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The Pirates and Reds have clinched playoff spots

Sep 23, 2013, 11:16 PM EDT

Charlie Morton Getty Getty Images

The field of teams for the playoffs in the National League is now in place.

The Pirates beat the Cubs 2-1 tonight in Chicago while the Reds topped the Mets 3-2 in 10 innings in Cincinnati. Combine that with the Nationals’ loss to the Cardinals tonight and that means that the Pirates and Reds have both clinched playoff spots.

Kudos to the Pirates and their long-suffering fans, as this is the franchise’s first postseason berth since way back in 1992. Meanwhile, the Reds are back in the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.

While the Cardinals, Pirates, and Reds are all in, the National League Central is still up for grabs. The first-place Cardinals currently hold a two-game lead over the Pirates and Reds with five left to play. Whoever finishes second and third will meet in the Wild Card game one week from tomorrow.

  1. apkyletexas - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Starling Marte looked like a man among boys hitting that final home run and rounding the bases like a world-class sprinter on cruise control. Sure would love to get a full, injury-free year from that dude next season.

  2. Old Gator - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Good for the Bucs. It has indeed been a long time coming. And I’m delighted to see Kutch get his shot at the postseason stage.

  3. groleo45 - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Good for the Buccos…I hope they get a nice playoff run for the fans’ sake. They’ve earned it

  4. e5tolife - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    I NEED one of those postseason hats the buccos are rocking. Absobuckinglutely

  5. misterj167 - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Meanwhile, on ESPN:

    (dirge music playing in background, announcers dressed in black)

    “A sad sad day for baseball as the greatest team to ever take the field has been sadly eliminated from post-season play. Your take on that, Bob?”

    “No! No! it’s not true, it can’t be true!”

    “You promised you would contain yourself, Bob…”

    “I have proof! I have evidence of ten umpires who were paid off to make key calls against the Nationals in a criminal conspiracy that goes all the way to the top!”

    “The Commisioner’s Office?”

    “No, President Obama himself! He personally saw to it that our National team lost because he clearly hates America!”

    “Uh Bob, I’m not sure that makes any sense…”

    “OF COURSE IT MAKES SENSE! I got the evidence from Donald Trump himself! We want those games over turned, do you hear me? Overturned! The Nationals real record is 129-33! they win the division! They have the best record in baseball! It’s not over! It’s never over! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor??? Turn those machines back on! TURN THOSE MACHINES BACK ON!!!”

    (Bob convulses in a frothy-mouthed fit and collapses in a heap behind the sports desk. With tears in his eyes, Doug continues)

    “Aptly-named…(pause to wipe away a tear)…aptly-named reporter Ivana Duharp was in the Nationals dugout and had this interview with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who slammed headfirst into his locker in a show of grit that would make Kirk Gibson proud. Ivana?”

    (five-hour, tear-ridden, consolation sex-filled interview later…the camera is back to the studio where medics are taking Bob away on a stretcher. Doug consoles his partner, then turns to face the cameras, eyes red with tears)

    “One other item, some other team won the NL East, we’ll have an investigative report on who that is in a month or two. And that’s it for Baseball Tonight, stay tuned for our eight-hour special: The Washington Nationals: Team Of Destiny 2014!

    • thomas844 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Imagine when the Yankees officially get eliminated….

    • mikeevergreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      That is pee-in-your-pants funny!

  6. moogro - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    No Steelers comments, please.

    • apkyletexas - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:09 AM

      Starling Marte looked like he could easily moonlight as Ben’s new deep threat.

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    FINALLY!!! I’ve waited my whole life to see the Pirates in the playoffs and it finally happens!! So over joyed that it’s not even funny!!! Let’s Go Bucs!!!!!

    • vlock1 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      Good for your guys, man. Hope they get more than just the one game.

      • byjiminy - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:57 AM

        I hope they pass the Cardinals and win the division!

  8. perryt200 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Mostly want Cards to catch Atlanta in the record, so Cards get home field advantage.

  9. deep64blue - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    I’m confused, we were told the Nationals were guaranteed a place this year, thats why Strasburg was shut down last year!! You’re telling me last year might have been our best chanfe and we voluntarily shut down our best pitcher???? Nooooo!!

