Pirate fans: we're close. We're close to the win that will lift the ridiculous 20-year stone off of our backs and let us focus on a playoff run. I don't use "we" here to conflate fans with the team. I use "we" here to mean Pirate fans, because it's the fans that carry the entirety of this 20-year losing streak around like a curse, and we do it in a way that the players, coaches, and front office doesn't have to.
A win tonight would give the Pirates 81 wins, which would mean an end the losing streak that's haunted the franchise since 1992. Gerrit Cole, the first overall pick from the 2011 draft — the proverbial phoenix born from the ashes of an awful 2010 season — will fittingly get the first crack at 81. He faces Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers. The first pitch tonight is at 8:10.