The Pittsburgh Pirates' recent six-game skid has been far from optimal, but they still find themselves in contention for an NL Wild Card spot as they head to Wrigley Field for four games.
It's a similar scenario to the one the Pirates found themselves in last weekend: heading into a matchup with a fifth-place Cubs team, hoping a weak opponent will allow them to creep closer to a playoff spot. That wasn't the case as the Cubs got a three-game sweep, and Pittsburgh did themselves no favors by being swept again by the Cincinnati Reds. But a look at the standings shows them just three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who sit in the second and final Wild Card berth.
The good news for the Pirates is that every game they win will have an immediate positive impact in the race: either they'll gain a game on the Cardinals or the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are two games back, as the two are playing each other. Pittsburgh's cross-state rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, had played their way back into contention with a seven-game win streak, but a loss last night to the last-place Houston Astros dropped them to four games back.
Here's a full look at the standings:
National League Wild Card Standings
|St. Louis||76||68||.527||5||Won 1|
|Los Angeles||74||70||.513||7||Lost 4|
|San Diego||69||75||.479||12||Won 4|
|New York||65||78||.454||15.5||Lost 6|
(updated 9.14.2012 at 9:30 AM CDT)