Pittsburgh Pirates Look To Play Spoiler
By Marty Leap
This weekend the Pittsburgh Pirates travel to St. Louis with the chance to play spoiler for one of their biggest rivals.
After finishing their four game series against the Chicago Cubs with a tie last night the Pittsburgh Pirates will now travel to Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Pirates enter their final series of the 2016 season with a record of 78-80. The Cardinals enter this series with a record of 83-76.
Entering this weekend the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves one game behind the San Francisco Giants for the second National League Wild Card spot. Due to this, the Pittsburgh Pirates have the opportunity to play spoiler this weekend.
So far this season the Pirates have had success against the Cardinals. The Bucs are 9-7 against the Cardinals in their first 16 contests this season. Hopefully the Pirates’ strong play against the Red Birds will continue this weekend.
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In this series the Cardinals have much more to play for than the Pirates do. While the Bucs are eliminated from the postseason race, the Cardinals are still trying to get in. Entering Friday the Cardinals find themselves one game behind the San Francisco Giants for the second National League Wild Card spot, and two games behind the New York Mets for the top spot.
Due to this the Pittsburgh Pirates can play spoiler this weekend. And I am sure it would be a sweet feeling for Clint Hurdle and the players in the clubhouse to prevent one of their arch rivals from reaching the postseason. With a series win this weekend, the Pirates will accomplish this.
Friday night’s game will begin at 8:15 PM. The Cardinals will send staff ace Carlos Martinez to the mound while the Pirates counter with Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow will be making just his fourth career start, but second at Busch Stadium, on Friday night.
Saturday’s 1:05 PM contest will be nationally televised by FOX. Pirates’ rookie Chad Kuhl will make his final start of the 2016 campaign in this game while the Cardinals’ starting pitcher is TBD. The series will wrap up at 3:15 PM on Sunday when Adam Wainwright and Ryan Vogelsong lock horns.
With a series victory the Pittsburgh Pirates can prevent the St. Louis Cardinals from reaching the postseason. Also, a series sweep would allow the Pirates to secure a winning record for a fourth consecutive season. So while the Pirates do not have anything left to play for postseason wise, they can still finish over .500 and play spoiler.
Even though the 2016 season has been a disappointing one for the Pirates they can end it on a high note. It would be fantastic if the Pirates could sweep the Cardinals this weekend finishing the season with a winning record at 81-80. If not, it would still be enjoyable to win a game or two and prevent the evil empire from reaching the postseason.
For the first time since 2012 the Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking to play spoiler. Hopefully, they spoil the Cardinals’ season. It would make finishing second to St. Louis in the division the past three seasons, and being eliminated by them in 2013 NLDS, sting a little less.