The big news headed into the weekend?
The Pirates wouldn't have a losing season for the first time in over 20 years. By getting to 81 wins, they were assured to snap the streak. However, heading out of the weekend, they aren't guaranteed to have a winning season, either.
Because they still have just 81 wins.
Like I've been saying all along, just get Allen Craig out of this line-up and the Cardinals were bound to soar.
But seriously, though – that was an impressive weekend. Really the only negative was some Friday night mop up duty that Jake Westbrook mangled. But with an off-day today and the September call-ups needed for any other wide run scoring margin games, it was nothing but an unmitigated win party for the Birds.
Most of America is rooting for the Pirates. It's always fun to get behind the underdog. But after 3 games upcoming in Texas, the NL Central is probably going to come down to the two teams we thought would be in the hunt at the end: Reds v Cardinals.
Winner gets a pass into the first playoff series. Loser will be hosting an insta-game 7 with the Pirates at their place.
Am I discounting the Pirates? Absolutely. Once again, finishing has been a big problem. And just because the choke comes in September instead of June, it doesn't mean it's less of a choke. They'll be in the playoffs (probably), but they'll be a Wild Card.
And the Cardinals know that it's go time. The red hot Reds do to. Meanwhile that 81 looks like more of a mountain to climb than another notch on the wall for the Bucs.
Anyone got a black and gold bucket?