After watching the Braves defeat the Pirates in the 19th inning last night on the worst call I have ever seen in my life, I found myself on the Pittsburgh Pirates bandwagon. First of all, if you don't know what I am referring to, regarding the worst call ever, take a look at the picture. Julio Lugo was called safe by umpire Jerry Meals in the bottom of the 19th in a 3-3 game after pitcher Scott Proctor bounced a ground ball to third base.
Regardless, the Pirates have quickly become America's Baseball Team. The last time they had a winning season or made the playoffs, I was celebrating my first birthday back in 1992, but right now they stand just 1 game out of first place in the NL Central. The division is very tight up top though, with just 5 games separating the top 4 teams. The Brewers, Cardinals, Pirates and Reds all have a legitimate chance to win the Central. So can the Pirates make it to the playoffs? Can a team that is 25th in the MLB in runs, play meaningful games in September? With the current roster, I don't think that's possible; however, with the trade deadline just four days away, the Pirates have the ability to bolster their chances.
Adding a bat is vital for a playoff-run and the Pirates should target a couple of Oakland Athletics. Josh Willingham and David DeJesus are two players that I could see the Pirates acquiring. Willingham is a big right-handed power bat that would fit nicely in the outfield with Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen. He could also play first base against left-handers, putting Lyle Overbay and his .231 average on the bench occasionally. David DeJusus would bring a left-handed bat with above-average defense. He would become the Pirates fourth outfielder, who could start games against right-handers. These two additions would provide some spark to a terrible Pittsburgh lineup.
Despite their inability to score runs, the Pirates find ways to win games. The pitching has been amazing, led by Jeff Karstens. The rotation has stayed healthy and have kept the team in the ball game every night. I still think that the Pirates could use another arm in the bullpen.
If the Pirates are aggressive during the trade deadline, they will have a chance at winning THIS season. The Pirates have way too many holes to compete in September against the dynamic Brewers and Cardinals lineups.