Huge W last night for the Redbirds.  Tonight’s matchup:

St. Louis Cardinals: Kyle Lohse (13-2; 2.61 ERA)

The reality that Lohse will most likely not be a Cardinal next season is becoming a sadder prospect as his season becomes more and more complete.  Lohse has simply found a way to crank his stuff up to a gear that we haven’t seen from him before, and as a result he is putting up #1 pitcher numbers.  Tonight he faces the Pirates, a team he fared well against earlier in the season (6 IP, 1 ER).

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Pittsburgh Pirates: A.J. Burnett (15-4; 3.63 ERA)

If you asked me which pitcher in the Pirates’ lineup I thought could go out and compete with Lohse on a day-in day-out basis, my answer would be the guy taking the hill tonight.  Burnett has been solid all season, and has been a big part of Pittsburgh’s success.  Further, he has been great at home, with an 8-1 record and 2.81 ERA.

THE SKINNY: The success of both of these pitchers makes for a great matchup to start a crucially important series.  I’m excited to watch tonight and I think the game will carry a playoffs feel to it.