Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 10/10/13
Here we are, folks: the End of Season Post-Mortem series. If you're new here (which about 50% of our reader base is in comparison to last year), here's a brief explanation: after a team is eliminated from playoff contention, we're going to put their season under a microscope and look at just what the hell went wrong, what went right, and so on and so forth. The goal is to post these the day after a team is eliminated. All of the heartbreak and pain throughout the years was seemingly excised in 2013. The Pirates not only finished above .500, but they made the Postseason. Pittsburgh also came within one win of advancing to the 2013 NLCS, and it took a pair of otherworldly pitching performances from Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright to stop the Pirates from continuing their miraculous season. Preseason Prediction: I think the Pirates are going to have a year in 2013 much like they did in 2012, finishing around 76 to 80 wins and trudging along in the NL Central while making some small strides forward. With nearly the entire roster returning for 2014, they don't *need* to have a breakthrough season, but it would help a lot. What Went Right: Nearly everything. Andrew McCutchen followed his MVP-caliber 2012 with an even better MVP-caliber 2013. Starling Marte's first full year in the majors was a success, as he stole 41 bases and got on base at a .343 clip at the top of Pittsburgh's lineup. Russell Martin had his best all-around season in years, and handled a young pitching staff brilliantly. Pedro Alvarez tied for the NL home run crown. Neil Walker put together yet another solid year at second base. August acquisition Marlon Byrd was phenomenal, After a pair of lost seasons, Jose Tabata rebounded quite well. AJ Burnett was great once again. Francisco Liriano shined with his new club, and proved to be one of the best free agent signings of the winter. The bullpen, led by Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli, was pretty awesome. Gerrit Cole shined in his rookie year. Charlie Morton starred in his return from Tommy John surgery. Jeff Locke had a ridiculous first half. What Went Wrong: James McDonald had an awful year, refused an assignment to AAA, and became a free agent. Jonathan Sanchez was horrendous in 13 2/3 innings for the club and was released in early May. Wandy Rodriguez dealt with injuries and made just 12 starts. Justin Morneau wasn't much of an upgrade over Garrett Jones (who was pretty bad) in September. Travis Snider was awful. Locke's production tanked so much in the second half that he was shut down for the year in September. Most Surprising Player: For as awesome as Liriano was, he had shown flashes of brilliance before. But what about Mark Melancon? This is a guy who was joining his fourth organization in four seasons, and was essentially a throw-in to the Joel Hanrahan trade (which by the way, worked out brilliantly for Pittsburgh). Considering how dreadful he was in Boston in 2012, who could have expected Melancon to be much of a contributor to the Pirates in 2013? Of course, all he did was strike out 70 and walk eight in 71 innings, post a 1.39 ERA, make the All-Star Team, save 16 games when Grilli was on the DL, and put together a 2.5 fWAR season. Not bad for a guy who was traded for Lance Berkman, Jed Lowrie, and Hanrahan in three straight seasons. Most Disappointing Player: There aren't many guys that did disappoint in Pittsburgh this season, but Garrett Jones has to be the answer here. After smashing 27 homers in 2012 with a .274/.317/.516 triple slash, he only hit 15 bombs in 2013 while slashing .233/.289/.419. Even with Clint Hurdle strictly using Jones against right-handers, he couldn't hit enough for the team to continue to play him in a platoon at first base with Gaby Sanchez. But then again, Morneau struggled just as much when he was brought to Pittsburgh in August, so maybe there was something about lefty hitting first basemen at PNC Park this year. The Future: Pittsburgh won't be losing much this offseason, with Burnett being the most crucial free agent. But with the team's young pitching depth, he might be a luxury that the team doesn't necessarily need to break the bank for, The Pirates contended a year early, and more of their young reinforcements are coming in 2014 and beyond. Are they a surefire playoff team next season? No, of course not. But are they a one-year wonder? Not a chance. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker