St Louis (99-58) at Pittsburgh (95-62)
When: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 7:05 ET
TV: DirecTV 659, 671 Radio: XM 89
The St. Louis Cardinals are now one win away from clinching the National League Central after last night’s hard-fought 3-0 win in Pittsburgh. Mark Reynolds hit a 9th inning 2-run homerun off of Pirates closer Mark Melancon and Trevor Rosenthal finished the game for his club record 48th save. The Pirates had every opportunity to put this game away early and often. They left the bases loaded three times and had runners at first and second with nobody out in the 9th, but failed to score every time. The Cardinals can now clinch the N.L. Central with a win in Pittsburgh tonight. Lance Lynn started the game and only went 5 innings giving up four hits and four walks. Lynn got out of two early jams without allowing a run after the Pirates put runners on second and third with no outs in the second inning and loaded the bases with one out in the third. The second inning ended when Cardinals center fielder Jason Heyward threw out left fielder Starling Marte at home as he tried to score following Jordy Mercer’s fly out. Lynn struck out Marte and got second baseman Neil Walker to ground out in the third. Poor base running by Polanco snuffed out a potential fifth-inning rally. He led off with a double but was then thrown out at third base when he tried to advance on Harrison’s grounder to shortstop Jhonny Peralta. J.A. Happ had another terrific outing for the Pirates pitching six scorelss innings.
The Cardinals will turn to Michael Wacha tonight to try and close out another division title. Wacha leads the Cardinals staff with 17 wins to only 6 losses. He has an ERA of 3.15, but has been hit around lately. In his last four starts he’s 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA. He’s 2-0 in three starts against Pittsburgh this year including a 4-2 at Pittsburgh on August 12th. Wacha hasn’t pitched more than 6 innings since August 17th against San Francisco. He’ll be opposed by Charlie Morton making his 23rd start. He’s given up 2 or more runs in each of his last six starts and has an overall ERA of 4.54. He lost his only start against St. Louis this year, but only allowed 1 earned run over 6 innings back on September 5th. He’s given up 4 homeruns in his last 3 starts.
The Pirates blew a golden opportunity last night to make this race interesting, but now it’s all but over. I think it’s made official tonight as the pitching matchup heavily favors the Cardinals. Looks for the Cardinals to celebrate after this one.
Pick: Cardinals +109