Oct 4, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates cheer and wave a flag after game two of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

NLDS 2013: St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates Game 3 preview

Who: St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates

Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh

When: 4:37 PM, ET – TBS

Series record: 1-1

Given the Wild Card play-in game the Pittsburgh Pirates took part in, the team had to effectively ‘burn’ ace Francisco Liriano and instead start A.J. Burnett in Game 1 of their NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals. The results weren’t pretty as the Red Birds ripped apart the Bucs before Pittsburgh made a valiant effort in Game 2 to swing momentum their way.

It’s something they’re hoping to continue today as the Pirates play their first true playoff game (sans the Wild Card play-in) in Pittsburgh in over two decades. Ace Francisco Liriano, who has been dominant at home this season (Liriano is 9-1 with a 1.43 ERA, including two wins over the Cardinals at PNC) will be on the mound. He’ll be opposed by young St. Louis starter Joe Kelly, who despite having an influx role, posted a All-Star numbers as a starting pitcher, going 9-3 with a 2.28 ERA. Kelly, much like Liriano has been nothing short of fantastic against his opponent, going 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA in six games against Pittsburgh, three of them starts.

With the win in Game 2, Pittsburgh was able to snag home field for the final remaining (potential) three games, something the Cardinals will be looking to snatch back this afternoon as the two squads face off in Game 3.

Whomever comes away with the victory will be one win away from the National League Championship.

Tags: 2013 MLB Playoffs Pittsburgh Pirates St. Louis Cardinals

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