward, even in the 2012 season but doesn't it feel good to have a team that we can have these conversations about? I know it sure feel good. Damn good.