The Pitching Matchup: Michael Wacha (5-6, 3.18 ERA) has not pitched past the 4th inning in any of his 3 starts since September 4, a precaution taken by the Cardinals to make sure Wacha is not overworked after returning from a 2-month stint on the disable list. Having given up 8 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings since returning, Wacha is still trying to regain his command and prove that he can be a valuable asset to the Cardinals come October.
Trevor Cahill (3-12, 5.55 ERA) has lost 4 straight decisions and has not won a game since August 15, and he has failed to reach the 6th inning since August 20. His performance has correlated with the down year the Diamondbacks, who have a Major League worst 63-96 record, have had. This year is in the books for Arizona baseball, but with this start, Cahill has a chance to end his season on a positive note.
The Skinny: Since the Cards dropped their last two games, the Pirates are just now one game behind in the NL Central. The last three games of the regular season are crucial, as it looks like the division race is going to be a photo finish. The last thing the Cardinals want is to have to play a tiebreaker with Pittsburgh.