Entering the weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates are losing ground and hopes of grabbing one of the two National League Wild Card spots.
Pittsburgh was swept at home by the Milwaukee Brewers this week, dropping to 2-8 overall in their last ten games and 5½ out, tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks, of a Wild Card spot. The Pirates are trailing the Philadelphia Phillies (4 games back), Los Angeles Dodgers (3 games back) and Brewers (2½ games back), who are all chasing the Atlanta Braves and defending champion St. Louis Cardinals for postseason berths.
A three-game series against the Houston Astros, who have recorded a major league-worst 102 losses, this weekend will be crucial if the Pirates hope to make a jump in the standings and back into serious Wild Card contention. Pittsburgh has 13 games left on their 2012 schedule to make up the ground.
Complete standings, including divisional and Wild Card races, can be viewed here.