Cardinals’ Michael Wacha faces Gerrit Cole


Redbird Rants co-editor Steve Ungrey previews the big pitching showdown Wednesday as the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates play the second of a three-game series.

At one point Tuesday night, St. Louis Cardinals fans may have been a bit agitated as the Pittsburgh Pirates took a 3-1 lead.

The Cardinals came back and won 4-3, setting the stage for an eagerly anticipated pitching showdown.

Both teams’ aces are on the hill Wednesday night as Michael Wacha faces off against Pirates standout Gerrit Cole, in a matchup of two potential National League Cy Young Award favorites.

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I will be very surprised if more than three runs are scored in this game combined. This is a pitching matchup along the likes of Sandy Koufax vs. Juan Marichal in the 1960s, Nolan Ryan vs. Tom Seaver in the 1970s, etc.

Like Bruno Mars says in his song “Uptown Funk”, don’t believe me? Just watch.

Or rather, look at some stats.

Aug 7, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Cole enters this game with a 14-5 overall record, 2.39 earned run average and 143 strikeouts. He previously faced the Cardinals back on July 10 before the All-Star break, and Cole walked two and struck out three to pick up the win.

Cole had a hard-luck loss against the Cincinnati Reds to start the month, as he had one walk and eight strikeouts.

Watch out for Matt Carpenter in this game, as he has two homers and four RBI in the past five years and 13 at-bats against Cole. Carpenter could be the difference maker.

On the other side, Aramis Ramirez has returned to have one last run at a pennant, as this is his final season in the big leagues. Ramirez is the only Pirate regular to homer against Wacha in the last five seasons. Wacha enters the game with a 13-4, 2.92 mark and 112 strikeouts.

This ought to be one fun game.