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Game Preview: Pirates at Cards (9/2/2014)

After winning three in a row, the Redbirds will try to keep the momentum going and hold on to first place in the NL Central.

The Pitching Matchup:  Adam Wainwright’s (15-9, 2.59 ERA) recent performances have been uncharacteristic of him. For the month of August, he has a 5.17 ERA and a 2-4 record in six outings. This contrasts with his 13-5 and 1.92 ERA he had before the month. He says he has “dead-arm”, basically meaning that he’s going through a slump for what could be any variety of reasons. Yet he approaches the coming month with optimism, saying he’s “ready for September.” Let’s hope that is the case as the Cards sure would like to see the first-half version of their ace again, very much still a Cy Young contender, as the playoffs approach

Taking the mound for Pittsburgh, Jeff Locke (6-3, 3.51 ERA) is looking for a repeat of his victory last Wednesday over Adam Wainwright. The 26-year old lefty, who went 4-0 with a 2.90 in August, limited the Cardinals to 6 hits and just 1 run in his most recent start.

The Skinny: Locke tries to continue his success streak while Wainwright tries to return to find his normal form. I suspect Wainwright will put up a better performance today than he did in August. This will be the first time he will have been united with batterymate Yadier Molina since Molina went on the disabled list for a thumb injury on July 9. Who knows? Maybe all Wainwright needs is his catcher.

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