In the movie Major League, the Cleveland Indians manager is having a conversation with the general manager after another tough loss to the New York Yankees, and he says, "Maybe one of these days, we'll find a way to beat those guys." Of course, having problems against the big, bad Yankees--even in a fictional movie--is never anything to be too ashamed of. And in the end, the Indians finally vanquished the Yankees in a one-game playoff and won the AL East.
One could say that the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates are like a real-life version of that fictional Indians squad. After 19 seasons of losing, the franchise has finally recaptured the imagination of Pirates fans everywhere, and are currently in the lead for the second wild card spot in the National League. However, the Pirates' lead is a minuscule 1/2 game over both the Dodgers and Cardinals, and if they do narrowly miss out on a postseason berth, they could look back on their struggles with the San Diego Padres as one of the main reasons. With one game left against them this year, the Pirates are currently 1-4 vs. San Diego. In fact, over their past 25 games with the Padres, Pittsburgh is 4-21--including 11-consecutive losses at PNC Park at one point.
Sometimes, a team just has another team's number, and that wouldn't be so bad if the Padres were anything like those fictional (or non-fictional) New York Yankees. Instead, San Diego currently has a 55-70 record and sits in next to last place in the NL West. Last season, the Padres finished 71-91. So unlike Major League's Indians, the Pirates won't be able to get any sort of revenge on the Padres in any postseason matchup because San Diego hasn't figured out a way to beat anyone else.
Even if the Pirates get a win today over the Padres, it won't even begin to reverse the damage that may have already been done to their postseason chances.
Major League's Indians had the New York Yankees to overcome; in the movie Necessary Roughness, the Texas St. Fightin' Armadillos had to slay the number one Texas Colts at the end of the movie; and the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates have the San Diego Padres?
There will have to be a lot of poetic license involving the Padres if the story of these Pirates is ever made into a movie.