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Reeling Pirates could put .500 in jeopardy

It was fun while it lasted.

Playoff fever, however slight, was enjoyable for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Oh, I'm sure there are those that still see the Pirates as on the fringe, or even still in contention.

But, where I sit, the Pirates entered play Saturday night eight games out of first place. Coincidentally, they have lost eight straight games.

Here's a rundown:
  • 10-3
  • 7-4
  • 6-5
  • 5-3
  • 11-6
  • 1-0
  • 7-6
  • 15-5
That last loss, to the Padres on Friday, was tough. So was the sweep by the Cubs, a team the Pirates have owned of late.

Thinking of a wild-card berth? Think again. The Bucs are 10 games out.

And they're five games behind second-place St. Louis.

So, for me, after a week of vacation, comes is the realization that the Bucs' playoff dream is over.

I enjoyed those two weeks in July. It was fun thinking about the Pirates as buyers at the trade deadline.
Heck, I was impressed the Pirates made a trade for Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick.

They made an attempt; I'm glad they took those steps.

Now, however, I'm hoping Lee -- if he gets healthy -- and Ludwick can help the Pirates get back above .500.
They're three games below that magic barrier and falling.

Hopefully, they can turn things around before all the fun of this season is lost with another losing season.

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