The Pirates have won seven straight games to join a three-team party in the National League Central, a division in which three clubs -- the Cardinals, Cubs and Bucs -- are separated by six games.
All three teams began this season with important questions. All had high expectations, too. After winning back-to-back NL Wild Card spots, the Pirates said they were focused on "the next step." In other words, winning the NL Central.
Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.