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Cardinals force Game 5 against Pirates behind gem from Michael Wacha

Oct 7, 2013, 6:25 PM EDT

Michael Wacha Getty Getty Images

With their backs against the wall, the Cardinals turned to rookie right-hander Michael Wacha this afternoon to keep their season alive. And he delivered in his first career postseason start.

Wacha took a no-hitter in the eighth inning as the Cardinals defeated the Pirates 2-1 to force a Game 5 in the NLDS. The 22-year-old was sensational, striking out nine while walking a pair and had a perfect game through five innings. He didn’t give up his first hit until Pedro Alvarez hit a long solo homer with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal followed to get the final five outs of the ballgame.

The only offense of the day for the Cardinals was a two-run homer by Matt Holliday off Charlie Morton in the top of the sixth inning. But it was enough to put St. Louis in position for the victory.

The series is now tied 2-2 and will head back to St. Louis for a deciding Game 5 on Wednesday. Adam Wainwright will be on the hill for St. Louis while Pittsburgh will go with rookie right-hander Gerrit Cole.

  1. stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Helluva game. Wacha pitched a gem. Tried for the no hitter again. Of course, Carlos and Rosenthal made it far more interesting then it had to be. Now it’s back to the Lou’ for game five with Waino and Cole on the hill. I fully expect another nail biter. Go Cardinals!

  2. hustleandflomax - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    I am really looking forward to seeing what this kid will do in his career. Exceptional arm, great control and uncanny poise for a rookie. I would say the same about Gerrit Cole, too. These two guys will be dominating the NL Central for years to come. Great to see Pittsburgh in the thick of things again. Hopefully this is the start of a really fun and intense rivalry!

  3. paperlions - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    I would like to, once again, extend my thanks to Albert Pujols for all he did and continues to do for the Cardinal franchise. Thanks man, you are the best.

  4. happytwinsfan - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    damned cards, wallowing in their pervasive, maddeningly persistent, mid market excellence.

    don’t make the buccos go 1987 on yo ass

  5. savior72 - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    LOL paperlions. He musta been on the edge of his seat watching this game.

    • gibbyfan - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      As I was watching the game today –all the fans holding their breath on every pitch—I was thinking that we fans probably get far more wrapped up in things than the players themselves. I am sure they all have very full lives with the extreme wealth most have—Case in point–do you really think Albert was even watching the game—My Guess—not so much.

  6. cohnjusack - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Last two games for Wacha

    2 – 0
    16 IP
    2 hits
    3 BB
    18 strikeouts
    1 ER
    0.56 ERA

  7. savior72 - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Gibbyfan- you made no “case in point” that’s usually an example of something similar that happened that you can relate to the point you’re trying to make. Who really knows what AP was doing tonite. I know this, he’s a fierce competitor and an A student of the game, so odds are he was watching.

    • gibbyfan - Oct 8, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      We could argue semantics savior, but a cas in point can be a hypotheitical to make a point. especially when dealing with something as subjective as a comparative measures and rationality of fan enthusiasm. Neither of us knows what Albert is thinking or doing, but, we do know that he and the rest of the people that we are so passionate about know absolutely nothing about us,nor care. So,I guess the very fact that we are discussing something on here that has absolutely no bearing on our lives may be a much more appropriate case in point—

  8. ppens1 - Oct 8, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    Cole struck out five on the day. The young right-hander allowed a solo shot to Yadier Molina in the fifth inning but was otherwise in control all day, retiring 11 in a row at one point and only twice allowing a runner to reach second base. We’ll have to see what Pirates manager Clint Hurdle says, but it would be a surprise if Cole doesn’t get the ball in a potential Game 5 now given the contrast of his and A.J. Burnett’s performances in St. Louis. Oct 4 – 5:02 PM

  9. spudchukar - Oct 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    First off I want to thank HBT for the wonderful coverage of the Cards/Pirates match-up. The updates were timely, informative, and tribute to your devotion to the less appreciated NL Central. Too often games in this division go relatively unnoticed, and your up to the minute attention of a near play-off no-hitter, late inning homers, and gut-wrenching final outs is unmatched.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      On point Spud. I couldn’t agree more. 1st thing I thought when logging on during the game was…where the hell are all the updates? It matters not…feed em’ beans.

  10. savior72 - Oct 8, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Ok I get it, your a nut. Never mind .

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