Right now, our Cards are only 3 games back of Milwaukee in the Central and only .5 games back in the wild card race. With five more games until the break, it’s officially time to get excited for the stretch run Cards’ fans. Not to mention that right now this team is playing with magic. After two walk off home runs in back-to-back nights, nothing can stop these Cards.

frustraded Matheny

The Pitching Matchup: Lance Lynn (9-6, 3.17 ERA) takes the mound tonight for the Cards hoping to keep gaining ground in the division and to keep shoving the Bucs further in the cellar. Lynn pitched well his last time out throwing 6 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, but the big righty has been up and down all season. With Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia likely out for a very long time, the Cards desperately need Lynn to find some consistency. Adam Wainwright can’t be expected to put out the fire every fifth day, so the rest of this rotation needs to step up a bit. Lynn has only pitched against the Pirates once before this season, giving up 4 runs in 6 innings on 9 hits.

Fresh up from a short stint at AAA is Brandon Cumpton (3-2, 4.61 ERA) for the Pirates. Cumpton was recalled to the big club as Gerritt Cole only lasted a little over a week in his return from the DL before hitting it again with back tightness. In nine starts so far this year, Cumpton has pitched well allowing three earned runs or less in eight of those starts. However, against the Dodgers on May 31, Cumpton did give up 11 runs, 10 of which were earned. The Cardinals have yet to face Cumpton this year and only faced him once in 2013 with very little results. Matt Holliday and Jon Jay each had a hit off of the righty, but the rest of the lineup was stymied for the night.

The Skinny: Cumpton is a decent pitcher who will give the Pirates 6 solid innings of low scoring ball. While he’s not the best pitcher around, he’s certainly not one to laugh at. The Cardinals need to hope for good Lance Lynn to show up tonight and the magic to remain in their bats if they want to take three in a row from the Pirates.

The Lineup:

  1. Matt Carpenter 3B
  2. Oscar Taveras CF
  3. Matt Holliday LF
  4. Matt Adams 1B
  5. Jhonny Peralta SS
  6. Yadier Molina C
  7. Allen Craig RF
  8. Kolten Wong 2B
  9. Lynn P