Just because I can, I'm going to type this sentence -- the Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place.
And it's true. Wait, it gets better. It's July 15 and the Pirates and the Cleveland Indians are in first place. Who had that at the beginning of the year?
The Pirates beat the Astros behind a shutout from Jeff Karstens, while the Brewers fell to the Rockies and the Reds topped the Cardinals. With Friday's results the Pirates lead the Cardinals by just percentage points -- .5275 to .5269. Milwaukee is a half-game back of the leaders, with the Reds three games back.
I touched on this the other day, but the Pirates are the season's best story and could break the franchise's streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons. The team started off hot then faded a bit, but have hung around and are now 48-43 on the season.
The Indians used two-run homers by Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore to send the Orioles to their ninth straight loss. Cleveland broke its tie with the Tigers when the White Sox put five runs on Justin Verlander for an 8-2 victory in Detroit.
We'll see if either team is there at the end, but at this point, who cares? It's after the All-Star break and the Indians and Pirates are in first place and that's just awesome.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.