20 years. It’s been 20 years since the Pittsburgh Pirates have been able to call themselves winners, 20 years since they’ve been to the postseason. Many of their fans haven’t even seen a Pirates postseason game in their lifetimes. That streak is over, and the Pirates can call themselves winners.
With the new postseason format the way it is, winning the division is finally way more important than winning the Wild Card. Winning the division guarantees the winning team a series, while winning the Wild Card only guarantees one playoff game.
Hypothetically, let’s say the Pirates win the second Wild Card and the Cincinnati Reds somehow catch up and take the first Wild Card. The Pirates would have to travel to Cincinnati to face the Reds, and if they lose, the fans in Pittsburgh won’t be able to see a playoff game at PNC Park for a 21st consecutive season.
Even if the Pirates do win the first Wild Card and they get a game at PNC Park, who wants to face the chances of being knocked out in one game after playing a long 162-game season? It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s the way it is.
If the Pirates do happen to win the Wild Card and get knocked out after one game, it simply won’t be right. The Pirates and their fans have waited far too long for a season like this, and it shouldn’t end like that. Winning the division is a must for the Pirates.