PITTSBURGH -- Compiling a 7-2 record on a road trip to bring home the Majors' best record (48-30) was easier for the Pirates than having to talk about it. Friday's much-larger-than usual media throng at PNC Park violated ballplayers' one-game-at-a-time mentality.
They specialize in playing the actual game, not the perspective game. So they had to maneuver around leading questions about having vaulted to the top of most weekly power ratings.
"I guess that's good, but I don't know what that means," said Andrew McCutchen who, when told that the ratings essentially reflect the Bucs' MLB-best record, added, "I guess numbers don't lie.
"It's cool. But we got a season to play. A lot of ball left. I don't care about any place we're now. We aren't even in the second half. We can assess it at the end of the season."
That was pretty much the attitude all over the home clubhouse. Those embroiled in the grind know the surest way to veer off the road is by being fixated on the rear-view mirror.
"It's just one cross-section of the season and we don't want to pay too much attention to it," closer Jason Grilli said. "We are where we are because we're playing good baseball."
Even with those blinders on, exulting in the changed atmosphere is easy for someone like Garrett Jones, who goes back to the 2009 and '10 Pittsburgh clubs that lost a combined 204 times.
"We've opened some eyes, because we've done some damage on the field, showing what our talent potential is capable of doing," Jones said. "The goal is to keep playing them one at a time, not to focus on what we've already done. It's still early, with a lot of games left."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less