Chicago 4 – Pittsburgh 2
Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports
The Chicago Cubs assured the Pittsburgh Pirates a 17th losing season, beating the Pirates 4-2 Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.
The loss to the Cubs was significant as the Pirates now own the longest losing streak in the history of North America’s four major professional sports.
This afternoon the Pirates passed the Philadelphia Phillies 1933-1948 in the history books.
The last time the Pirates had a winning season was in 1992 when manager Jim Leyland led the Pirates to a 96-66 record and a 1st place finish in the National League East. The Pirates advanced to the National League Championship series losing to the Atlanta Braves in 7 games.
Since 1992, the Pirates haven’t come close to getting back to the playoffs and the closest they came to even being .500 was four games.
Their best season during the 17 year losing streak came in 1997 when they finished 79-83. 1997 was fluke and the Pirates went on to lose 93 games in 1998.
They have gone on to lose 90+ games 7 times since 1997 including a 100 loss season in 2001.
Sitting at 54-82 and losing 10 of their last 11 games, the question now is whether the team will lose 100 games for the second time this decade.
Owner Bob Nutting believes the franchise is on the upswing under the leadership of general manager Neal Huntington.
Maybe they are……..
But you can bet on another 90+ loss season in 2010 and the chances are slim the Pirates will turn it around by 2011.
Huntington has re-built the Pirates farm system but they lack quality prospects. The organizations philosophy has been to add quantity and that won’t get it done.
The streak will go on atleast another year and likely two more. Will it reach 20?