The Pirates keep winning baseball games. The Cardinals keep winning baseball games. In the grand scheme of things you can't look at one loss in a vacuum and say that it cost the Pirates a chance for a division title, but with only two games left and the Cardinals still one game up this is where we are. One game anytime in the season. One time the bullpen doesn't blow the lead and we are talking about a more possible division title. I guess the Cardinals could lose another game but after the Diamondbacks totally blew it last night then came back then blew it I guess we can't expect much.
Anyways, the Pirates did their part. They went up against Mike Leake and went punch for punch before being able to take advantage of the Reds bullpen with two runs in the eighth inning and he we are.
Vance Worley went 6.1 innings and even though there were base runners all over the place due to the nine hits he gave up the Pirates were able to make it work.
With the game tied at one in the eighth inning the first two Pirate hitters got out. Josh Harrison did Josh Harrison things and singled and then scored on a Travis Snider double to right before Andrew McCutchen doubled home Gregory Polanco, who ran for Snider, a batter later. Exactly what the Pirates needed. This game could have went a bunch of different ways but as has been the case recently the pitching did a good job of keeping it close and the offense came through in the clutch. From two outs and nobody on to back-to-back-to-back hits that platted two runs and the Pirates win.
Later in the night the Giants lost, again, so that secures the Wild Card game at PNC Park if the Pirates play in it. Obviously I would much, much rather see the Pirates win the division to be able to set up their pitching but at least they are playing at home. The Pirates have the second-most wins in baseball at home and while I don't think they were at a disadvantage by playing on the road I think there is something about PNC Park that can help the Pirates.
Time will tell if they will need to play that Wild Card game. Things can get messy pitching wise by playing for the division but at this point it is worth it. If the Pirates win both games and the Cardinals win both games then it seems as if Edison Volquez will get that Wild Card game. That isn't ideal but can you imagine if the Cardinals drop one of these games? Can you imagine playing a one-game playoff for the NL Central? That would be pretty awesome for a team that was 18-26 in late May.