Coming off of a tough series with the Marlins, the Cardinals have to regain composure tonight against a familiar foe– the Pittsburg Pirates.
Tonight’s game is extremely important for the Cards and the NL Central. St. Louis is now 0.5 games behind the Pirates for second place in the division. This series could shake the division makeup. The Cards must take two before heading to Milwaukee at the very least. Pittsburg is on a roll winning 12 of their last 15 games.
Pitching injuries should still be a problem this week as the Cards take the field. Fortunately, tonight, the Cardinals put their trust behind Wainwright who has been having a spectacular year. With 11 wins and the lowest ERA in baseball for a starter (1.89), Wainwright is truly an All Star pitcher. Tonight he faces off against Charlie Morton whose win/loss record is not a good indication of his success this year. Winning five but losing nine, Morton has a 3.30 ERA which could prove that tonight’s game will come down to which of the two weak offenses can prevail over solid pitching. Clearly, Wainwright and the Cards have the advantage on paper.
The Cardinal offense has been solid over the last few games at Busch. The team may be getting into the rhythm of hitting for the first time this season scoring three, five, and four runs in the last three games respectively.
Andrew McCutchen should be a major factor in tonight’s game. He has a .424 on base percentage with 13 home runs. His stats are comparable to Matt Adams.
Once again, tonight’s game should come down to the difference between the two pitchers. If the Cardinals can take advantage of Morton’s weak record, there may be rough waters ahead for the Pirates.