The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Houston Astros 4-0 tonight on the strength of a Jeff Karstens 83 pitch shutout the Houston Astros being a terrible baseball team. Almost simultaneously, the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on a walk off home run from Brandon Phillips. Less than an hour after those two games were complete, the Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Colorado Rockies 4-0.

These results mean that the Pittsburgh Pirates are now in first place in the National League Central Division, on July 15, 2011. The Pirates’ 48-43 record has a slightly better winning percentage (.5274725) than the Cardinals’ record of 49-44 (.5268817).

They haven’t been in first place this late in the season since July 17, 1997. In case you were wondering, that’s pretty cool.