    • sportfandc - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      I love all the revisionism. In Fantasy Land on HBT, Strasburg was the greatest pitcher in baseball in September 2012. He had not been getting consistently shelled. He would have pitched the top of the 9th in game 5 of the NLDS. And, the decision was only based on them Winning the World Series in 2013.

      Congratulations to the Nats for having the second best record in DC baseball since WW2!

  10. whodeytn - Sep 24, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    Mostly want Cards to catch Atlanta in the record, so Cards get home field advantage.
    ======

    Thanks for your input, Timmy

  11. kw27p - Sep 24, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    Wow 21 years no playoffs. That is insane. Still better than royals 28 years. Congrats.

  12. teamo68 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    My Nats couldn’t pull it off. Congrats to the Reds and Buccos. This Nats fan will be pulling for the Pirates in the playoffs this year.

    Yes, the Nats were predicted to win and it ended up a disappointing season but, none of us rational Nats fans guaranteed the playoffs. The precaution with Strasburg was to make sure they had a shot each year. They’ll be in the mix again next year. Only around about 150 days until pitchers and catchers report!

  13. tendigitpoet - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Under the old two-division format, only Oakland would have clinched by now. Boston’s magic number would be 2 over Detroit (4 GB) in the AL East, St. Louis’ 4 over Pittsburgh (2 GB) in the NL East, and Atlanta’s 5 over the LA Dodgers (2 GB) in the NL West. Or, if Faye Vincent had had his way back in ’92, Atlanta would lead Cincinnati and Pittsburgh by 2.5 in the NL East and St. Louis would lead the LA Dodgers by 2 in the NL West.

    • chill1184 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      Vincent wanted the Cardinals in the West? Really?

      • tendigitpoet - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Vincent tried to re-arrange the NL by switching Chicago and St. Louis to the West and putting Atlanta and Cincinnati in the East. One Cubs lawsuit and owners’ vote later, Vincent was out and Bud Selig in as Commissioner.

  14. chill1184 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Go Pirates

  15. teamo68 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    The true baseball fan is rooting for an A’s/Pirates Wirld Series!!!!

    • mikeevergreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      That would be ccol! We could have games called off for dugout sewage!

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      That seems odd 68. I have been a baseball fan my whole life. My 2nd favorite sport isn’t even close to the passion I have for baseball. Yet…I am NOT rooting for an A’s/Pirates W.S.
      This means I am not a “true” baseball fan? So I have been frontin’ my whole life?
      From the days of practicing the Wizards jump throws to first at the age of 10?
      Through my middle school and high school years of driving 4 1/2 hours from Indiana with my Parents to take in Cardinals games every year? What about securing tickets from the Cardinals organization so I could plan (for 6 Months) my marriage Proposal to my Wife at Busch Stadium with Fredbird delivering the ring? I am talking scoreboard, Fredbird, tears in every eye in our section of seats. It was magical. Then…just a couple of Months ago we took our Daughters to their very first Cardinals games. What about that?
      Man…you have me re-thinking my whole life. All the time, money, heartache, energy, emotions are now down the drain? So I have to root for the A’s/Pirates? My head hurts and my anxiety is now giving me fits. Good job. Thanks a lot. Real nice. Jeesh!
      Now I have to make an appointment with a shrink.

  16. walterwhite1976 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Best thing that could happen here is the Cardinals lose out and have to play the Reds in a 1 gamer.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Just one question Walter…
      Why would that be the “best thing?”

  17. doubleogator - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Great for baseball, proves you can have all the money but can’t just buy a championship…

  18. paco53 - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    I remember when the Reds clinched in 2010, they partied so hard that they barely showed up the next day and lost their chance at the second best record. Consequently, they had to play the Phillies and were no-hit by Halladay. I hope last night’s party affects the Pirates the same way.

    BTW, the Reds were all business after clinching; they showered and went home. They have business to take care of on the field for the next 5 days.

    Everyone wants to celebrate when they accomplish something significant. It can be a graduation or going to the post-season. Sometimes deferred celebration is better because you have more work to do.

  19. stlouis1baseball - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Nervous…nervous…NERVOUS!

  20. otis52gsh - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Congrats pirates fans, you deserve it.

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