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Pirates on collision course with 100 losses (or more)

I must admit, I didn't think it was possible earlier in the summer.

Back in June, I think I first heard the idea that the Bucs would lose 100 games this season. In the middle of the month, the Bucs had a 31-34 record. Man, that seems like ages ago.

I didn't buy the theory then, and I didn't buy it at the All-Star break, either.

Oh, I knew they wouldn't have a winning record. That was a foregone conclusion this summer. But 100 losses? No way.

The team traded most of their top players and I still was in denial.

Even in August, with the team scuffling, I didn't think 100 losses was a possibility. And that five-game winning streak from Aug. 17-22 seemed to justify my thinking.

Then, the bottom fell out.

The Bucs quickly turned things around and lost nine straight games, and then their date with destiny was on.

First, they clinched their 17th consecutive losing season, and the franchise is now the proud owner of the longest losing stretch in professional sports. (Way to go, Bucs)

That was the easy part.

Their next milestone, 100 losses, would require losing at an incredible pace. So far, they've accomplished it, losing 70 percent of the time in the second half of the season.

During this stretch of baseball, if you still can call it that, the Pirates have chugged along at an 18-42 clip. This features a 9-19 record in August and a sizzling 3-15 mark in September.

That's how you go from being 31-34 on June 17 and find yourself needing to play nearly .500 baseball to avoid 100 losses.

At this point, I don't see how they can avoid it.

They had an outside chance of missing it. However, the Pirates lost 3-of-4 to the woeful -- but less-than-the-Pirates woeful -- San Diego Padres. On top of that, the Bucs looked terrible in last night's game against the Reds.

That 10-4 loss was the latest in a 5-23 stretch, which could very well continue for the next week-and-a-half.

Thankfully, the season will end and the losses will stop.

The question now, however: How many losses will they end up with?


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