"I'm glad it looks that way." -Tony Watson, in response to a question about how he maintains his ice-cold demeanor regardless of the inning he's pitching
The trade deadline is past, and boy was it weird. But teams still play baseball games after the trade deadline, and so it happened for the Pirates today in a 5-3 victory over the punchless Atlanta Braves.
The Braves suck and just traded for Matt Kemp, who’s a significant improvement to their team. These are the things the 2016 Braves have to be happy about. It’s not that you shouldn’t be excited about a win, because every win is the same, but this is a team that the Pirates should beat ten times out of ten if they want to be considered legitimate contenders for the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, after the weekend series against the Brewers, I don’t think we can expect that kind of production. The Pirates scored some runs and won. Tony Watson got his first save as the official closer, if you care about such things, which is why his picture leads off this article.
So here we are, with the Pirates sitting at 53-51. They’re 3.0 games out of the second Wild Card position (assuming the Cubs lead against the Marlins holds), which is seemingly where they’ve been for nearly a month now without being able to make up much ground despite playing some bad baseball teams. The new-look Pirates aren’t out of it yet, though, and Neal Huntington’s weird deadline moves haven’t totally blown up the 2016 Pirates and still give them a chance to play against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw (or possibly Rich Hill, at this point) in the Wild Card game.
The only path to this result, though, is to keep winning baseball games and slowly climb back in the standings. Beating the Braves again (and again) is a good start to that.