Game 160: Spoiler Alert

There’s only one thing left to play for this weekend and it’s an important one. The Pirates have a golden opportunity to eliminate their division rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, from playoff contention in this final weekend series. The first game of the series is set for 8:15PM tonight.

The Cardinals (83-76) come into tonight’s game just one game back of the Giants for the second NL wildcard spot and two games back of the Mets for the first wildcard spot. It’s the perfect spot for the Pirates to do something right this season and stick it to the Cardinals on their way off stage.

The Pirates are 9-7 against the Cards this season, which includes a three-game sweep to start the season back in PNC Park. These two teams have played some close games in recent years.

Tyler Glasnow will make his fourth start and seventh appearance of his ML career tonight in St. Louis. He’s struggled in his brief time in the Majors with a 4.91 ERA in 18.1 innings of work. He’s struck out 20 batters, but also walked nine, which is about right with his minor league career BB/9. Obviously the Pirates No. 1 prospect has brilliant stuff, but he needs to limit the walks and learn how to pitch in the big leagues. His first start of his career was against the Cardinals in St. Louis back on July 7 so he returns to the ballpark where he made his debut. He gave up four runs on three hits and two walks in 5.1 innings in that game and was tagged with the loss.

The Pirates face arguably the Cardinals best pitcher this season in RHP Carlos Martinez. He’s 15-9 with a 3.15 ERA (3.70 FIP) in 30 starts this season and holds a 4.01 ERA in 60.2 innings against the Bucs in his career. One guy that Martinez hasn’t faced yet is Josh Bell and Bell makes his first start batting leadoff of his career. It’s the 8th different player to hit leadoff for the Bucs in 2016.

Alen Hanson makes his second consecutive start while Gregory Polanco returns to the lineup since Tuesday, Kang bats fourth again and John Jaso gets the start two days after hitting for the cycle.

Pirates North Shore Nine 
Bell RF
Polanco LF
McCutchen CF
Kang 3B
Jaso 1B
Rodriguez SS
Hanson 2B
Fryer C
Glasnow P 

 

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