Remember when Brewers fans chuckled about their team's domination over the Pittsburgh Pirates? It happened as recently as May 24, when headlines such as "Brewers beat Pirates...again" appeared in state media outlets. At that time, Milwaukee's record against Pittsburgh was 47-8 over the last seven seasons.
But the May 24 win at Miller Park simply evened the season series between the clubs at four wins apiece. Since then, the Pirates have won five straight over the Brewers, helping escort them to the cellar of the standings. In June, the Crew scored an average of 3.7 runs per game, almost a full run less than last June, when they averaged 4.6. They haven't been this bad at this point in the season since 2002, when they were 30-52 but sitting just 14 games out of first, compared to 18 today.
So what's a Wisconsin baseball fan to do, other than begin the countdown until the Green Bay Packers start training camp a little early?
Why not root for the Pirates? Pittsburgh hasn't had a winning season since 1992. For those of us who remember Willie Stargell and Kent Tekulve wearing those pillbox hats on their way to the 1979 World Series title, it's almost impossible to come to grips with the fact that the Pirates are baseball's most pathetic franchise over the last two decades.
This year's version currently holds the best record in the Major Leagues and has the best pitching staff with a team ERA of 3.11 (Milwaukee's is 4.18). And, of course, a division pennant for the Pirates means denying St. Louis, which currently sits just a couple games behind Pittsburgh in the division.