The stakes this weekend are pretty clear: the Pirates are playing the Reds with, at the very least, the right to host the NL Wild Card Game and maybe a shot at the NL Central, if the cards fall the right way (see what I did there?).
As for now, the Pirates are one back of the Cardinals and one up on the Reds. Getting to host the wild card game would be much, much different than having to go to Cincinnati for it. Winning the division would be even better. The Pirates need at least two wins in this series, and there's just not really any way around it. Francisco Liriano starts for the Pirates and Mat Latos starts for the Reds.
First pitch tonight is at 7:05.
It's nights like this that I flashback to October 1992 and for a second - a very very brief split second - wonder why I ever wanted to go through this again. Another loss like this and I'm starting a blog titled, "Where Have You Gone, Dave Littlefield?"
My life consists of two true outcomes lately: hope and a great night of sleep with each win, despair and a night of tossing and turning with each loss. Here's to more of the former than the latter this weekend.