First Pitch

First Pitch: Pirates Advance to Face the Cardinals in the NLDS

First Pitch: Pirates Advance to Face the Cardinals in the NLDS
The Pirates are going to the NLDS. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Pirates are going to the NLDS. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Not much to say, other than linking to all of the coverage tonight. I’m heading to St. Louis tomorrow, and James Santelli will be joining me on Thursday for coverage of the series against the St. Louis Cardinals. James and Nate will have left-over coverage of the Wild Card game tomorrow, plus we’ll have a look ahead at the Cardinals. For now, here is the Wild Card content.

**The Pirates Bought a Wild Card Win Against the Reds. Looking at how the big acquisitions of Francisco Liriano, Russell Martin, and Marlon Byrd paid off.

**Fourth Inning the Key to Liriano’s Outing, Pirates’ Wild Card Victory. Francisco Liriano didn’t run into many jams, but this one was the key.

**Cue-to, Cue-to — The Value of Home Field Advantage. Looking at the impact of the crowd and Cueto breaking down after the chants started.

**Video of the Pirates celebrating after winning:

**A fan jumped off the Clemente bridge after the game. Really.

Check out David Hague’s awesome photo gallery on Facebook.

  • Jim B

    I have been following the site for sometime and finally want to comment. Like many Pirates fans I have watched and followed the team for years hoping we could get back to winning baseball. This site has been a great place to get hope for the future as I watch our prospects make their way toward the majors. Now we are finally here and I am thrilled. I even wrote a diddy and put it on utube- “Raise the Jolly Roger 2013”.

  • smurph

    As good a place as any to start the Cardinals series discussion. I agree with the poster on another thread who said he would like to see Cole pitch Game 2 in St. Louis. The kid just seems to have ice-water in his veins – would be more likely to handle the situation on the road than Morton. Add in the fact that he is well-rested and has pitched better than Morton down the stretch. In fact he has been the Pirates best starter the last 3 weeks of the season. As far as the roster goes, will they go with 11 pitchers? I think so. So they add AJ and Morton, and the two position players who lose out are Buck and Snider. Agree?

    • Cole has been announced as the Game 2 starter, with Liriano going in 3 (at PNC) and Morton in 4.

      IMO, this is going to be a nailbiter. Cards might blow out the Bucs in one game (maybe even the first), but I think it goes five. I think it comes down to who’s better among true rookies, Cole or Wacha.

  • CalipariFan506

    Who will pitch game 4 for St. Louis? Wacha or Miller? Miller deserves it as he has been solid all season but the Pirates have had a lot more success against him than Wacha.

    I find it interesting that they are saving Kelly for game 3 against Liriano. If I were Matheny I’d have probably flopped Lynn and Kelly. Point being that Liriano is so good at PNC why waste what could be your best starting pitcher match up against the Pirates best match up if you don’t have to. IMO starting Wainwright/Kelly at St. Louis would make the Cardinals favored to be up 2-0 heading to face Liriano. Not so sure I’d consider Lynn a favorite at all against Cole.

    A split in St. Louis and then Liriano pitching the way he has at home all season sets up Morton and AJ needing just one solid performance to clinch the series.

    Also I don’t see any way the Braves beat LA. It’s the playoffs and anything is possible but the Braves don’t have one starting pitcher that I’d consider better than any of the Dodgers top 2. They’ll have to steal a game from Kershaw or Greinke in Atlanta and I don’t see that happening. Medlen is a junker and the Dodgers have a lot of veteran hitters who will really give him trouble IMO. Also Maholm in game 4 is probably the absolute worst starter any playoff team will throw out this month.

    • smurph

      Pretty much agree with everything you said there calipari. I think a split in St. Louis really favors the Pirates winning the series. There are no guarantees, but I certainly like the Pirates in Game 3 with Liriano going. The pressure would really be on the Cards in Game 4 if it went that way.

First Pitch

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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