PIRATES IN FREE FALL
Plain and simple the Pirates got whooped 11-0 by a far better team Tuesday night in the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Pirates (64-52) and Dodgers (64-53) have nearly identical record but there's a big difference between the two as the Dodgers have the makeup of a club that is a World Series contender, while the Pirates are an overachieving club that is becoming exposed and are a good bet to finish third in the division and out of the post-season for a 20th straight season.
While the starting rotation is showing it's true colors at the worst possible time, this isn't last year's team but this isn't a playoff team either.
The Pirates are in free fall, losing five of six but the more alarming sign is that something has been off with this team since the start of the Cubs series on July 23rd and the Pirates are now 6-10 in their last 16 games, dating back to July 29th.
The Pirates now trail the Cincinnati Reds by six games for the division lead, but in reality the division has always been a longshot as the Reds are a far superior team.
The good news for the Pirates is that the race for the two NL wildcard spots is setting up as a five team race for two spots with Atlanta (67-49), Pittsburgh (64-52), San Francisco (63-53) or Los Angeles (64-53), and St. Louis (63-53). The problem for the Pirates is that the four above mentioned teams are much better clubs, despite the similar records, and that's likely to show moving forward.