Kovacevic: How bad? Man, hit the history books ☕


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Pittsburg Alleghenies, late 1800s, Exposition Park. - CARNEGIE LIBRARY

How bad?

Well, this beyond-epic stretch of bad baseball by the Pirates has brought us to the stage where thumbing deep into the history books is all that'll suffice.

Let's start with this: According to my independent research, the current 4-21 nosedive since the All-Star break, including the 8-3 loss to the Brewers on this Wednesday night at PNC Park, marks the Pittsburgh Baseball Club's second-worst 25-game stretch during Major League Baseball's modern era, officially marked as having begun in 1900.

The only two worse stretches in the modern era came a decade ago in 2009, when the Pirates went 3-23 over a 26-game stretch from Aug. 28-Sept. 24, and more than a half-century ago, when the 1952 team went 3-22 from April 20-May 19.

The only uglier stretches before the modern era, as even a casual local baseball historian could guess, all came within the 1890 season, when the infamous Pittsburg Alleghenies -- and no, our city didn't end with an H back then -- won only seven of their final 79 games. Those old coal miners wound up a still-surreal 23-113 and, within that, had a ton of overlapping terrible 25-game stretches, too many to count individually.

The 1952 team had two such stretches, the one mentioned above plus a 4-21 from Aug. 24-Sept. 21.

The 1953 team went 4-21 from July 6-30.

The 1965 team went 4-22 from April 21-May 20. But, in spite of a broader 9-24 start to that season, they wound up 90-72, raised up in part by the three Hall of Famers on that roster: Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski.

The next stretch this bad came 20 years later, when the 1985 team went 4-24 from July 13-Aug. 15. And they, unlike the 1965 team, hardly bounced back in finishing 57-104.

The next one came in 2004, when the Pirates went 4-21 from May 30-June 25.

So, to summarize: Out of 133 years in the National League, the Pittsburgh franchise has seen such a 25-game stretch occur in only eight seasons. And two of those eight have happened under the still-in-place front office.

Wonder how many of those old coal-miners -- or for that matter, their foremen -- lost their jobs, huh?

Hunter Homistek and Matt Sunday have the coverage of the latest loss, and I'll be in comments to commiserate on the research involved in this, and any questions you might have.


[caption id="attachment_868712" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Pirates vs. Brewers, PNC Park, Aug. 7, 2019 - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

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