Pirates, Cardinals set for decisive Game 5

Pirates, Cardinals set for decisive Game 5
October 9, 2013, 5:15 pm
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Series: Tied 2-2
 Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Gametime: 8:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Clear, 65 degrees, wind 5 mph
Starting pitchers: PIT – Gerrit Cole (1-0, 1.50) / STL – Adam Wainwright (1-0, 1.29)

The 2013 MLB Playoffs have been thrilling so far and the next 48 hours have potential to top it all. Tonight the Pirates and Cardinals will play the first of two division series Game 5′s with the Tigers and A’s finishing their series off tomorrow.

The Pirates and Cardinals have already met 23 times this year, 19 times during the regular season and four times in the playoffs. The series now shifts to St. Louis where the Cards have won seven of the team’s 11 matchups in 2013, including their split so far this series.

Adam Wainwright will take the mound in what should be a raucous Busch Stadium. He is making his second appearance this series after taking the win in Game 1 when he threw seven innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts and just three hits allowed.

The last time Wainwright pitched a decisive Game 5 in the NLDS was a year ago when he faced the Nationals in Washington. That day was his worst start of his otherwise decorated postseason career as he was yanked in the third inning. The Nats jumped out early with six runs off seven hits, including three home runs. Those six runs were more than he’s allowed in his other 13 postseason appearances combined. The Cardinals prevailed in that game, but Wainwright has shown it’s possible to rattle him on the biggest stage.

The Pirates will also send out a pitcher who has a victory already in this series. Rookie Gerrit Cole was brilliant in Game 2 – also at Busch Stadium – to help the Pirates bounce back and tie the series. That day he pitched six innings with just a run allowed on two hits and a walk. The former No. 1 pick has a little more riding on this start, but his first playoff performance bodes well for tonight. We’ll see if he can match Wainwright who has two World Series rings and four years of playoff experience.