Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/7/13
Mlb-astros-pirates
Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen Starling Marte was down to his final strike on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field when he lined the ball half-way up the left-center bleachers to make it a 3-3 ballgame. However, that was not enough for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they fell to the Chicago Cubs 4-3 in 11 innings. With the loss on Sunday, the Pirates have found themselves in a slump after their nine game winning streak. The Philadelphia Phillies took 2-of-3 against the Pirates; the Cubs followed suit by taking the final two games of the series with a less than sub par offensive showing. The Pirates scored 1 run on Saturday, and 3 runs on Sunday afternoon. They had plenty of opportunities in both games, but failed to execute. The question today has to be, are the Pittsburgh Pirates on the verge on a third straight collapse or will they overcome this slump? That is the question that lingers in many Pirates’ fans heads. After two-straight collapses, it is easy to see how fans can be wary to trust their beloved Pirates. So far throughout the first half of the season, Pittsburgh has overcame every obstacle thrown there way. Pitchers have dropped like flies, and their replacements stepped up. The Pirates never gave up. They battled back in games, and when series did not go there way, they did not shy away. Instead, they battled back. Most likely, the Pirates are just in a slump. The bullpen is not falling apart, but they are just showing the world that they are human. The starting rotation has depth; the bullpen is still strong. Chemistry and leadership is definitely not a missing comment. Their are some offensive question marks on the roster, but the first half was not a fluke. Don’t give up on these Pittsburgh Pirates just yet.    

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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