Pitching Matchup: Michael Wacha (5-6, 3.14 ERA) heads to the bump for the Cardinals tonight as they come off a 3 game winning streak. The Cardinals skipped Wacha’s last start last Sunday, hoping to give their young starter a chance to get back into form after 2 poor performances following his return from the DL. Hopefully for Wacha, three times will be the charm.  As was discovered last year, Wacha can be a great postseason asset, but with only two more regular season starts scheduled for him, he needs to get back into shape quickly.

The Reds are sending out starter Mike Leake (11-12, 3.65 ERA) to face off against Wacha.  Leake is coming off of a strong performance against the Diamondbacks where he lasted 7.2 innings while giving up no runs on 5 hits and also striking out 8 and walking none.  The Cards need to strike early tonight and help their young starter with a nice cushion of run support.

The Skinny: With the Pirates recent surge, the Cardinals have no room to falter.  The Pirates are nipping at the Cardinals heals while sitting 2.5 games back.  Not only is this game important for the Cards’ chance at a division title, but it’s Wacha’s second to last chance to regain his form before the regular season ends.