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Pittsburgh returns to Postseason but wants NL Central Title

It has been a long time in coming, but it has finally arrived. The Pittsburgh Pirates are back in the playoffs after a 21-year hiatus. On Monday the Pirates clinched at least one of the two wildcard spots in the National League and still have a shot at winning the NL Central division.

Pittsburgh’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, combined with the Washington Nationals loss to the St. Louis Cardinals clinched the berth for Pittsburgh.

With the security of a spot in the wildcard, the Pirates can now look ahead to a possible division championship.

This Pittsburgh team led by Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez among other will be the first since Pittsburgh reached the postseason with Barry Bonds and Jim Leyland.

After three consecutive NL East titles, between 1990 and 1992, Bonds became a free agent and move on to San Francisco and 20 straight losing records followed, which was the longest streak in the four U.S. major professional sports of baseball, basketball, football and hockey.

Following their victory over the clubs and news the Nationals had lost, the Pirates broke open the bubbly and brew in their clubhouse.

Rivals the Cincinnati Reds also were able to clinch on Monday when they defeated the New York Mets in 10 innings 3-2.

As of Tuesday night the Reds and Pirates both sat at 90-67 and trailed the Cardinals by two games with five to play for each team.

McCutchen the team’s centerfielder and most valuable player was involved in the play that threw out the tying run at the plate on Monday night to win the game.

Manager Clint Hurdle told reporters it had been 21 years since the last corks were popped in Pittsburgh and he would enjoyed it for a little while before he started worrying about catching the Cardinals.

The Braves beat the Pirates in seven games in the 1992 National League Championship series the last time Pittsburgh reached the postseason.

Atlanta clinched the NL East title on Sunday, while the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West last week.

The Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs Tuesday and play them against on Wednesday, then after an off day on Thursday, they have a three game series in Cincinnati to end the season.

The Reds lost to the Mets on Tuesday and finish their series on Wednesday, have an off day Thursday before hosting the showdown with the Pirates.

St. Louis defeated Washington on Tuesday and finishes their series Wednesday and has an off day Thursday before hosting the Chicago Cubs for three games over the weekend to end the regular season.

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