Who: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis
When: 5:07 PM, ET – TBS
Series record: 2-2
After the St. Louis Cardinals took Game 1 of their NLDS against the Pittsburgh Pirates, they obviously were feeling pretty good about themselves. A win in Game 2 and they would have put a stranglehold on the visiting Pirates before both teams made the short flight to Pittsburgh.
Unfortunately for St. Louis, the playoff hungry Pirates weren’t up to appeasing their plans as they stormed back, winning Game 2 and Game 3, giving them a much desired Game 4 at home which could have sent the Pirates to the National League Championship.
Facing elimination, Cardinals rookie starter Michael Wacha slammed the door on Pittsburgh, throwing a no-hitter until the bottom of the eighth inning, the longest no-hit streak in a postseason game from a rookie pitcher since 1912.
Despite a valiant effort in the ninth, Pittsburgh couldn’t overcome the command struggles of Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal and now the two teams will square off in a winner-take-all Game 5.
On the mound for the visiting Pirates will be rookie arm Gerrit Cole, who earlier in the series shut down the Red Birds. Cole will take the place of A.J. Burnett, who technically would be the scheduled starter though after his struggles in Game 1 of the series, Pittsburgh apparently felt more confident with the young Cole. The California native tossed six innings of two, one run ball en route to the Pirates Game 2 win in St. Louis.
For the Cardinals, they’ll counter with ace Adam Wainwright. The 20-game winner was dominant in St. Louis’ Game 1 win, shutting down the Pirates, giving up only three hits and one earned run in seven innings of work.
Both Cole and Wainwright are overly familiar with the opposing lineups, so there shouldn’t be any uncertainties for the offenses or the starting pitchers.
If Pittsburgh wins, they will move on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium while a win for St. Louis will send the Dodgers packing, where they’ll meet the Cardinals in St. Louis to open the 2013 NLCS.