PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — To say the Pirates are a hot ticket right now is quite an understatement.

Heading into Friday night’s game against Milwaukee, the Pirates are 18 games over .500. It’s somewhere they haven’t been at this point in the season since 1979.

Pirates’ fans don’t want to be pinched right now.

It’s what we waited for, for years, and to me, they have it all this year,” said Liz Matthews, a fan from Greenfield.

And who can blame the long-starving Bucco fans for their unbridled optimism when they’re looking at a team tied for first, 18 games over .500 and sporting the best record in baseball.

“Pirates are going to the World Series,” said one fan. “I said it once, I said it twice and I said it three times.”

The North Shore was busy by midday Friday with Pirates’ fans snapping up tickets for this weekend and beyond. The restaurants across the street are finally reaping the rewards.

“The last three or four weeks, the crowds have been great,” said Brandon Herriott, of BZ’s Bar and Grill.

And with Gerrit Cole on the mound tonight a seat come game time might be hard to come by.

“Looking good right now, but it’s looked good a couple times hasn’t it,” said Terry Driscoll, a fan from Baldwin.

Inside the locker room, they are enjoying the ride but keeping it real.

“We’re playing good and feeding off each other, and again, it’s a cross-section of our season,” said Jason Grilli, the Pirates’ closer. “I don’t want to pay too much focus and attention on it; we’re at where we’re at because we’re playing good baseball, and we need to continue to do that.”

“It’s still early, we got a lot of games left,” said Garrett Jones, the Pirates’ first baseman. “Just want to continue it and keep playing our game, stay focused and be there at the end.”

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