St. Louis has been a test for Morton. He's lost six straight decisions to them, going 2-9 with a 6.52 ERA in his career, which is the highest ERA against the Cards of any active pitcher. And Charlie's been toasted by them this season, too, steamrollered for 12 runs in 13-2/3 innings for an unsightly 7.90 ERA and an opp line of .397/.455/.483.Ouch!
Jake Westbrook's DL stint opened a starting spot for Michael Wacha, who joined the rotation to stay in early September and hasn't looked back. On September 8th, he met Morton and came away with a 9-2 win (although that was the game Charlie left in the second inning with a foot injury). He throws in the high nineties and balances that heat with a killer change, a combo the Bucs have had trouble against in the past. In his two outings against Pittsburgh, he went nine innings and gave up two hits. Small sample size, but...
On paper, this could set up as a mismatch as much as yesterday's game was hyped to be, but that ended up a pretty competitive baseball match. Guess that's why they play the games.
The game starts at 3:07 and will be aired by TBS and on the radio side by 93.7 The Fan and AM 970 ESPN .
Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Justin Morneau 1B, Marlon Byrd RF, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Russell Martin C, Clint Barmes SS and Charlie Morton P.
Same dance card for Clint Hurdle.
Card lineup: Matt Carpenter 2b, Carlos Beltran RF, Matt Holliday LF, Matt Adams 1b, Yadier Molina C, Jon Jay CF, David Freese 3b, Pete Kozma SS and Michael Wacha P.
Mike Matheny is staying with who brung him.
- The Pirates are 6-for-18 (.333) with RISP in the series, while the Cards, which set a single-season record this year by hitting .330 with RISP, are 3-for-20 (.150).
- Andy Van Slyke, who played for the Cards before being traded to the Bucs and makes his home in St. Louis, will throw out first pitch before Game Four.
- If Pittsburgh takes this series, it will be the first playoff set they've won since the 1979 World Series.
- OF Gregory Polanco, P Nick Kingham, and IF Alen Hanson were included in Baseball America's Top 20 Prospects of the Florida State League.