HOUSTON -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was not the first manager to make the point when he said the other day, "Three-run homers make up for a lot of bad execution."
A lot, perhaps, but not all: When Garrett Jones clubbed his 24th homer on Friday night, he joined Andrew McCutchen (30) and Pedro Alvarez (29) in giving the current Pirates the seventh-most potent trio in club history.
And here's the rub: Unless the '12 Bucs reverse course, they will be the sixth of those seven to finish with a losing record. The only exception then would be the 1971 World Series champions, No. 2 on this list.
Today's Pirates still have a couple more rungs within their reach on the roll, which stood like this prior to Saturday night's game:
• 1947 (Ralph Kiner, Hank Greenberg, Wally Westlake) 62-92 final record.
• 1971 (Willie Stargell, Bob Robertson, Richie Hebner) 97-65.
• 1949 (Kiner, Westlake, Dino Restelli) 71-83
• 1973 (Stargell, Hebner, Al Oliver) 80-82
• 1999 (Brian Giles, Kevin Young, Al Martin) 78-83.
• 2001 (Giles, Aramis Ramirez, Young) 62-100.
• 2012 (McCutchen, Alvarez, Jones) ??-??.