A five game losing streak from the Pirates has them 5.5 games out of first place with 38 games left. Barring a collapse from the Milwaukee Brewers, a pretty steep climb for the Pirates.
As the Pirates begin a three game series with the Atlanta Braves Monday night, the wildcard is far from out of reach, as the Pirates trail San Francisco and St. Louis by just 1.5 games, but the burning question right now is whether the Pirates are headed towards a collapse.
The signs are surely there this past week and with five straight losses and three of those games the Pirates arguably let slip away, mentally this team seems burned out right now.
Management provided them no boost from a mental standpoint like last year when they acquired Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau. It gave them a belief that they were a serious contender in the NL.
For the Pirates, the best case scenario is the return of Gerrit Cole and potential return of Andrew McCutchen in the next week provides the type of mental boost this team needs right now.
Tonight’s game is pivotal from the standpoint that if this slide hits six, seven games, it’s hard to see this group recovering.
Take two of three from Atlanta and the Pirates have new life again and the five game losing streak will be looked at as just a rough patch.
Following the Atlanta series, nine of the Pirates next 12 games are against the Brewers (3) and Cardinals (6).