MLB Game Preview - Pirates v Cardinals

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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Pittsburgh0 1 3 0 0 2 0 0 1 7130
St. Louis0 0 0 4 0 0 0 4 x 891
  W: J. Brebbia (2-3)   L: E. Santana (2-3)   S: C. Martínez (3)
5:15 PM PT6:15 PM MT7:15 PM CT8:15 PM ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 PM MST7:15 PM EST7:45 PM VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 PM CT, September 10, 2018
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 33,566

Cardinals hope to squirrel away more wins vs. Pirates

According to STATS
According to STATS

Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals

  1. The Pirates have gone 35-25 (.583) against division opponents this season and 36-46 (.439) against the rest of MLB. That winning percentage differential is the second largest of any NL team (Braves), and fourth largest in baseball.
  2. The Cardinals need to win one game of this series to clinch a winning record against the Pirates; it would be their fifth consecutive year winning the season series with Pittsburgh. St. Louis only has a longer active streak of season series victories against the Reds (7) among NL Central teams.
  3. Marcell Ozuna's slash line in his last 27 games is .324/.364/.586 with eight home runs. In the 27 games prior, he posted a .204/.243/.306 slash line with just three home runs.
  4. Trevor Williams has thrown at least six shutout innings in each of his past two starts, and has done so eight times this season. His active streak of 17.2 scoreless innings is the third-longest active streak in MLB (Chris Sale, 28.0; Wade LeBlanc, 18.0).
  5. Adam Wainwright's home ERA since 2016 is 3.27, while his road ERA is 6.43 over that span. Among pitchers with at least 300 innings over that span, his ERA differential (+3.16) ranks as the largest.
  6. Adam Frazier's career slash line against the Cardinals is .328/.383/.557. He has doubled against the Cardinals ten times in his career. He has no more than five doubles against any other opponent.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/10/2018 thru 9/12/2018

In 2011, it was the Rally Squirrel dashing across home plate during Game 4 of the National League Division Series to disrupt Philadelphia pitcher Roy Oswalt and help the St. Louis Cardinals take a win-or-die game.

Six years later, the Rally Kitty appeared in center field just before a grand slam by Yadier Molina won an August game against Kansas City and fueled an eight-game winning streak that lifted St. Louis into a first-place tie in the NL Central before the Chicago Cubs finally pulled away.

On Sunday, Rally Squirrel II made a road trip, waltzing across the Comerica Park infield in Detroit moments before the Cardinals broke up a scoreless tie with five seventh-inning runs to notch a critical win over the Tigers and maintain their edge for the NL's second wild card.

"We'll look for that rally squirrel and try to bring it home," Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong joked.

Given recent trends, St. Louis might need a whole zoo to try to figure out Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams, its opponent Monday night for the beginning of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.

Williams (12-9, 3.15 ERA) continued an amazing run on Labor Day, firing 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 5-1 win over Cincinnati at PNC Park. In his last nine starts, Williams has allowed only four runs in 54 2/3 innings, pitching scoreless ball six times and post an absurd 0.66 ERA.

One of those six times occurred two weeks ago, when he bagged a 2-0 win over the Cardinals (79-64) at Busch. Williams ceded only three hits and three walks in six innings, striking out eight.

"I'm confident in my ability to pitch at the big league level and have success at the big league level," he said to after his win over Cincinnati. "It's just a matter of executing pitches."

Williams' shutdown outing against St. Louis reversed a career-long trend of struggles against a division rival. In 11 outings, he's 3-4 with a 5.98 ERA, permitting 59 hits in 43 2/3 innings and 29 earned runs.

The Cardinals would have avoided Williams had Pittsburgh (71-71) not been washed out of its series finale Sunday against Miami. The remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon moved that game back to Oct. 1, the day after the regular season was scheduled to end.

St. Louis will start veteran Adam Wainwright (1-3, 4.00), who has been out since May 13, when he suffered right elbow inflammation during the third inning of a 5-3 loss in San Diego. Wainwright has fired 17 scoreless innings across six rehab outings. In his career, Wainwright is 13-7 in 36 games with a 4.28 ERA when facing the Pirates.

"I feel like I'm getting called up for September," he said to last week. "Earlier this season, I couldn't lift my bag, pick up my shirt, after starts. I threw a bullpen after my last start, and I didn't know what would happen. And I felt normal."

The Cardinals own a 9-7 edge in the season series with the Pirates, winning five of the seven games at home.

Updated September 9, 2018

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