The Pirates beat the Cubs 7-4 Friday night, and as I type this, the Brewers and Cardinals are both losing in the late innings, which means that the Pirates could wind up with a share of first place in the N.L. Central within an hour or so, which ... wow.
Aramis Ramirez homered in the first inning, but Neil Walker hit an infield single in the third that scored two runs, thanks to a hustling play by Chase D'Arnaud, who came charging home as the play went to first. Chris Resop gave up two runs in the sixth (both charged to James McDonald) on a double by Alfonso Soriano, but Andrew McCutchen answered with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning.
The Cubs took a one-run lead in the eighth, but the Pirates answered, again, in a big way, with an RBI single by Josh Harrison and a three-run homer by Michael McKenry (!!!!?!!!?!), who blasted a Carlos Marmol fastball (EDIT: actually a slider) to left and then took a curtain call as the crowd freaked out. Joel Hanrahan shut the Cubs down in ninth.
Michael McKenry. Wow. That's just a hugely clutch home run, and it was his first big-league jack ever. And it was off Marmol, too. And on an 0-and-2 count. That's just incredibly unlikely. PNC Park was sold out tonight. Time to watch the Cards and Brewers.
UPDATE 11:23: The Cardinals lose.
UPDATE 11:27: The Reds blow it in the ninth against the Brewers, who win 8-7. Too bad. The Brewers are in first, the Pirates and Cards are tied for second.