A complete retrospective of the magical 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates


Twins East has, and forever will, hold a special place in our hearts.

From Francisco Liriano spinning gem after gem, to the acquisition of Justin Morneau, to last night's heart-wrenching loss to St. Louis, Pittsburgh held on to our hands and brought us on an emotion-filled roller coaster the current Twins fell woefully short of.

Forgive us for looking elsewhere for our baseball when it was painfully clear right before the All-Star break that Minnesota had nothing to offer us, but we will not apologize, because Liriano, Morneau, and Garrett Jones are as much a part way more important to our baseball livelihoods than Oswaldo Arcia, Clete Thomas, and Josmil Pinto.

It's just the truth, we want winners.

Here's how our favorite winners 2013 season unfolded, with a Minnesota slant.

APRIL 29: Jones homers in his second consecutive game, his second and third of the year. His batting average sits at .319.

MAY 10: The Pirates are 3.5 games back and in third place in the NL Central, sitting at 19-16.

MAY 11: Liriano makes his first start after coming off the DL. As the Pirates ease him back in, he goes 5 1/3 innings while giving up just one run. He goes on to win his first three starts.

MAY 23: Following Liriano's third start, the Pirates record stands at 29-18, having won 10 of 12 since Liriano came off the DL.

JULY 10: Liriano goes seven strong, giving up just two hits, lowering his season ERA to 2.00, second in the NL only to Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers of players with 10+ starts.

JULY 14: The Pirates enter the All-Star Game just one game behind St. Louis for the NL Central lead, 19 games above .500 at 56-37. Jason Grilli and Pedro Alvarez are the Pirates representatives via fan voting, while Mark Melancon is a late addition. Liriano is perhaps the biggest snub in the league.

AUGUST 27: Garrett Jones batting average drops to a season-low .235, enticing the Pirates to make a move for a familiar face.

AUGUST 30: Liriano goes eight innings, allowing two hits and no earned runs, collecting his 15th win of the year and dropping his ERA to 2.57.

AUGUST 31: Justin Morneau is dealt from Minnesota to Pittsburgh, he makes his debut the next day, going 1-4.

SEPTEMBER 3: The Pirates guarantee themselves their first non-losing season since 1991 with their 81st win of the season, they also hold a game lead over St. Louis in the race for the division.

SEPTEMBER 11: Morneau goes 4-5 at the plate while scoring twice in a 7-5 win for the Pirates. It would one of eight multi-hit games he had for Pittsburgh.

SEPTEMBER 24: Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth on this relay, a fittingly dramatic way to enter the postseason.

OCTOBER 1: Liriano, in the biggest start of his career, goes seven innings, allowing just one run and four hits. The Pirates beat the Reds to advance out of the NL Wild Card round to face the Cardinals, who ended up taking the division by three games.

OCTOBER 9: After a hard fought five games, the Pirates go down at the hands of St. Louis, ending their storybook 2013.

They may celebrate Pittsburgh, but after the gift of winning you gave us, hold your heads high. You certainly kept ours raised.

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