Pirates finally back on track

PITTSBURGH—After spending most of the season struggling to find their rhythm, the Pittsburgh Pirates, losers of five straight and 7 of their last 8, seemed to have finally righted the ship and returned to playing their brand of baseball. “It’s finally clicking,” said manager Clint Hurdle on his team’s recent resurgence. “I’m not going to say I wasn’t concerned, because I was, but at the same time I knew what our guys were capable of and they’ve shown me that these past several games.”

After an atrocious start to their season in which they were as many as seven games above .500 and leading the NL Central, the Pirates have come on strong, giving up big hits, striking out at inopportune times and generally screwing up in a way that eluded them for the better part of the year.

“I think people looked at what we did and just wrote us off,” said pitcher Joel Hanrahan, “That’s unfair, but at the same time, we weren’t about to let them define us, which is why you’ve seen us play the way we have lately.”

With only two months remaining in the season, however, it may be too late for the Pirates to completely turn it around, but that hasn’t discouraged Hanrahan and his teammates. “Can we sneak into last place in the division? It’ll be hard with Houston and Chicago there, but goddamnit if we aren’t going to try.”

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