August 13: Pirates (70-47) @ Cardinals (67-50)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Cardinals will get another crack at the Pirates this week during a three-game series at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are 3-7 against Pittsburgh this season, which is one of the reasons why they are sitting three games behind the Pirates in the division. A series sweep would move the Cardinals into a first-place tie. Anything less would send the Bucs out of town still alone on top.

In case you missed it, here is MLB.com’s expanded preview story about the series. In it, you can read comments from both clubs about the division matchup.

To add to that story, here is what Carlos Beltran (who is back in the lineup) had to say about the series: “I think it’s going to be an important one. Our goal has to be being able to win the series. That’s the only way that we’re going to be able to gain ground. We know that they’re playing well, we know they have a good team. Right now they believe in themselves. It’s good that they do that. We have to come here Tuesday, and hopefully we’ll win the series and we put ourselves in a good position.”

The tone of players’ comments in advance of this series seem to include a bit more sense of urgency than the ones before the series in late July. At least, that’s my read on

Yadier Molina and Shane Robinson spoke positively about their rehab progress this afternoon; both are expecting to be ready to come off the DL on Thursday. More on that news, as well as updates on Beltran and the bullpen, in the cardinals.com notebook tonight.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Matt Carpenter (2B)
  2. Carlos Beltran (RF)
  3. Allen Craig (1B)
  4. Matt Holliday (LF)
  5. David Freese (3B)
  6. Jon Jay (CF)
  7. Tony Cruz (C)
  8. Pete Kozma (SS)
  9. Adam Wainwright (RHP)

PIRATES LINEUP:

  1. Starling Marte (LF)
  2. Neil Walker (2B)
  3. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  4. Pedro Alvarez (3B)
  5. Russell Martin (C)
  6. Garrett Jones (1B)
  7. Jose Tabata (RF) Andrew Lambo
  8. Jordy Mercer (SS)
  9. Charlie Morton (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

3 Comments

Why is a .259 minor league hitter seen as a bench upgrade? Do they have no one in the minors who is performing better rigth now? I hought the system was deep in young talent?

Other than at second base, which is hardly a position of need right now, most of the infield prospects are still a year or two away, and aren’t real blue-chippers anyway (unlike OT in the OF and all the pitching). I do wonder, though: what did Ryan Jackson do to get himself planted so deep in MM’s doghouse? With no disrespect to Curtis, who is one of my favorite non-prospect minor leaguers, I’d rather see Jackson up. Or is this an audition for a potential trade with Curtis as part of the bait?

Well if Wainright can’t get the job done and the team lacks an ace it probably doesn’t matter how they tweak the bench.

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