After a stunning performance from rookie Michael Wacha in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, the Cardinals forced a Game 5 for Wednesday. That will decide whose season ends and whose continues.
Adam Wainwright will take the mound for the Cardinals as they hope to come from behind to advance to the League Championship Series. The 32-year-old has been the veteran in a young rotation all season long and now gets the pitch in the most important game of the season.
Wainwright pitched Game 1 of this series, holding the Pirates to one run on three hits over seven innings. He struck out nine Pittsburgh hitters with the only run scoring via a Pedro Alvarez solo home run.
In the regular season, Wainwright had a 2.94 ERA over 34 starts, leading the league in innings pitched.
For the Pirates, rookie Gerrit Cole will hope to extend their dream season even further. Pittsburgh chose to throw the youngster over veteran A.J. Burnett, who was excellent all season long but gave up seven runs in the third inning of Game 1.
Cole, 22, tossed six innings of two-hit ball in Game 2, striking out five and allowing Yadier Molina to score on a home run. Over 19 regular season starts, Cole posted a 3.22 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He turned it on over the last month of the season, holding opponents to just a .524 OPS and earning a 1.69 ERA over nine September starts.
Game 5 will commence Wednesday night with first pitch scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET. It will be aired nationally on TBS.