The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t been able to reach the playoffs for two decades. So it was with considerable glee that Pittsburgh baseball fans watched their team compile a 6-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds yesterday and make their way forward and on into the MLB Playoffs where they will meet up with St. Louis in the Divisional Series on Thursday. I can relate to that feeling. I watched my own personal sports heroes reach the pinnacle just a few years ago after a long drought.
For fans with Pirates tickets it’s been a long drought. 21 years between having the opportunity to see post-season play is a long time and it is sweet to finally taste some type of success. For the Pirates that sweetness came courtesy of Russell Martin, who hit a pair of home runs, and the pitching of Francisco Liriano who went seven very solid innings in the win, striking out five and allowing only four hits.
Martin was keyed in to the home crowd, appreciating exactly what Pirates fans had been though and how much they appreciated where they were last night. “This is 20 years of waiting. You’re seeing it all come out in one night.Hopefully we can keep this atmosphere ’til late October,” Martin said after the game.
The Pirates have achieved several goals in this season, a winning record, a playoff berth, and finally a playoff win. No matter how the series with St. Louis turns out, the feeling around the Pittsburgh Pirates is that better things are ahead. Of course, it isn’t over yet and that feeling of anything being possible is still hanging in the air. With just a little bit of luck, and a timely hit or two from Martin, this Pittsburgh Pirates team could make the long wait worthwhile.