wrigley scoreboard featureThe Cubs and Pirates took it late last night, but the Cubs pulled it out in 12. That brought the Cubs to within 3.0 games of the Pirates for the top Wild Card spot.

It didn’t bring them any closer in the Central, though, as the Cardinals won anotherĀ one over the Brewers. The Cubs stand 7.0 back in the Central, and the Pirates fell to 4.0 games back. You can imagine a CRAZY scenario where the Cubs win again today, the Cardinals lose, and then the Cubs sweep the Cardinals this weekend, leaving them just 3.0 games out with 13 games left to play. If that happens, maybe we once again talk about the dream of the Cubs roaring ahead to win the Central.

As for the Pirates, they’ve still got three games left against the Cardinals, too, so they can still dream about coming back. Losing today to the Cubs, though, would be a serious blow. For their part, if the Cubs want to overtake the Pirates for the top Wild Card spot (and/or division), today’s game is close to a must-win.

The Giants beat the Reds late last night, so they remain 7.5 games back of the Cubs, whose magic number shrunk to 10. The Giants are off today before hosting the Diamondbacks for the weekend.

After they finish with the Cubs today, the Pirates head out to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers, whose lead over the Giants is 7.5 games, so they’re probably not going to be going all out. They’ll face Zack Greinke on Friday, at least, though it’s yet to be determined whether they’ll also face Clayton Kershaw.

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