It seems like forever ago but the Pittsburgh Pirates have actually been alone in first place this season for a few days. Shortly after that the St. Louis Cardinals took the spot over and ran away with it. The Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds refused to let them get away too far however. For a long time the Pirates have chased second place as the Reds refused to give it up. Now the Pirates have turned a hot week into a long awaited tie for first place in the National League Central.
Whereas last year the Pirates led for much of the middle part of the season but faltered after the All-Star break, this year looks to be different. New starting pitchers and recent call-ups are keeping them energized as they charge forward. They face the Milwaukee Brewers and the Philadelphia Phillies next. As long as they can take care of the Brewers they should be alone in first place within a week.
I think the Pirates are clearly playing the best baseball in all of Major League Baseball right now and by the All-Star game they will be in first place all by themselves with what will probably be a few games lead. Right now no one can match them. Countless times in the last week or so they have looked beaten only to charge back and show their incredible fighting spirit.
No, this season isn’t looking last season much at all. The more I see of this team the more I can see them going deep into October unless something drastic changes. Unless they do something to stop themselves, I don’t think they can be stopped by any other single team. They are the best right now, in line to be the best all season long.