It's another milestone for the Pittsburgh Pirates: With a dramatic 2-1 win over the Cubs followed by the Cardinals beating the Nationals the Pirates officially clinched a playoff spot their first since 1992. If you don't remember 1992 in Pirates history that's when Barry Bonds patrolled left field Tim Wakefield was a rookie knuckleballer and Jim Leyland was chain-smoking cigarettes at Three Rivers Stadium.

The Pirates may have preferred the Nationals to stay alive for at least another day and beat the Cardinals -- which would have cut St. Louis' lead in the NL Central over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati to one game -- but they happily popped the champagne bottles in their cramped Wrigley Field clubhouse goggles and hugs for everyone.

The game was tied 1-1 in the ninth when Starling Marte smashed a two-out home run to left field off Kevin Gregg for a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the ninth the Pirates threw out the game-tying run at home plate with two outs in one of the strangest plays you'll ever see. With Nate Schierholtz on first base Ryan Sweeney singled to right-center but right fielder Marlon Byrd had the ball bounce off his glove. Andrew McCutchen was backing up the play as Schierholtz charged home. McCutchen's throw hit the infield grass and was skidding off target but Justin Morneau cut it off at the pitcher's mound and threw to catcher Russell Martin who tagged out Schierholtz for the final out.

Just your typical 9-8-3-2 putout. To clinch a postseason slot no less.

Now for the bad-news side of things. While the Pirates are everyone's favorite underdog-makes-good story and team to root for in the postseason if yours isn't there there are issues with the way the club is playing right now both of which were on display in Monday's game: The offense is struggling and the ninth inning is suddenly a question mark.

First the offense. The Pirates had just six hits on Monday home runs by Marte and Neil Walker accounting for the two runs. They were held to five hits by the Reds on both Saturday on Sunday and last week against the Padres they were one-hit by Andrew Cashner when he faced the minimum 27 batters and two days later were held to three hits while sending just 29 batters to the plate. In their past 12 games the Pirates are hitting .209 and have been held to six hits or fewer in seven of those games.