It wouldn’t be October without the St. Louis Cardinals facing elimination. The Cardinals enter tonight’s NLDS Game 5 (8, TBS) with the Pirates 7-1 in elimination games over the last three seasons.
On the other side are the Pirates — playing in their first postseason since 1992. Pittsburgh hasn’t won a postseason series since the 1979 World Series.
As the old cliche goes … something has to give here! Or maybe it’s the other way around.
Fittingly the Cardinals will hand the ball to Adam Wainwright, owner of a 2.27 lifetime ERA in 39+ postseason-innings. Pittsburgh counters with rookie Gerrit Cole, he of 117 lifetime lifetime innings. It’s a safe bet Pirates fans feel more comfortable with Cole than A.J. Burnett after the veteran righty was shelled earlier in the series. Cole, the former No. 1 overall pick out of UCLA, was called up in June but never threw against the Pirates. Perhaps this works to his favor.
A quick word of advice to Bucs skipper Clint Hurdle: don’t pitch to Carlos Beltran. The veteran outfielder has two homers in the series, which pushed him past Babe Ruth in the postseason record book. Beltran is slugging an astounding .783 in 38 postseason games.
To get you pumped up, here’s a clip of the aforementioned 1979 World Series featuring Dave Parker and the simply glorious yellow-and-black uniforms the Pirates rocked back in those halycon days.
Here’s hoping #Buctober and it’s cousin #Buctoberfest stays alive.