MILWAUKEE -- People tend to wax poetic about baseball. Maybe that is because there is a lot of poetic justice in the sport.
The Brewers, particularly in Milwaukee, were the biggest abusers of the Pirates during the leanest of the lean times. Now, they might be the victims, and the witnesses, to the confirmation of these Pirates' rebirth.
Monday's 5-2 win against the Brewers was No. 80, placing the Bucs on the verge of an 81st win that would eliminate any chances of a 21st consecutive losing season and within two games of an 82nd that would guarantee a winner.
What better place than here?
Beginning in 2007 and through last season, the Pirates lost 44 of 51 games in Miller Park, often in embarrasing fashion. Monday's win was the Bucs' fourth in seven games in Milwaukee this season, thus continuing to check off two items on manager Clint Hurdle's incoming to-do list: Win on the road, and against the Brewers.
"It's significant, because they're on the list. There were some really hard things, trends to look at when I came in, and [general manager Neal Huntington] and I talked about them," Hurdle said minutes after the Pirates also regained sole possession of first place in the National League Central. "Things we just had to improve. Road play was the biggest [the Pirates had won a total of 17 road games in 2010].
"And Milwaukee was kicking us around. We've fared better against them."
More poetic justice: In 2005, the Brewers, themselves, ended a long streak of 12 losing seasons. Win No. 81 came in Pittsburgh.
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.