Back on April 21, 2015, I made a predictions in a blog post, A Few Pirates Predictions, at the start of a new baseball season for my hometown baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Last Night I watched Charlie Morton blow the final game of the last series against the St. Louis Cardinals allowing them to win their 100th game and Central Division title.  No small feat.  The Cards had a great year especially when you factor in all their injuries.  The same can be said of both the Pirates and Cubs.  At the beginning of the year, many people only though one team had a shot to win 100 games.  This year the Central Division almost had two teams do it.  The Pirates currently sit on 96 wins with three games left.  Most didn’t think they’d win 90.  It’s been an incredible year, the second best record in baseball, and if they were in any other division they would have walked away with it.

Last night, remembered my early season predictions and decided I should recap of what I go right and wrong.  Like many predictions I got a few correct and some laughably wrong.

  1. Overall Record: 91-71
    1.  I’m taking this one since the Pirates finished only a little better than I predicted. I was pretty close with the record and my prediction had higher amount of wins than most.  The Central was fueled by a three way chase to win the division.  The Cards, Pirates, and Cubs each pushed each other to have three of the best records in baseball. It was an incredible season by the Pirates.  Argueably as good as those memoriable early 90s seasons with the likes of Bonds and Bonilla.
  2. Alvarez hits 30+ HRs.
    1. In another down year, Pedro still got close to 30 HRs and is third on the team in RBIs with 75.  He’s currently at 26 with three games left.  Who knows, he might get there if they get through the Wild Card game. Though this wasn’t the season I was hoping for Alvarez.  I was really pulling for him and though it was much better than last year’s catastroph.  Also, he might have set a major league record for errors by a first baseman.  The transition was anything from smooth and he was regularly removed from games late because he was a defensive liability.  I think his time is up in Pittsburgh after this year.  I wish him the best in a very lucrative life as a DH for an American League team.
  3. The Pirates send five players to the All-Star Game: McCutchen, Marte, Alvarez, Liriano, Hughes.
    1. One out of four. The Pirates sent four players to the All Star game: McCutchen, Melancon, Cole, and Burnett. Arguably the fifth should have been Cirivelli who was one of the best catchers of the year. McCutchen was McCutchen after a terrible April when he battled threw an early season knee injury. Marte had a good first half, leading the team in HRs early in the year, and developed into one of the best outfielders in baseball.  I think he makes it next year. As I talked about in the prediction before this one, Alvarez did not bounce totally back to his 2013 form. Liriano was bad, he had a solid beginning of the year. He just wasn’t as good as Cole or Liriano.
  4. Cirivelli plays a whole season and is easily the best offseason transaction.
    1. I’m taking this one too.  This one could be debatable between Cirivelli, Kang, and Burnett but the Cirivelli filled the biggest hole in the Pirates lineup with the loss of Martin.  He was one of the best catchers in the league.  His defense in terms of run prevention could have been a little better but part of the blame can also go to the pitchers.
  5. Polanco is up and down until after the break but then has a huge Marte-like end of the year.
    1. Polanco was really bad at the beginning of the year to the point where everyone wanted to trade him away at the deadline.  He responded with a great August. Though he’s come back down to earth in September, he’s atleast been an everyday player towards the end of the year.  He needs to work on his consistentcy and definitely his fielding but I think next year is looking bright with the big three about to hit their prime.
  6. Kang struggles in his first year of MLB. He’ll show some power and ability to play multiple positions but will struggle with consistency for most of the year. It will be hard for him to live up to the hype this year. Fans will slam the transaction and his $11 mm contract but I think he’ll be a major contributor in 2016.
    1. I don’t think anyone say this coming.  One of the best offseason acuquisitions of any team.  His $11mm contract looks like a steal.  Once Josh Harrison and Mercer went down with injury and he became an everyday player, he became one of the best hitters on the team.  Also, his defense was largely underated, he might not have the range of Mercer but he made all the plays he was suppose to make and he was able to handle both third and shortshot throughout most of the year.  The only downfall was a season ending injury while trying to turn a double play.  Ended his season and also took away one of the Pirates best bats in their lineup.  I think every Pirate fan is hoping for a speedy recovery and an exciting 2016.
  7. Burnett gives the Pirates 200+ quality innings which was the reason they signed him.
    1. I think Burnett sits at around 150+ innings pitched this year. If it wasn’t for his injury around the trade deadline he would have easily got two hundred innings. Even with his injury signing Burnett was another great offseason addition. In the first half of the season he pitched some of the best baseball of his life and was a coach’s selection to the All-Star game.
  8. Cole has strong full season but is still not the ace people hope.
    1. I’m wrong on this because Cole did become the Pirates ace and he had a cy young caliber first half the year. His second half he fell back from that pace and he’s not in the running for the Cy Young. It’s been a strong full season for Cole and I’m looking foward to him pitching against Arrietta in the Wild Card game.
  9. The Pirates finally ante up and sign a major contributor at the deadline. My bets on Johnny Cueto when the Reds are officially out of the playoff picture. The addition of Cueto gives the Pirates a rotation that can revival almost any team. One they’ll need if they have to battle any of the major teams like the Nationals.
    1. Should have know I’d be WRONG – this was going to be wrong the minute I said it. The Pirates didn’t acquire Cueto but they did acquire a pict her in JA Happ who’s probably pitched better than Cueto.
  10. They’ll end up tieing the St Louis Cardinals for first place which sends them both into a one game playoff for the division which the Pirates lose.
    1. Close but no cigar. They should finish in second place Bhubaneswar
  11. In the NL Wild Card Game, the Pirates will face the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. That the Pirates will win with Johnny Cueto as the starting pitcher.
    1. Part Correct. The Pirates will play the Cubs and most likely it will be at PNC Park but Johnny Cueto will not be in the buillding.
  12. In the NLDS, the Pirates will face the St Louis Cardinals which will last 6 games with Pirates winning at PNC Park.
    1. We’ll see.  Arrietta won’t make it easy. Is he this year’s Madison Bumgarner
  13. The Pirates will finally be defeated by the Washington Nationals in the NLCS in 7 games.
    1. Already WRONG – The Washington Nationals were predicted to have the best record in baseball.  Instead they collapsed even though Byrce Harper is having a historic year.
  14. Hurdle is up for Coach of the Year but doesn’t win. It will go to the Chicago Cubs manager for taking their team to the NL Wild Card Game.
    1. I think I will be correct.
  15. Marte gets some MVP votes.
    1. Maybe next year.
  16. McCutchen has another MVP caliber year.
    1. He won’t win but he should get some votes. Another great year.