In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.
When a team is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, they get to play the role of spoiler and essentially they can drastically alter the playoff race. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a great opportunity to ruin the Chicago Cubs chances of winning the NL Central Division title.
Last night the Pirates stunned the Cubs with some more early offense via a Pablo Reyes three-run home run and Chris Archer absolutely dominated the Cubs offense. The Cubs lost and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals, which means the Brewers are a half game back of the Cubs for first place.
The Cubs would need an historic collapse to completely miss the playoffs, but they could end up playing in the Wild Card Game, which would be a huge surprise. No team wants to play the role of spoiler, but those are the cards the Pirates have been dealt and so far, they have done a good job in that role. They have won the first two games of the Cubs series and did so in convincing fashion.
Most importantly from last night’s game was the continued quality of work from Chris Archer. Archer has finally looked like the pitcher the Pirates thought they were trading for. In his last five starts, Archer has a 2.70 ERA and has finally been missing bats consistently.
When the Pirates traded for Chris Archer, they knew they were picking up for next year as much as this year. Hopefully, this September stretch is a sign of things to come for next season. Because I don’t think any starter is as vital to the success of the 2019 as Chris Archer.
Jameson Taillon is certainly the ace of the staff, but Archer is supposed to be the veteran that puts the team over the top and until recently he did not look the part. I was always optimistic that Archer would turn things around and I am encourage by his recent stretch of play. Archer has shown that he can be a top of the rotation starter in the past and he definitely looks the part again.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will play two more games against the Chicago Cubs before ending the 2018 season in Cincinnati. It really has been an interesting season for the Pittsburgh Baseball Club. Fan apathy has been a consistent nemesis of the organization, but I, for one, will miss the Pirates when the coldness of winter sets in and baseball becomes both a memory and a dream.