September 30, 2015

Bucs make adjustment to starter matchups

PITTSBURGH--PNC PARK--Tuesday night's starting pitching matchup for the critical game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates was mismatch favoring St. Louis in game that could launch the Cardinals beyond the Wild Card game.

Inclement weather has changed that.

With a split doubleheader looming for Wednesday, Pittsburgh has shuffled their starters a bit, pitting their best, Gerrit Cole, against St. Louis' Michael Wacha.

Wacha had been set to start Tuesday night's game versus the Pirates' Charlie Morton. On paper, Wacha had a clear advantage, though he has struggled lately. Not that Morton isn't a capable pitcher, but he simply hasn't pitched to Wacha's level this season.

Morton will still have a chance to prove himself and help his team in the second game of the twinbill, and he'll arguably have the paper advantage on the Cardinals' Tyler Lyons, who is set to pitch the nightcap of Wednesday's doubleheader.

Pittsburgh doesn't have good mathematics on their side, but there is still a possibility they can overtake St. Louis and claim the NL Central Division crown--and any home field advantage coming with the title.

A Cardinals' win in either game earns them the NL Central crown.

Should St. Louis get both games in with Pittsburgh, it's off to Atlanta for their final three regular season games.

Game one is set for 12:35 p.m. CDT; game two is set for 6:05 p.m. CDT.

Starters:
Game One
St. Louis--Michael Wacha (17-6, 3.15 ERA, 149 Ks)
Pittsburgh--Gerrit Cole (18-8, 2.60 ERA, 200 Ks)

Game Two
St. Louis--Tyler Lyons (2-1, 3.96, 49 Ks)
Pittsburgh--Charlie Morton (9-8, 4.94, 95 Ks)