After a wildcard win in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now advancing and playing the St. Louis Cardinals tonight. The Pirates and Cardinals dueled throughout the season, and they get to do it again to determine who gets a spot in the National League Championship Series.
Here is how the PIttsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals managed to get to the NLDS.
The Pittsburgh Pirates won Tuesday’s wildcard against the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 6-2. The Pirates got ahead of Johnny Cueto with two homeruns and the Reds did not manage to catch the Pirates after that. After a playoff win for the first time in 21 years, they now have a challenge to get to an NLCS for the first time in 21 years.
The St. Louis Cardinals–managed by a former Cardinals catcher Mike Matheny–has reached the postseason for the third straight year, trying to improve their NLCS choke and attempt to win their 12th World Series. The Cardinals retain all of their players from the 2012 team.
Break down the lineups:
- Pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano
- Catcher: Russell Martin
- First Base: Justin Morneau
- Second Base: Neil Walker
- Third Base: Pedro Alvarez
- Shortstop: Clint Barmes
- Left Field: Starling Marte
- Center Field: Andrew McCutchen
- Right Field: Marlon Byrd
St. Louis Cardinals
- Pitchers: Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and
- Catcher: Yadier Molina
- First Base: Matt Adams*
- Second Base: Matt Carpenter
- Third Base: David Freese
- Shortstop: Pete Kozma/Daniel Descalso
- Left Field: Matt Holliday
- Center Field: Jon Jay
- Right Field: Carlos Beltran
*Matt Adams is currently replacing Allen Craig, who is currently injured.
Dissect tonight’s Game 1 Pitchers
A.J. Burnett, welcome back to postseason baseball. Burnett returns to postseason baseball at 36 years young, played in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 postseasons. Burnett became one of the few Pittsburgh Pirates that are veteran leaders and could possibly lead this Pirates club far into the playoffs. Burnett is a free agent next season, so as a 36 year old man, this could be his last run.
Burnett had a stable season, pitched 191 innings and had an ERA of 3.30 and WHIP of 1.215. In the time Burnett has been in the National league, he has only pitched postseason baseball in the American league, he has pitched in two division series (2009 & 2011). Those two division numbers broke down to 11.2 innings pitched and had a 1.54 ERA and 1.371 WHIP. Burnett’s last DS was good with a 1.59 ERA and 1.412 WHIP.
Burnett has only pitched at Busch Stadium three this season, but has pitched there only 4 times, factor that he has been in the American League for 6 of the 8 years Busch Stadium III has been around. His career at Busch Stadium comes with 16 innings pitched, 13.50 ERA and 2.313 WHIP, a park that can burn him. The burn in his career continued, the games he pitched this season at Busch, was 1-1 8.10 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. The Cumulative numbers at Busch Stadium this season.
- 13.1 IP, 19 H, 12 ER, 5 BB & 14 SO
- BAA .322, ERA 8.10 & WHIP 1.80
- Per 9 numbers, 12.83 H, 3.38 BB, 9.45 K. K/BB is 2.80.
- GRADE: 45.00% (F)
- Rates: 30.16% (H), 19.05% (R), 7.94% (BB), 22.22% (K)
Adam Wainwright, coming off career breaking numbers in 2013, 241.1 innings pitched, but allowed an all time high 223 hits. Wainwright has been involved in six playoff series, in the 3 NLDS’ he has been in, he is 3-3 19.2 IP with a 3.66 ERA. His last NLDS (2012) wasn’t promising, going 8 innings and allowing 7 runs, that happened in two games.
For Wainwright, playing at Busch Stadium might be his best friend. In the 128 games he has pitched there, he has a 2.67 ERA and 1.113 WHIP. In those 128 starts, he has a 53-32 record, complement that with a .227 BAA.
Wainwright has pitched at Busch Stadium 17 times this season and went 9-6 with a 2.53 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. The cumulative numbers at Busch Stadium this season.
- 121 IP, 94 H, 36 R (34 ER), 30 BB, 114 SO & 7 HR
- BAA .206, ERA 2.53 and WHIP 0.94
- Per 9 numbers, H 6.99, BB 1.49, K 8.48, HR 0.52. K/BB is 5.70.
- GRADE: 80.72% (B)
- Rates: 20.30% H, 7.78% R, 4.32% BB, 24.62% K, 1.51% HR.
Which pitcher has the edge in this game?
A.J. BURNETT: Home Runs
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: Hits, Runs, Walks, Strikeouts
A.J. Burnett has been a good pick up for the Pirates, pitching 191 innings and striking out 209. The season that he had comes in with a grade of 74.93% (C), which is below average, but not that much. Burnett had a BAA of .224, along with a 3.30 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. The rates for Burnett this season, 20.60% (H), 9.86% (R), 8.36% (BB), 26.09% (K), 1.37% (HR)
Adam Wainwright keeps on being the best thing for Cardinals, pitching 241.2 innings and striking out 219. Wainwright graded at a 77.72% (C), above average. Wainwright had a BAA of .235, along with a 2.94 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. The rates for Wainwright, 23.33% (H), 8.68% (R), 3.66% (BB), 22.91% (K), 1.57% (HR).
Meet the Skippers.
Clint Hurdle, an outfielder for the MLB from 1977 to 1987, had played for five teams (Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets). After Hurdle’s playing days, he started out in the minor league systems in 1988. Following the next four years in the minor leagues, he went to Colorado’s farm systems to be a hitting instructor, he became the Rockies hitting coach in 1997. Hurdle kept that hitting coach till 2002, when he replaced Buddy Bell. Hurdle managed the Colorado Rockies from 2002 to 2009, his Rockies went to a World Series in 2007 and were swept by the Boston Red Sox. After being fired in 2009, the Texas Rangers hired him as hitting coach for 2010, which led to an AL Pennant. After the World Series, the Pittsburgh Pirates hired Hurdle. Hurdle has managed 1,645 games, owns a 779-866 record .474 PCT, his postseason résumé is good at 7-4, the only losses were in the 2007 World Series.
Mike Matheny, a catcher for the MLB from 1994-2006, had played for four teams (Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants). At age 34, Matheny had to retire from playing baseball because he had on-going symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, this occured in the 2006 offseason. Throughout his time retired in baseball playing, he was in the St. Louis Cardinals organization as a special adviser for spring training. After the Cardinals won their 2011 World Series, the manager of that time–Tony LaRussa–retired from baseball, Matheny was named Cardinals manager on November 14. In the time he has been the Cardinals manager, he has a 185-139 record and has taken the Cardinals to the NLCS.
A.J. Burnett: 6 IP, 7 H, 2B, 4 R, 2 BB & 6 SO
Adam Wainwright: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 SO & HBP
Which offense players will Burnett and Wainwright be concerned for?
- A.J. Burnett: Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso
- Adam Wainwright: Andrew McCutchen, Clint Barmes and Russell Martin
PICK: Cardinals win in 4 (Game 1,2,4)