Deliver by the river: It's wins, not history, that Pirates fans want

Written by Susan Mannella on .

If Pirates fans are lucky, that embarrassment of a series this week with the Milwaukee Brewers, in which the home team was outscored 36-1 in three games, will be the low point of the season.

But Thursday's 20-0 debacle does not build confidence in a pitching staff, let alone Pirates batters. You never know where this kind of team will go from here.

When the season opened three weeks ago, fans' hopes were flush with the hope of spring, despite the Pirates' 17 straight losing seasons. In the first dozen or so games, the latest retooled version of the Bucs was not dominant but did enough to win.

This week opened with Pittsburgh standing on a .545 winning record, a mere game behind the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals. Then Tuesday brought the Brewers to town and the honeymoon was over. First the Pirates fell 8-1, then 8-0, with the history-making collapse of 20-0 - worst loss in the franchise - coming Thursday afternoon. And they call this the Businessman's Special?

What would truly be special is if this young team, still trying to find its chemistry (not to mention its bat, glove and strike zone), could break even on this 10-game road trip. That would leave the Pirates still close to .500 as they come home with April behind them.

By then, a few of their stellar prospects in Indianapolis - Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln - would be one month closer to PNC Park. And after they arrive, it could be a whole new ballgame. At this point, the only history worth making is breaking the streak.


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