Series Preview 9/5-7: Cardinals @ Pirates

Luke Weaver (8)

Photo is credited to Getty Images.

Beginning on Labor Day Monday, the Cardinals and Pirates will play a three-game series at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On Monday, the first game of the series, Chad Kuhl will take the mound for the Pirates. Kuhl is 3-2 with a 3.70 earned run average in nine major-league starts (48.2 innings) dating back to late June and will be appearing in his first game against the Cardinals.

Kuhl’s counterpart will be Adam Wainwright, who is coming off one of his best starts of the season. Wainwright held the Brewers to one run over seven splendid innings in his most recent start on August 30, his 35th birthday. Other than the noted outing, Wainwright’s last seven starts have been less than stellar, as the right-hander is 0-3 with an ERA just under 6.00 in the span.

Ryan Vogelsong will take the mound for the Bucs in the series’ middle game. Three of Vogelsong’s six starts in August were quality, and the 39-year-old Vogelsong pitched to a 3.44 ERA with 26 punchouts during the month.

Slated to square off against Vogelsong is 22-year-old Luke Weaver. Weaver will be making his fifth major-league start and fourth away from Busch Stadium. In his four starts thus far, Weaver is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 26:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 21 innings.

In the series finale, Jameson Taillon will toe the rubber for the Pirates. Taillon has made fourteen starts for Pittsburgh this season and is tied for third place on the Pirates’ active pitching staff with 67 punchouts in 83 innings of work.

Mike Leake’s spot in the rotation, a position that has been filled in by Alex Reyes since Leake contracted shingles, is due to come up on Wednesday, and it’s possible that Leake will be available to make the start. Such an occurrence would shift Reyes, owner of a 1.35 ERA over his first 20 innings at the big-league level, to the bullpen.

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