#1 The Pirates went 20 season without going to the po von MJL456 10.09.2018 05:07

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SEATTLE -- You know a team has been through a grueling stretch when the players are eagerly looking forward to spending their long-needed off day at ... an island prison.Were actually going to Alcatraz, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Matt Joyce said of his plans for Pittsburghs day off in the Bay Area on Thursday. John Jaso is going to go, and my wife has been asking for years, and Im going to surprise her. She likes stuff like that.His wife cannot have liked all the time Joyce has been at work the past month and half, though. Because of rainouts, makeup games and the usual packed baseball schedule, the Pirates have gone to a ballpark 47 of the past 48 days. They were supposed to have three off days during that span, but rainouts and makeups meant they took the field 37 times in 36 days, including a doubleheader against the Mets on June 7 to makeup for a rainout on June 6. Their only day off was also a travel day.One rainout meant that what should have been a day off in the middle of a nine-game homestand became a road game. The Pirates played a game June 8 in Pittsburgh, then flew to Denver and arrived after midnight, played a game June 9, then flew back to Pittsburgh and arrived home after midnight. On June 10, catcher Francisco Cervelli broke his hand.Its pretty grinding, Jaso said. Even with the off day [Thursday], were still going to be getting in super late and were going to be exhausted from the plane ride and jet lag, and everything that comes with it.We have to get over that. Its a never-ending battle, but its just something you need to remain callous to, and just grind through it and just keep playing.Jaso said this after having played a night home game Sunday followed by a 12:30 p.m. start Monday, a five-hour flight to Seattle and a game Tuesday. As he talked about it, he yawned twice.The Pirates started off their long stretch in good fashion, winning 10 of 12 games in one span to improve to 28-19, good then for second place in the National League Central, 4 ? games behind the Chicago Cubs. But as the games started to mount, the Pirates began to nosedive, going 10-22 and falling to 38-41, 14 games out of first and fifth in the wild-card standings.It probably has affected the performance on the field. You have to be honest about it. It has, Jaso said. But the other honest part that you have to work with is that every other team deals with the same thing, so its a pretty even playing field when it comes to that. So you just have to take it as it comes.You cant take it personally like something is against our team. Other guys are playing night games followed by day games in another city.Or as Andrew McCutchen said: We cant let that be the excuse for our play overall. We have to suck it up. Everyone has to play 162 regular games, so it doesnt matter when you play them -- you just got to play them and go out there and keep going and keep going hard.We just need to play better. Thats the bbiggest thing.dddddddddddd Were not playing our best baseball.Especially not in June. The staff ERA was 5.31 (148 runs/250 ? innings), with Francisco Liriano going 0-4 with a 7.03 ERA, Juan Nicasio going 1-2/7.08 and Jonathon Niese 1-4/6.21. They also lost starter Gerrit Cole to a strained triceps in the same game Cervelli broke his hand.Its one of those things thats frustrating for sure. I havent pitched this bad in my whole career, Niese answered when asked what was the cause of the decline. Its a crazy year. If I had all the answers, I wouldnt have the results I have.Meanwhile, Pirates batters struck out 258 times in June, or roughly once an inning. Manager Clint Hurdle thinks part of it is umpiring that has gone against his batters. He was ejected in Tuesday nights 5-2 loss to the Mariners after arguing with the umpire.Its short at-bats, Hurdle said. I dont think were getting three strikes.Part of the recent hitting slump also was because they faced some of the best pitchers in baseball, including Jake Arrieta (twice), Noah Syndergaard (twice), Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, Jose Fernandez, Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels.The Pirates did have one good recent series, taking three of four games from the Los Angeles Dodgers last weekend at home. They also beat Kershaw and Bumgarner last week.We had a stretch where we played the best teams in baseball, Joyce said. We understand its a long season. Were not looking for excuses or anyone to feel sorry for us. Its just one of those tough stretches we had. And we walk away stronger from it.Now youve seen us bounce back from that and figure ourselves out and how were going to win and start having fun again. Now we just have to keep the momentum going.Hurdle said it is important to closely examine the stretch and see how they can improve.An overall thing like this were going through for everyone involved is to review, he said. What did we well, what might we be able to tweak or do better or different next time.The Pirates went 20 season without going to the postseason before playing in the wild-card game in 2013. They won that game but didnt win the ensuing division series and lost the wild-card game in 2014 and 2015. They havent won the World Series since 1979. Pittsburgh will have to improve on its recent stretch to get another crack at the postseason this year.In this game, when it rains, it pours. Its always going to happen, Jaso said. Youre always going to go through slumps, but its all about staying positive to get out of those slumps. But I would never say, Were out of it, were going to be cruising now.Like fate is going to take us. No. Fate doesnt take us anywhere. You have to keep working and stay focused. Thats what also gets you out of slumps.And perhaps some time off at the break will help, too. Cheap Stitched Jerseys China Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Womens Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2019 Jerseys Wholesale Discount NFL Jerseys Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Throwback Cheap NFL Gear Cheap NFL Jerseys Throwback Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Wholesale NFL White Jerseys ' ' '

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