The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

September 24, 2013

Pirates clinch 1st playoff berth in 21 years

CHICAGO (AP) — The long wait is over, Pittsburgh. Your Pirates are finally headed back to the postseason.

After a 21-year absence, the Pirates clinched at least a National League wild card Monday night when they beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 and the Washington Nationals lost to St. Louis.

Now, they can turn their attention toward bigger goals, the kind that seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream through all those losing seasons.

"Even though I didn't lose for the last 20 years, they make you feel like you are. You feel like you lost those 20 years," Andrew McCutchen said. "That's all you hear. You hear it every single day — 'When's it going to change? You think this is the year?' You get sick and tired of hearing that. It's awesome that there won't be any questions anymore. The question is, 'Are we going to be able to go farther?'"

It will be Pittsburgh's first trip to the postseason since Barry Bonds, Jim Leyland and Co. won three straight NL East titles from 1990-92. Bonds then left for San Francisco as a free agent, and the small-budget Pirates piled up 20 consecutive losing records — the longest streak in the four major professional sports.

Starling Marte hit a tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning at Wrigley Field, and the Pirates threw out a runner at the plate for the final out.

The Pirates sprayed each other with bubbly and beer and sparkling cider in the visitors' clubhouse once St. Louis' 4-3 win over the Nationals became final.

The Cincinnati Reds also clinched at least a wild-card berth, when they beat the New York Mets 3-2 in 10 innings. The Pirates and Reds, both 90-67, trail St. Louis by two games in the NL Central with five to go.

Pittsburgh players sang Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." They chanted "MVP! MVP!" while dousing McCutchen. They took pictures and manager Clint Hurdle had them gather for a group photo in the middle of the cramped visitors' clubhouse.

Text Only
AP Sports
  • Ricketts: Cubs not interested in move to suburbs NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts thinks a move to the suburbs might be lucrative but says his team remains committed to refurbishing century-old Wrigley Field. The Cubs won approval from Chicago's City Council last July for a $500 mill

    April 16, 2014

  • Cardinals Brewers Baseball-6 [Duplicate] Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again 6-1 MILWAUKEE (AP) — Cardinals starters are feeling right at home on the mound at Miller Park. A night after Lance Lynn shutout the Brewers, fellow hard-throwing right-hander Shelby Miller followed Tuesday by striking out seven and allowing three hits ov

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • NL Capsules CINCINNATI (AP) — Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays. First, the

    April 16, 2014

  • Boston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks BOSTON (AP) — Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the fa

    April 16, 2014

  • Gay rights group sends petition to IOC LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — More than 100,000 members of an international gay rights group have sent messages to the IOC urging changes to ensure that future Olympic host countries do not have discriminatory laws on their books. The group All Out re

    April 16, 2014

  • AL Capsules ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers, Robbie Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0 Tuesday night. Fielder ended a 13-game homerless streak

    April 16, 2014

  • $1.9M Special Olympics facility planned in SD SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Special Olympics South Dakota has launched a $1.9 million campaign to raise money for a training facility in Sioux Falls that would give athletes a place to practice without having to compete for gym time with other sports gr

    April 16, 2014

  • NL Capsules MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers' nine-game winning streak was snapped Monday night when Lance Lynn struck out 11 in seven innings and Jon Jay hit a three-run homer for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-0 victory. Lynn allowed three hits over seve

    April 15, 2014

  • Cardinals Brewers Baseball-6 [Duplicate] Brewers' 9-game win streak halted by Cards, Lynn MILWAUKEE (AP) — A familiar foil brought the Brewers' nine-game winning streak to an end. Cardinals righty Lance Lynn continued his mastery of Milwaukee after striking out 11 in seven innings and Jon Jay hit a three-run homer to give St. Louis a 4-0

    April 15, 2014 6 Photos

  • Phelps Comeback Swimming [Duplicate] Olympic great Michael Phelps to swim again Don't expect the same Michael Phelps in his return to swimming after a nearly two-year retirement. Even if Phelps' comeback is a success, it will be different this time around. No more swimming seven or eight events at the Olympics or world champions

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National