AUBREY BRUCE

As of June 5, the Pittsburgh Pirates were dead last in the NL Central Division, along with the Cincinnati Reds.

Hark hark, don’t let that situation fool you for one moment. Ya know why? Well, in the bloodthirsty, cutthroat NL Central, the current position of any of the combatants can transition from princes to paupers in the twinkling of an eye.

For example, as of June 5, the New York Mets were mired in fourth place in the NL East, a full 11 games behind the division-leading Washington Nationals. But when you mosey on over to the NL Central, the Pirates were in last place, but are only four games back of the Brewers.

Go figure.

On June 2, the Bucs, armed with their sometimes schizophrenic offense, sailed into Gotham City with the “Jolly Roger” flying high. As a result, the Mets walked the plank, dropping two out of three to the squad from the Steel City. For the Mets to lose wasn’t as big of an issue; but as to how they lost…whew.

The Mets were outscored, 25-12, and except for their June 3 effort (a 4-2 Mets win), the Pirates offense appears to have awakened.

The June 4 game took a weird and fortunate turn for the Bucs in the seventh inning after manager Clint Hurdle challenged a double play call —after the Mets had returned to the dugout, and after “God Bless America” was sung during the seventh-inning stretch.

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