54-54 with 54 games remaining and 5.5 games out. Did I mention that the Brewers and Cards play each other (I think) 10 more times...and the Pirates have 12 games with Milwaukee and a good number with the Cards. The point is that this run may not be over.
Certainly, however, there is room for concern. The offense still lacks consistency, though I think the addition of Lee and Ludwick may help that, and there are some key players sill injured. The starting pitching has gone from exceptional to average. The bullpen has, especially Veras, has gone from dependable/magical, to ho-hum.
There is no question the Bucs need to start winning again...NOW. Tonight's game vs. the Cubs may be the biggest of the year. A win tonight coupled with a Milwaukee loss puts the Bucs at 4.5 back...you would be hard pressed to say a team is not in the pennant race at 4.5 back (you'd be hard pressed to say that at 5.5 with 54 games remaining).
Bottom line: the Pirates will have to break the doldrums they are in now, believe in themselves the way they have all year, and continue to win the games they're supposed to win and be able to beat Milwaukee and St. Louis. It is a blessing that we have so many games vs the Redbirds and the Beermakers- or it could be a curse.