Today (weather permitting), the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to play a game with pennant implications against a division rival in July. This hasn't happened since 1997. Take one second today to breathe all this in and enjoy: games like these, weeks like the two weeks the Pirates have coming up, this is what we watch baseball for. This is what we've sat through blowouts and cold April weather and Dave Littlefield Jim Tracy and John Russell and Tike Redman and Franquellis Osoria and Matt Morris for. This is what we Pirate fans have hoped for when everyone told us we'd never have it again. So take just one second and enjoy important baseball for the sake of important baseball.
Good. Now that that one second is over, pull on your Pirate cap, put on your McCutchen t-shirt, and buckle the f[hell]k up. The Pirates have 13 games in the next 14 days against some of the best teams in the National League. Against teams they have to beat to make the playoffs. This week, they play the Reds and the Cardinals. Next week, they play the Braves and Phillies while the Reds and Brewers take turns with the Astros. This is real, this is happening, and if the Pirates don't play well over the next two weeks, it will be over. Personally, I'm looking forward to every second of it.
Charlie Morton takes the mound tonight against a team that he's had some success against in 2011. I still think the real Morton will end up evening out between Good Charlie and Bad Charlie, but he's got to prove that that's the case. Dontrelle Willis is starting for the Reds tonight. It's not 2005, and so I fully expect the Pirates to beat Dontrelle Willis.
First pitch of the rest of your lives is at 7:05 tonight, unless the rain doesn't let up. I hope it does. I've been waiting for this for a while.