The Cardinals continue their lengthy roadtrip in Pittsburgh, where a five-game series with the Pirates will open on Thursday evening. The Cardinals enter the series with a 22-23 record, going up against the 14-34 Pirates, who have dropped eight in a row.
Kolten Wong is back in the lineup for Thursday’s game after missing two days with left side discomfort. According to Anne Rogers of MLB.com, Wong’s pain occurs when he is swinging but he feels like he can contribute in the field and on the base paths. Wong will play second and bat ninth.
The Pirates have been outscored 47-14 in their losing skid, so it should not come as a surprise that they have an MLB-worst -84 run differential on the season. The Cardinals need wins, and this weekend will be the team’s best shot to rack them up. After this weekend, the Cardinals have eight games remaining — three against the Royals in Kansas City and five against the Brewers in St. Louis. If needed, the Cardinals have two games against the Tigers that could be made up as (you guessed it!) a doubleheader on 9/28. The regular season ends on 9/27.
At the start of play Thursday, Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt ranks third in the Majors with a .439 OBP, trailing only the Nationals’ Juan Soto with a .470 and the Braves’ Freddie Freeman with a .465.
Thursday, 9/17, 6:05 | Steven Brault vs. Dakota Hudson | FSMW, MLB Network, KMOX
Game 1 — Friday, 9/18, 3:05 | Trevor Williams vs. Carlos Martinez | FSMW, MLB Network, KMOX
Game 2 — TBD vs. Chad Kuhl | FSMW, KMOX — Cardinals are the home team for the second game.
Saturday, 9/19, 6:05 | Mitch Keller vs. Kwang Hyun Kim | FSMW, KMOX
Sunday, 9/20 3:05 | Joe Musgrove vs. Jack Flaherty | FSMW, KMOX