Bucs' clincher brings remarkable numbers to light

Bucs' clincher brings remarkable numbers to light

Bucs' clincher brings remarkable numbers to light

CHICAGO -- Rinse the champagne out of the hair, blow away the cigar smoke and, with day-after clarity, it becomes apparent that Monday night's game here was one of the most significant in the long history of the Pirates.

Securing a berth in the 2013 postseason was the obvious coup, but below that headline were several noteworthy subheads:

• The Bucs' 2-1 postseason clincher marked the 68th time they have held a team to two runs or fewer, topping the Majors' best such mark of last season: The Nationals led with 67 such performances.

• The victory was also the Pirates' 12th of the season when scoring two runs or one, their most such wins since 13 in -- and here again is the benchmark they keep going back to -- 1992.

• The Bucs' 29th one-run win is a club high since the 1993 edition also eked out 29 (impressive in its own right, since that club had a total of only 75 wins).

Jason Grilli -- with the remarkable inning-long defensive help of first baseman Justin Morneau -- registered his 32nd save, which was also No. 53 for the staff. And that's a new club record, topping 52 in 1979, when Kent Tekulve was the individual leader with 31 and lefty Grant Jackson added 14.

With the 53, the Pirates lead the National League (one ahead of Atlanta) and are tied with Baltimore for the Major League lead.

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.