After being swept by the St. Louis Cardinals, the unflappable Pittsburgh Pirates rebounded to sweep the Texas Rangers, then defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Thursday night for their fourth win in a row.
Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes, a Vincennes, Ind., native, is enjoying the ride to a prospective playoff berth.
“Without a doubt, I’ve been saying all year long that we have a great group of guys,” Barmes told MLB.com. “The additions made us even stronger.”
Barmes, who played collegiately for Olney (Ill.) Central and Indiana State, singled and scored an insurance run on Jordy Mercer’s double in the eighth on Thursday.
The Pirates (84-61), who clinched their first winning season since 1992, are locked in a three-way battle with the Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds for leadership of the National League Central.
“I don’t think I could choose for it to happen any other way,” said Barmes, who is hitting .223 with five home runs and 22 runs batted in, playing in 95 games. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Barmes, 34, homered and drew a bases-loaded walk as the Pirates completed the sweep of Texas with a 7-5 win on Wednesday at Arlington.
“You see how close this race is so that’s the way we’ve been taking it every day,” Barmes told The Associated Press. “And I don’t see that changing.”
Pittsburgh last played in a World Series in 1979, beating the Baltimore Orioles in seven games.