PITTSBURGH -- Much was made over the weekend of the Pirates reaching 50 wins while the Major League Baseball schedule was still in the month of June. It marked the first time the Bucs had accomplished that in their history, which dates back to 1887.
That pre-July 50-win benchmark is quite arbitrary -- since this season began on April 1, considerably more games were played through June than usually.
But this is not: The 51-30 record equals the Pirates' best at the midpoint of the 162-game season.
Only twice previously had the Bucs done this: 1971, when they went on to win the World Series; and 1972, when their hopes of a repeat ended in a last-inning NLCS loss to Cincinnati's Big Red Machine.
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