The Pirates have been playing well for the month of August, climbing within 9 games of the division lead. True the Central is abysmal, but there still is hope. The Pirates have 6 games remaining against the division leading Cubs, 6 versus the Brewers and 7 versus the Cardinals. The division, although not likely won by Pittsburgh, could be determined by what the Pirates do over the last month of the season.
The top 3 teams in the division will square off against each other multiple times over the last month. The Cubs have a 3 game series against Milwaukee starting Tuesday. The Brewers have a 3 game set later in the month with St. Louis. The Cards have 5 games left against the Cubs. With all of the top 3 squaring off against each other, when they aren't playing the Pirates they will be beating themselves up.
With 19 games against the top 3, look for the Pirates to enjoy the spoiler role while possibly sneaking into contention rather quietly. That is possible only if the offense that has shown up the last 4 weeks continues throughout the month of September.
BTW: Happy Birthday to my oldest son TJ who turned 5 today.