Even though we had a horrendous West Coast swing and came back home to open up the homestand with a loss, we still have a pretty good shot of making the playoffs. The next few games are critical, though. While we play the Pirates this weekend, the other immediate Wild Card contenders play each other. Philadelphia plays at Florida (which I could see being an even series) and San Diego plays at San Francisco (again...a potentially even series). If we can win the games against the Pirates, we are guaranteed to be gaining ground on at least 2 of our Wild Card competitors. Even better, St. Louis travels to Arizona due to lose a few games.
Then, while we play San Diego at home, Philadelphia plays at Atlanta (who couldn't see the Braves pulling off one or two here?) and Florida plays the New York Mets (who will beat Florida). In the meantime, the Cards will be playing the Astros (potential losses for the Cards here). Then, we play the Cubs while Philadelphia plays the Astros (pretty even series), the Cardinals play San Francisco (the Giants could take one or two from the Cards), and the Padres play the Dodgers (the Dodgers should be motivated to win here).
What I am trying to point out here is IF we can get on a little winning streak here in the next few games, the playoffs can be ours. All of the teams we are competing with play several games, some against each other, where they are likely to lose a few. Hope is still alive! Of course, the necessity is beating teams we should beat like the Giants, Pirates, and Cubs.