Jason Grilli is well aware of the history.
After two promising summers turned into painful falls, the new Pittsburgh Pirates closer realizes what's at stake in 2013.
''You know, it's like three strikes and you're out,'' Grilli said. ''I don't think anybody in this clubhouse wants that to happen.''
Not if the group that's helped raise the Pirates to the edge of contention wants to stick together. Though the organization has insisted it is focused on building continuity within a franchise that has endured a record 20 straight losing seasons, very little beyond this spring seems settled outside of the presence of cornerstone center fielder Andrew McCutchen.
The team extended manager Clint Hurdle through 2014 earlier this spring, though owner Bob Nutting stressed he needs to see the Pirates take another step forward from the 79-83 record they posted a year ago.
''The level of expectation has been and needs to be that we're going to win a championship,'' Nutting said. ''We're going ...