What's going on? Did the author of this blog die? No, I'm here.
Sorry about that, but a job search is a full-time job for an unemployed gentleman like myself.
Less than two months ago I was writing about the St. Louis Cardinals' offensive dominance and the Pittsburgh Pirates' inability to score runs. This is still generally true. The Cards have the highest run differential in the National League while the Pirates have the lowest runs scored among all teams in the Major Leagues. Be that as it may, you wouldn't realize it from the divisional standings.
The Buccos are currently one game over .500 (!) with a record of 28-27, three games behind the first place Cincinnati Reds. Pythagorean expectation shows the Pirates have been incredibly lucky and/or very efficient. James McDonald has been lights out, which is why you may be hearing his name in the same conversation with other guys like Cole Hamels, and not the typical conversation we Pirates fans are accustomed to hearing such as "J Mac was defeated by Hamels and the Phillies." A.J. Burnett has been pretty stellar as well.
Meanwhile the Cards have slid out of first place and are now tied with the Pirates thanks to to an injury induced slump. Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, Jon Jay, Skip Schumaker, Matt Carpenter, Kyle McClellan, and Scott Linebrink are all on the disabled list. They only need two more injuries to field a second lineup of crippled Cardinals.
I know this is not much analysis, but I still think it's rather shocking. I promise to have some more ideas coming soon for my reader(s)!