Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 8/17/12

Pirates (65-53) at Cardinals (64-52)

8:15 PM EST–Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Here is the MLB.com Gameday

TV: ROOT Sports

It’s a big showdown in St. Louis this weekend, as the Bucs take on the Cardinals in a crucial series for the NL Wild Card race. The Pirates enter the weekend with a 1-game edge on the Cards (and Giants) for the final playoff spot, and both teams are of course chasing the Reds for the division. The Pirates are 4-5 against St. Louis this season, but played very well the last time they took a trip to Busch Stadium. No matter what happens, neither team will have a commanding lead over the other by Monday, but it’s still important for the Pirates to play well against one of their main competitors.

News & Notes:

  • Jameson Taillon was promoted to AA Altoona. Taillon hasn’t been amazing in low-A Bradenton, but has been better lately and now joins Gerrit Cole in the Curve rotation. All eyes will be on Altoona for the rest of the year.
  • Watch this video, right now. 
  • Before yesterday’s game, Jeff Locke was sent back to AAA (he’ll be back in September) and Chad Qualls hit the bereavement list. Yamaico Navarro and Jared Hughes were called up. I’m not crazy about those moves, but hopefully they will be insignificant.

Tonight’s starters…

James McDonald (10-5, 3.77) vs. Jake Westbrook (12-8, 3.62)

McDonald’s been bad for an extended stretch now, so there’s definitely potential for this start to be a disaster. He pitched pretty well in Cincinnati and for the first few innings of his last start vs. San Diego before imploding again. The Pirates desperately need him to get back on track, and tonight would be a great time for that to happen.

Westbrook is coming off a very strong outing and has won five in a row. He beat the Pirates on July 1st, but didn’t pitch all that well (4 runs in 6 innings).

Cardinals vs. McDonald:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Carlos Beltran 14 12 3 0 0 0 1 2 1 .250 .357 .250 .607 Matt Holliday 10 9 2 2 0 0 0 1 3 .222 .300 .444 .744 Allen Craig 8 8 3 1 0 1 2 0 1 .375 .375 .875 1.250 David Freese 8 7 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 .286 .375 .286 .661 Yadier Molina 8 7 3 1 0 1 3 1 0 .429 .500 1.000 1.500 Skip Schumaker 8 6 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .250 .000 .250 Rafael Furcal 6 6 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 .500 .500 .667 1.167 Jake Westbrook 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Daniel Descalso 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Jon Jay 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 Adam Wainwright 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 Total 73 65 16 5 0 2 8 7 9 .246 .319 .415 .735 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/17/2012.

Pirates vs. Westbrook:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Neil Walker 21 17 6 0 1 0 3 4 3 .353 .476 .471 .947 Andrew McCutchen 18 16 6 1 0 0 1 2 3 .375 .444 .438 .882 Garrett Jones 17 13 2 0 0 0 0 4 3 .154 .353 .154 .507 Clint Barmes 16 16 5 1 0 0 2 0 0 .313 .313 .375 .688 Pedro Alvarez 14 13 6 0 0 1 5 1 1 .462 .500 .692 1.192 Josh Harrison 8 6 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 .167 .250 .167 .417 Michael McKenry 6 6 1 0 0 1 3 0 3 .167 .167 .667 .833 Gaby Sanchez 6 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .167 .167 .167 .333 James McDonald 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Erik Bedard 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Rod Barajas 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 A.J. Burnett 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .500 .000 .500 Travis Snider 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 1.000 1.500 Total 122 107 30 3 1 2 15 13 19 .280 .355 .383 .739 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/17/2012.
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