With the key additions of Marlin Byrd, John Buck and Justin Morneau, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their intention to win the National League Central crystal clear to the St. Louis Cardinals and the rest of Major League Baseball. In case it wasn’t quite clear enough to the Cardinals the Pirates tried to emphasize their point further by winning two of three games in the series and regaining first place over the Cards. That’s pretty good even though it is a tie for now.
I don’t think the Pirates were that far off of competing with the Cardinals for the rest of the season anyway but these additions, each in their own individual way will help the Pirates get over the top and stay there. If nothing else the momentum surge from seeing the front office do what they can to bring the pennant home to Pittsburgh is enough to cause the current winning trend.
The Cardinals might still technically be the favorite but not by much. I believe as the weeks go by we will see a constant shift as the Pirates slowly pull away a game or two per week possibly. By the end of the season unless something else slows the Pirates down, the Cardinals will probably be attending the wildcard playoff game once again. All of the success that the Pirates have over the next couple of months, including October, owes a little gratitude to the moves and the series win from the last week of August.