Pittsburgh Pirates (78-82) at St. Louis Cardinals (85-76)
Sunday, October 02 - 3:15 PM EST
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
The St. Louis Cardinals own baseball's longest streak of consecutive playoff appearances at five, and they will go to the final day of the regular season in their quest for six in a row. Following another dramatic win to keep their season alive, the Cardinals need one more when they finish the regular season at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
Jedd Gyorko's solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted St. Louis to a 4-3 win on Saturday, which kept his club one game behind the San Francisco Giants for the second wild card in the National League. If the Cardinals win behind veteran Adam Wainwright on Sunday and the Giants lose, the teams would play a tiebreaker on Monday in St. Louis for the right to face the New York Mets in the wild-card game two days later. "These are exciting games, no doubt about that," said Gyorko, whose home run was his 30th of the season. "To be in a must-win situation, it's fun to be out there." Friday's loss assured the Pirates of a losing season for the first time since 2012.
TV: 3:15 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates RH Ryan Vogelsong (3-7, 5.00 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (13-9, 4.67)
After going 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA in his first five starts after coming off the disabled list in August, Vogelsong went 0-4 with an 8.78 mark in his next six. The latest of those outings saw the 39-year-old give up four runs on four hits and a season-high five walks in five innings against the Chicago Cubs. He was reached for five runs in four frames against St. Louis on Sept. 6 and is 3-7 with a 6.02 ERA in 23 games (12 starts) versus the Cardinals.
Wainwright went 4-1 in September despite giving up eight home runs and producing a 5.46 ERA. One of those ugly wings came at Pittsburgh on Sept. 5 and the two-time 20-game winner is now 13-7 against the division rivals. Wainwright is 7-4 with a 3.21 ERA in 15 home starts this year.
1. Cardinals LF Matt Holliday has a home run and an RBI single in two pinch-hit appearances since being activated from the disabled list before the series opener.
2. Pirates LF Starling Marte (back) remained out of the lineup Saturday and will not play in the season finale.
3. St. Louis C Yadier Molina has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 6, Pirates 3