"You'll get second-guessed no matter what you do," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's just the nature of the world. So you gotta do what you feel in your gut is right. You make, or don't make, the moves you believe in.
"It hasn't worked out for [the A's] anywhere near where they wanted. But they're still in the [Wild Card] picture. And we're right in the middle of the hunt. We have our eyes on the prize -- the National League Central. But Wild Card teams have won it all. Once you're in, you're in."
• Sunday's expected sellout will swell season attendance at PNC Park to about 2,220,000, and the Pirates will surpass last season's 2,256,862 total -- No. 2 in franchise history -- either Tuesday or Wednesday.
• Entering Sunday's season finale between the teams, the Bucs' 13 wins over the Cubs were already their most against any opponent since posting 15 over the Brewers in 2002.
First number, Last word
18-8: The Pirates' home record against American League clubs since the start of the 2012 season. They open a three-game set in PNC Park against the Red Sox on Tuesday night.
"It's the difference between routine and adrenaline. It's just a matter of how you can cope with the adrenaline ... not having too much, being able to control it." -- Vance Worley, on the biggest challenge facing him in his move from starting to relief work
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.