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Believe in the Bucs? It's about time

There comes a time when a team believes in itself.

Then there are times when a fan starts to believe in a team.

For me, I think that happened last night after the Pittsburgh Pirates shut out the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0.

It took me 130 games, but I'm there.

I admit it, I fully expected the Pirates to crack this series against the Cards. Nothing changed after the Bucs lost 4-3 Monday.

Well, I thought they might get swept.

Instead, the Pirates responded with back-to-back shutouts of one of the teams they're trying to chase down for a wild-card playoff berth.

Today, before they enter a series against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Pirates are just one game away from that coveted spot.

I'm not sure they'll reach it, but I have faith they won't utterly collapse either, which was a big fear before the Pirates bounced back and beat the Cardinals 9-0 Tuesday.

Maybe Pedro Alvarez will stay hot through the end of the season.

If he does, then I think the Bucs have a very good shot at making the playoffs.

If Alvarez's hot-then-cold trend continues, then the Bucs will have to grind it out.

A lot depends on Pedro Power.

It just might happen.

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He went 18-for-39 passing for 201 yards, but couldn't help a Steelers' offense that looks lost right now.

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It didn't work out that way.

And it looks like we could see Batch at QB this week -- or someone else.

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