Party like it’s 1999.
With a 3-2 loss to NL Central rival Milwaukee on Wednesday, the Cardinals dropped their 89th game of the season and further fell below .500.
Speculation ensued during the middle of the season the Pirates could close the year better than the Cardinals for the first time this century. A mix of playing the kids and a completely disastrous season in St. Louis punched the Pirates ticket to being the better team in the standings with five games remaining.
What happened in 1999? For starters, the Houston Astros were still in the National League and won the division with a 97-65 record thanks to the likes of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio.
The Pirates ended third in the six-team division at 78-83. Entering the weekend, the Bucs are two wins away from tying the same record. St. Louis closed 75-86, three games off the Pirates pace. The Red Birds were led by slugger Mark McGwire, Fernando Tatis Sr., and Edgar Renteria. Before the days of Adam Wainwright!
Kevin Young (174 hits), Bryan Giles (39 home runs and 115 RBI), Jason Kendall (.332 average), and Jason Schmidt (212.2 innings) guided the Pirates out of the 20th Century.
The Pirates are on the upswing and have already improved their win total by 13 while the Cardinals contain more questions than answers. Is this the turning of the tide in the NL Central?!