PITTSBURGH - The Pirates took an important series against the Cardinals this weekend, taking two of three against the team directly above them in the standings. In most years, that would be huge, as it usually means the Pirates are gaining ground on the first or second place team. This year, the Pirates are currently in fourth place, trailing the third place Cardinals, with both teams below .500.

After the win today, the Pirates are four games under .500, and the important number is that they're seven games out of first place. They also have a four game series coming up against the first place Milwaukee Brewers. If they're going to be contenders this year, then they can't settle with beating the Cardinals -- they'll need a big week against the Brewers. That series will see the return of...

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