PITTSBURGH -- Five years ago on Monday, the Rockies were two games above .500 (67-65) and on absolutely nobody's postseason radar. Thirty-eight games later -- encompassing a 23-8 regular-season finish and a 7-0 wipeout through the first two rungs of the playoffs -- Clint Hurdle's Rocktober team was in the World Series. Does Hurdle's current team have the ingredients for a comparable run? The Pirates' starting point would be even higher than that of those Rockies, but can they mount a similar finishing kick?
"We have the personnel to do it," Hurdle said. "It starts by getting a really good start, answering with two-out hits and scoring runs. If a starter throws a shoe, the bullpen shuts it down from there and the offense sparks." The Pirates haven't yet had a winning streak longer than five games, but Hurdle holds out hope for the coalescence of the aforementioned ingredients into what he called "a perfect storm" of baseball fury. "We know it's in there," the manager said, nodding toward the players' clubhouse. "We need to take it out on the field."