St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates need wins heading into thier rare five game series. The schedule abnormality is due to the rescheduling of a previous game which was rained out, making a doubleheader on Tuesday. Although the two teams will face each other nine more times after this series, this one seems to be pivotal with the Cardinals currently holding a 1.5 game lead in the division over the Pirates.The doubleheader adds an interesting dynamic to the series with regards to the starting pitching. Because neither team had an off day going into the series, they will not want to push one of their starters up a day to make the start on the nightcap Tuesday. Both teams will call up a minor leaguer to start a game that day, and the Cardinals will almost surely bring up lefty Tyler Lyons to do so. Lyons, who showed promise earlier in the year, might have an advantage against the numerous lefthanders in the the Pirate lineup.
Lance Lynn adn A.J. Burnett, both talented pitchers who have struggled lately for their respective teams, will each start one of the games Tuesday. Wednesday will match Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright against Pirate upstart All-Star Jeff Locke. It will be interesting to see if either team appears to have an edge in starting pitching. Neither of the teams’ rookie fireballers, Shelby Miller for the Cards, nor Gerrit Cole of the Pirates will make an appearance in this series.
The two teams have not played since April 28, and this marks the first chance the Cardinals have had to really seize control of the division. Meanwhile the Pirates are out to prove that this year they will be contenders throughout the whole season, as opposed to their two previous seasons when they fizzled out late in the year. If either team can manage to win at least four of the five games they would gain a huge swing of momentum heading into the stretch run.