After yesterday's late comeback victory, the Pirates find themselves in the same place that they were in when this series started on Friday -- a half-game behind the Cardinals. If the Pirates win today, they'll move into first place in the division and they'll ensure themselves at least five wins on this 10-game road trip no matter what happens in Milwaukee next week. All of that frankly sounds pretty nice, so let's hope for a win today.
As has happened pretty regularly in the early season, the pitching matchup is not a favorable one for the Pirates. Shelby Miller has been excellent thus far in his rookie season. He's got a 1.44 ERA over 25 innings in his first four starts, striking out 26 and walking just seven. He does have one loss and that one loss was hung on him by the Pirates, but that was more due to AJ Burnett's excellent start than it was anything Miller did wrong; he struck out six and allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. For the Pirates, Jeff Locke looks to make a second good start in a row. He's been wildly inconsistent this year and in his career and this Cardinal lineup is quite a bit scarier than the crap sandwich the Phillies trotted out against him earlier this week.
The plan for this game should be pretty much the same as yesterday: get a decent enough start from Locke to stay close, even if Miller is dominating. Make Miller throw enough pitches that he can't throw a complete game. Once the Cardinal bullpen enters the game, make them throw strikes because they're not very good at that.
First pitch today is at 2:15.