Chris Mack’s Eye Opener: Buccos historically bad, Pickens, more

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Jack Suwinski (65) walks in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants
Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Jack Suwinski (65) walks in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants Photo credit © Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Bucco Bottom?

Just how bad have the Pirates been this month?

Historically bad.

Their 6-18 month of May isn’t just the worst record in the National League during that timeframe. It’s also a mere two and a half games better than the lowly Oakland A’s, who’ve gone just 5-22 this month and have the worst record overall in MLB, at 11-45.

A loss Tuesday in San Francisco wouldn’t just secure an eighth consecutive series loss (in series of three games or more), and a month without a series victory, it would be the worst calendar month of Pirates baseball since September 2012, when the Buccos went 7-21, bottoming out during the stretch run for a second consecutive season. It would also be the worst month of May since at least 1957, and the seventh worst month for the organization in the last 60 years.


September 1998 (5-22, .185)

September 1963 (7-22, .241)

September 2012 (7-21, .250)

August 2008 (7-21, .250)

August 2011 (8-22, .267)

April 2006 (7-19, .269)

Pickens “Snubbed”

Asked what his goals are for his second year in the NFL, Steelers wide receiver George Pickens listed “two bowls,” the Pro Bowl, followed by the Super Bowl. In fact, he told Bo Marchionte of that he felt “snubbed” by not being named to last season’s Pro Bowl, adding “there wasn’t a lot of guys in there at the Pro Bowl that excited me.”

Pickens finished fourth among NFL rookie receivers with 801 yards and led the Steelers with four receiving touchdowns.
He’s already developed a relationship with veteran addition Allen Robinson.

OTAs continue for the Steelers today at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side.

Miami Makes Own History

With their 103-84 Game Seven win in Boston, the Miami Heat avoided becoming the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-0 series lead, but they did make history nonetheless. Just the second 8-seed to reach the NBA Finals, they’ll look to fare better than the 1999 New York Knicks, who lost 4-1 to the San Antonio Spurs.

The Celtics, on the other hand, will spend the offseason trying to decide if their one-two punch of Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown should remain intact or not. The idea of targeting a star addition of Damian Lillard or Trae Young via trade has already been bounced around by some.

The NBA Finals start Thursday in Denver, where the Nuggets will be staring down a lengthy break of 10 days between games after sweeping the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

Double the Finals Fun

With the Vegas Golden Knights handling the Dallas Stars in a 6-0 Game Six rout to clinch the NHL’s Western Conference Finals, the Stanley Cup Final is set as well. Similar to the Nuggets, the Florida Panthers have sat around waiting to find out who their opponent will be and now know. And South Florida sports fans will be the first metro area to enjoy a pair of teams in the championship round since the San Jose Sharks and Golden State Warriors each went to the Stanley Cup Final and NBA Finals, respectively, in 2016.

Hendriks’ Heroic Return

Less than five months after being diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and just  45 days following his last chemotherapy treatment, Chicago White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks returned to the mound.

Featured Image Photo Credit: © Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports