Winning yesterday's game was huge. Leaving St. Louis with a 7-1 win, the Pirates could actually take this series in four games. They get Francisco Liriano tomorrow, who was outstanding in his first postseason start against the Cincinnati Reds, after pitching seven innings of one run ball. He has been great against the Cardinals, going 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA over his entire career. He's been great at home, pitching to an 8-1 record and a 1.47 ERA in PNC Park this season as well. With those two factors and the fact that Pittsburgh's fans have been unreal, I think there is a high possibility we could see the Pirates up 2-1 in this series.
On Monday, the Pirates play again at home, this time facing against rookie Michael Wacha. He has been good against the Pirates in two appearances (one start), pitching nine shutout innings against the club. He has never faced the Pirates in PNC Park before. On the road, however, Wacha has a 4.34 ERA, and could burn in the bright lights of Pittsburgh. The Pirates will be playing behind Charlie Morton, who has gone 2-9 with an ugly 6.52 ERA against St. Louis. He had a 2.85 ERA at home this season, however, as he has played well behind their fans. I consider this game a toss-up, but the Pirates do get to play at home, which could make all the difference in this game. If they take Sunday's game, the fans will know what is at stake, and could be the difference makers in this game at PNC Park.
The Pirates could easily lose either of these games. The Cardinals are good. They have played well. They have experience. But, who says the Pirates can't win this series? PNC Park has been great to them so far in the playoffs, and I think the fans will be able to keep up their "jolly" spirits, and will play a huge part in the Pirates success over this October. It messes with opponent's minds, and makes them make mistakes within a single game. The Cardinals are human, and they could do the same.
I think that the Pirates could win this series and could be playing for the NL pennant. Yesterday's 7-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals could prove to play a huge part in this series, if season statistics and split statistics prove to be true. The Pirates are trying to be baseball's Cinderella team, as I believe that they are doing a great job at it. If you don't have a team to root for, pick the Pirates, as they could turn a lot of heads over this exciting October thus far. The Pirates could do the unexpected. Watch out, everyone, here comes the Pirate ship.