Both photos are credited to Getty Images.
With identical win-loss records of 32-28, the Cardinals and Pirates are meeting up for three games this weekend in Pittsburgh, and the winner of the series will be in front of the loser in the National League Central.
Gerrit Cole will get the call for the Pirates in the series opener. Cole allowed three earned runs and whiffed four in 6.2 innings on June 5 against the Angels. The Cardinals will go with Michael Wacha. Wacha faced the Giants in his last start and went five innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and a couple of walks.
Francisco Liriano, who was originally slated to start on Wednesday, June 8, had his start pushed back to the middle game of this three-game set, as the Pirates felt it would allow their left-hander to get some needed days of rest. Liriano last took the mound on June 3 against the Angels and allowed six earned runs and four walks in under four innings. Carlos Martinez will get the nod for St. Louis. Martinez held the Giants to three runs through six frames in his last outing and struck out at least seven batters for the third straight start.
In the series finale, Jonathon Niese will start for Pittsburgh. Niese shined in his last start, shutting the Mets out for seven innings and surrendering a mere four hits. Manning the slab for the Cardinals will be Mike Leake, who did not fare too well in his last start. Facing his former club, the Reds knocked Leake around for ten hits and six runs in 6.1 innings.
STL: Brandon Moss, first baseman. Moss has shown great power over his last seven games by smashing four home runs and slugging a staggering 1.100.
PIT: David Freese, third baseman. Freese has six RBIs in his last seven games and eight knocks in his previous 20 at-bats, including a long ball.