I don't think there's a whole lot to say here: the final week of the 2013 MLB regular season kicks off tonight. With six games left, we can be pretty sure that the Pirates will qualify for one of the two wild cards in the National League. If they want to host that wild card game, they have to win some baseball games. If they want to maintain any hopes of winning the NL Central, they have to start winning baseball games.
The good news, of course, is that this week starts against the Cubs. The Pirates are 10-6 against the Cubs this year and they just beat them twice in three games at PNC Park a little over a week ago. Charlie Morton is coming off of one of his most dominant starts of 2013 against the Padres, and he'll start for the Pirates tonight. Jeff Samardzija goes for the Cubs. Since June 1st, Samardzija has a 5.30 ERA. In short, this is a favorable matchup for the Pirates.
First pitch tonight is at 8:05. A Pirate win reduces their wild card magic number to one and keeps them in the division race for another day. Let's start there.