NLDS Schedule 2013: Date, Start Time and Preview for Pirates vs. Cardinals
In a series where each game has gotten increasingly closer, the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals appear destined to play a win-or-go-home classic on Wednesday night in Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals romped in the first game with a 9-1 victory. The Pirates answered right back with a 7-1 blowout of their own, and then took the series lead with a 5-3 victory in Game 3. The gritty Cardinals managed to force a Game 5 with a 2-1 win on Monday behind the standout pitching of Michael Wacha.
As these two battle to earn the right to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, the series now shifts back to St. Louis for the deciding matchup.
|Game||Home Team||Date||Time (ET)/Result||TV|
|1||Cardinals||Oct. 3||Cardinals 9, Pirates 1||TBS|
|2||Cardinals||Oct. 4||Pirates 7, Cardinals 1||MLBN|
|3||Pirates||Oct. 6||Pirates 5, Cardinals 3||TBS|
|4||Pirates||Oct. 7||Cardinals 2, Pirates 1||TBS/MLBN|
|5||Cardinals||Oct. 9||8:07 p.m.||TBS|
Game 5 Preview
Probable Starters: Gerrit Cole (10-7) vs. Adam Wainwright (19-9)
Instead of going with Game 1 starter A.J. Burnett, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has opted for rookie right-hander Gerrit Cole.
Hurdle, as quoted by CBS Sports' Matt Snyder, had this to say on his decision: "As I've done and I've challenged the guys to do, we need to do the best we can to win that next game. I believe that matchup is the best we can do to beat the Cardinals in Game 5."
I'm certainly not going to argue with Hurdle on this one. Burnett has a wealth of experience, but he showed nothing in Game 1, while allowing seven runs in two innings, to suggest he should make another start in this series—especially with everything on the line.
Cole looked strong in Game 2. He picked up the win by going six innings and allowing one run off two hits. For the season, the rookie posted a 3.22 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 117.1 innings.
While Cole has shown he's not going to be overwhelmed by the setting, he has to be pinching himself over the fact that he's starting a deciding game against Cy Young contender Adam Wainwright.
The 32-year-old right-hander earned the Game 1 win after going seven innings, allowing three hits and one run. Wainwright has been outstanding all year. He posted a 2.94 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 219 strikeouts over 241.2 innings.
Prediction: Cardinals 3, Pirates 2
I want to pick the Pirates in this game. They are a fun team and a great story. However, my goodness, are the odds stacked against them. They are on the road and are throwing a rookie on the hill against one of the best in the game.
I expect a low-scoring, well-played and close contest, but I have to side with the home team.
*Watch postseason baseball live on TBS.com or your mobile device.
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