■At what point in the
season did you realize,
‘Hey, this feels different’?
Jordy Mercer: Really from the day I got called up in early May, I could
tell that this team was different from last year’s team, and adding a
couple of different pieces helped as well.
Neil Walker: The biggest eye-opener in my opinion was the series
[July 29-Aug. 1] against St. Louis. A makeup game and a four-game
series, middle of the week, people jam-packed the place from Game 1
until the last game. That was the time when we said, “Wow, people are on
board”. . . From a player’s standpoint, a team that was ahead of us and we
beat them four games out of five, in my mind that was when I felt this thing
Andrew McCutchen: It definitely was a buildup. There wasn’t really
a moment where we said, “This is a different ball club.” But we had a
belief that we were.
Neal Huntington: When we got through April. [The Pirates started
the season 1-5 and 3-6 entering a stretch against the Reds,
Cardinals and Braves.] There was a little bit of “Here we go again,” but the
guys fought together . . . we kept our head above water.
Bob Nutting: The very first day of spring training . . . all the way
bracketing on the back end on the wild-card game. All the way, I
recognized and understood how fragile a season can be.
Tony Watson: The [July-ending and] early August five-game series
with the Cardinals, when the stadium was jam-packed and the crowd
was into every pitch.
■ What’s your favorite fan
memory from the year?
Clint Hurdle: The Wild Card game [Oct. 1] — the way the city showed
[up]. The fan base. The game. We ran a pitcher off the mound.
Jason Grilli: To hear people say that they were planning their day
around Pirates games, that’s huge.
Neil Walker: People are always stopping me and playing GM and
giving me their two cents on what we need to do to be better. It might
have been the lack of people’s advice this year that was the most striking.
People aren’t saying, “Hey, you need a pitcher; you guys need a couple
Mark Melancon: When the fans were singing Journey [“Don’t Stop
Believin’”] during Clint Barmes’ walkout song in the Wild Card game.
Jordy Mercer: It had to be the Wild Card game against the Reds.
It was an incredible atmosphere, and I will never forget the goose
bumps I had because it was so loud and blacked out.
Andrew McCutchen: Just to hear people say, “Thank you.” . . . When
you play a game and you do well, you don’t expect people to come up
to you and say “Thank you.” It’s a real eye-opener.
Tony Watson: The team introductions of the Wild Card game and the
of the Year
We went to different members of the
Pittsburgh Pirates — the players, the
front-office folks, the play-by-play announcer
— and asked them to look back on the
2013 season. Here are some of
The Pittsburgh Pirates