MLB Game Preview - Pirates v Cardinals

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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Pittsburgh0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 5101
St. Louis2 0 0 0 0 2 1 6 x 11110
  W: M. Mikolas (15-4)   L: J. Musgrove (6-9)
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 11, 2018
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 37,187

Cardinals go for series win against 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

Matt Adams' second go-round with the St. Louis Cardinals hasn't gotten off to a good start -- until Monday night.

With one swing that propelled a baseball 401 feet, Adams turned a 6-4 eighth inning deficit into a 7-6 lead. His biggest homer since a three-run blast eliminated Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers from the 2014 National League Division Series enabled St. Louis to score a crazy 8-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

This result also impacted the Dodgers negatively, thanks to their 10-6 loss in Cincinnati. That means the Cardinals will enter Tuesday night's matchup with the Pirates with a two-game advantage over Los Angeles for the NL's second wild-card spot with 18 games remaining.

For that, they can thank Adams, who entered Monday night's game batting just .156 in 46 at-bats with St. Louis. Before his big blast off Edgar Santana, Adams was 0-for-3, fanning in the fourth with men at first and third and none out.

"I was in that spot earlier on and chased some pitches," Adams said. "I got a pitch out over the plate this time and didn't miss it."

Which meant the Cardinals (80-64) didn't miss a chance to gain ground on two fronts. They also picked up a game on the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, who lost 3-2 to Milwaukee at Wrigley Field, and are within 3 1/2 games of first place.

St. Louis will try for a series win behind its most consistent starter this year, right-hander Miles Mikolas (14-4, 3.06). He notched a 7-6 victory Wednesday night in Washington, although he was touched for 12 hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings with a pair of strikeouts.

Mikolas has faced Pittsburgh four times this year, going 0-2 with a 3.37 earned run average. He's hit more barrels lately than he has all year, allowing 32 hits and 10 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings over his last three starts.

Having worked 173 2/3 innings -- just 14 1/3 off his professional career high set last year in Japan -- Mikolas could be battling fatigue. That might be a reason why Cardinals manager Mike Shildt is using a six-man rotation on this stretch of 13 games without an off-day, giving Daniel Poncedeleon a start in Wednesday's series finale.

The Pirates (71-72) counter with right-hander Joe Musgrave (6-8, 3.75), who continues his search for consistency. After two subpar starts against Milwaukee and St. Louis, Musgrave bounced back on September 4 to subdue Cincinnati 7-3, yielding five hits and two runs over 6 1/3 innings with no walks and eight strikeouts.

Musgrave will make his third start of the year against the Cardinals, having gone 1-1 in the first two. He opened his August 30 loss against them with 21 consecutive strikes but gave up third inning homers to Harrison Bader and pitcher John Gant to punctuate a 5-0 setback.

Pittsburgh wasted a rare power outburst Monday night. Its three homers marked the first time since August 9 that it had blasted that many in a game.

Updated September 11, 2018

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