Oct 3, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) slides safely past Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (55) to score a run during the third inning in game one of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

NLDS 2013: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Game 2 preview


Who: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals

Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri

When: 1:07 PM, ET – MLB Network

Series record: 1-0, St. Louis

While Game 1 of the National League Division Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals started out as many expected, in a pitching duel, though things quickly began to unravel for the visiting Pirates.

Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett, who despite solid career numbers against the Cardinals, had struggled at Busch Stadium. It was a trend that continued as Burnett, come the third inning, lost his control and continually fell behind Cardinal hitters. The lucrative counts helped the Red Birds cash in as a three-run home run from Carlos Beltran was the precursor to a seven run inning which chased Burnett from the game.

The Cardinals scored a few more runs against the Pirates’ bullpen en route to the 9-1 victory, which now has Pittsburgh looking for a split before they return home for Game 3.

Taking the mound in Game 2 for the Pirates will be rookie Gerrit Cole (10-7, 3.22 ERA), who really turned it on as the regular season came to a close. Opposing Cole will be young Cardinals arm Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97 ERA) who has been dominant at home this season, posting a 2.82 ERA in 102 innings. Lynn’s comfortable presence on the Busch Stadium mound hasn’t only shown in his ERA, but also against opposing batters who are hitting a paltry .237 against him at home as opposed to .266 on the road.

Given the Divisional round is only a best of five series, Pittsburgh is fully aware a loss tomorrow will put them in a win or go home scenario for three straight games. Meanwhile, a win for St. Louis puts the Pirates’ back against the walls. It might just be Game 2, but the implications are so much more.

Tags: 2013 MLB Playoffs Pittsburgh Pirates Popular St. Louis Cardinals