The 2013 National League Division Series is down to its last game. After a hard-fought series that saw the Pittsburgh Pirates and St Louis Cardinals steal games on the road, the two teams are tied at 2 games apiece. The series goes back to Busch Stadium, where it all began, to determine the team that will face off with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
Gerrit Cole will be the Pirates' starting pitcher for Game 5.
The Pittsburgh - St Louis series began in a run-out-of-town fashion with the hometown Cardinals running up a 9-1 scoreline to repulse the attacking Pirates. The Pirates returned the favor the next day, going on a 7-1 binge to silence the crowd at Busch Stadium.
With their confidence boosted by the big win and a one-day break, the Pirates returned to PNC Park for Game 3, grinding out a 5-3 win to suddenly lead the series 2-1. The Cardinals buckled down to work and upset the 40,000-strong Pittsburgh crowd in Game 4 to even the series.
With the teams' seasons hanging in the balance, this has become more than a perfunctory match up of #1 and #4. Both teams have proven they belong in the off-season, and both can be worthy opponents for the waiting Dodgers.
St Louis will depend on Carlos Beltran for offense, as they have done the entire season. Beltran belted in two home runs in Game 3. Michael Wacha, the surprise package in the Cardinals' Game 4 win, pitched a one-hitter and is expected to reprise his performance in a relief role.
Pittsburgh is expected to lean on Pedro Alvarez, whose two home runs keyed the Pirates' surprise Game 2 win on the road. Alvarez also hit three home runs in the series Game 4 which Pittsburgh lost. Rookie phenom Geritt Cole, who has a 102-mph fastball, will start off for the Pirates.
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