Major League Baseball
Preview
Pittsburgh at St. Louis
When: 1:05 PM ET, Saturday, October 1, 2016
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri

The St. Louis Cardinals are one game out of the second wild card with two games to play and don't exactly have their rotation lined up as they would like. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny decided to give struggling Michael Wacha right-hander the start in Saturday's game against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates but admitted it will be "all hands on deck."

Wacha was brilliant down the stretch as a rookie in 2013 in helping St. Louis reach the World Series, but he has only 5 2/3 innings under his belt since his last start on Aug. 8 as a result of a shoulder injury. "Kind of going through where we are, how guys have been throwing, the idea that this is a guy who has been in these kinds of situations before," Matheny said of his decision to start Wacha. "We don't take that lightly." Slugger Matt Holliday, sidelined with a fractured thumb and in his last season with the Cardinals, provided a feel-good moment in Friday's 7-0 win when he was activated off the disabled list for a farewell moment with the fans and delivered a pinch-hit home run. Former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen is 2-for-16 over the past five games for Pittsburgh to drop his batting average to .255, below his previous career worst of .259 set in 2011.

TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, FOX

PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates RH Chad Kuhl (5-4, 4.25 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Michael Wacha (7-7, 4.93)

Kuhl had a string of nine straight outings without allowing more than three runs come to a crashing halt in his last start, lasting only three innings and permitting five runs on eight hits in a loss to the Chicago Cubs. Kuhl won his previous two starts, going six runs in each and allowing a combined three runs at Milwaukee and Philadelphia. He gave up three runs on four hits in a two-inning stint versus the Cardinals on Sept. 5.

Wacha has made only three appearances out of the bullpen since missing more than a month with soreness in his right shoulder and has done little to inspire confidence. He replaced an ineffective Jaime Garcia against Cincinnati on Monday and was battered for seven runs on nine hits over 2 2/3 innings. Wacha is 3-2 with a 3.83 ERA against the Pirates after seven strong innings on June 10 in which he yielded two runs on three hits.

WALK-OFFS

1. Holliday's blast gave St. Louis six players with 20 homers, tying the NL record set by the Atlanta Braves (1965, 2003) and matched by Washington on Friday night.

2. Friday's loss assured Pittsburgh of finishing with a sub-.500 record.

3. Cardinals 2B Jedd Gyorko is one homer shy of become the first St. Louis player to hit 30 in a season since Carlos Beltran (2012).

PREDICTION: Cardinals 6, Pirates 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Pittsburgh 78-81 L1 38-42 40-39 14-19 33-40 22-11 9-11
St. Louis 84-76 W2 36-43 48-33 17-16 40-34 19-14 8-12
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh St. Louis
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/30/16 PIT 0 STL 7 .156 0 .338 .233 3 .994
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Pittsburgh S. Marte .382 21 .876
St. Louis A. Diaz .341 15 .965
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Pittsburgh J. Kang 5 8 11
St. Louis M. Carpenter 3 11 9
Pitching ERA Avg K
Pittsburgh 4.46 .268 152
St. Louis 3.91 .257 142
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Pittsburgh S. Marte .311 152 .818
St. Louis Y. Molina .303 159 .780
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Pittsburgh A. McCutchen 24 81 77
St. Louis J. Gyorko 29 55 57
Pitching ERA Avg K
Pittsburgh 4.20 .258 1220
St. Louis 4.08 .254 1266