It wasn't all that long ago that we were all hoping that Pirate games would still have meaning at this point in 2011. Now, the best the Pirates can do tonight is beat the Brewers and try to force them into a first round playoff matchup with the Phillies or at least on the road, but that sort of thing is only partially in their hands. Because this game does still matter for the Brewers at least a little bit, Zack Greinke is going to start and presumably pitch six or seven or eight innings, rather than getting a couple innings of work in and bailing. Ryan Braun needs to go 3-for-3 to win the NL batting title. I really hope that doesn't happen.
When tomorrow comes, we can talk about what this season means and what happened in August and what the future holds for the Pirates, but for tonight there is just this. One more game. Jeff Locke gets one more shot to get his first big league win and make a non-disappointing start in 2011, though he'll presumably have more chances to do so at some point in 2012 if he doesn't do it tonight.
The last first pitch of the year is at 8:10 tonight. It's been a pleasure sharing the season with all of you, as always.
I haven't commented much here this season, but just want you to know that I read your stuff every day and really appreciate the time and consideration that you give to our Buccos. Your site, along with Charlie's and Tim's, are my main sources for Pirates news, and I love that you all bring something different to the table. All the statistical research you do is great, but you also write about the human side of baseball, and especially baseball fandom, better than just about anybody. Cheers.