For whatever reason the Great American Ball Park stadium crew blared Beatles songs on a loop Sunday morning. Neither team was taking batting practice on the field before the game that didn't matter so perhaps the soundtrack didn't matter either. As Gerrit Cole Tuesday's in-case-of-emergency pitcher took the mound in the right-field bullpen for a side session "Revolution" began playing. Sunday's game a 4-2 Pirates win against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park was a formality but it represented the end of a three-year revolution from a 105-loss club in 2010 to a playoff-bound team this season. Players and staff will say the game did not represent the end of anything. They plan to continue playing. Whether they advance past Tuesday's wild-card game against the Reds or not they still finished 94-68 and won the most games since the 1992 Pirates won 96. They did not quite reach the 95 wins manager Clint Hurdle identified during spring training as a total that would give them a shot at winning the NL Central but like any bold call the point stands. Before the game Hurdle picked up a stats pack and went down the list noting that most playoff-bound teams had 95 wins or close to it. "I wanted to let our men know that I believed we could be a very good team" Hurdle said. "I really didn't care what anybody else thought. I think from a position of leadership sometimes you've got to not only make yourself transparent you've got to put yourself in some areas of vulnerability from time to time because of your belief in your men." Hurdle inserted his bench players in the starting lineup Sunday with the exception of Pedro Alvarez who entered the game tied with Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for the NL home run lead with 36. Alvarez went 0 for 1 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
Pirates beat Reds 4-2 in final game of regular season
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Sep 29