Saturday, September 23, 2023
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MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (55-70) at Pittsburgh Pirates (55-69)


THE KEYSTONE STATE TOUR: The Cardinals take to the road thru the Keystone State of Pennsylvania this week with three-game series in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Cardinals are seeking to snap a 4-game losing skid at PNC Park (0-3 this season) and will be facing the Phillies this coming weekend for the 1st time since dropping last season’s Wild Card Series (0-2). It will be the Redbirds first visit to Citizens Bank Park since July 1-3, 2022 – a series that featured a cycle by Nolan Arenado on July 1 and a record four consecutive homers by the Cardinals (Arenado, Gorman, Yepez & Carlson) on July 2.

FLIGHT PATTERN: The Cardinals snapped a 4-game losing streak with a 7-3 win over the Mets yesterday, completing a 3-4 (2-1 vs. OAK, 1-3 vs. NYM) homestand…St. Louis enters the day in 5th place in the NL Central, a season-low 13.0 games out of first and 10.0 games back in the NL Wild Card chase … St. Louis has spent 105 of 140 days in last place on the MLB schedule (April 26-May 19, May 29-July 7 & July 28-present) … This season is the Cardinals slowest start since 1995 when they were 53-72 (.424) after 125 games … St. Louis needs to finish 26-11 (.703) over their remaining 37 games to end with .500 record.

INSERT (CD) ROM FOR DEBUT: Rookie lefthanded pitcher Drew Rom (called CD by his cousins who live in Pittsburgh) has been recalled today from Memphis (AAA), and will start this evening’s game as he makes his Major League debut. Rom, 23, joins teammate Matthew Liberatore (5/21/22) among Cardinals starting pitchers to have debuted in Pittsburgh along with Alan Benes (1995), Ray Sadecki (1960) and Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean who tossed a threehit complete game in his first Major League start in 1930. Rom had a brief stint with Baltimore earlier this year, but never appeared in a game. He was acquired by the Cardinals on August 1 in a trade deadline deal that sent Jack Flaherty to the Orioles…Rom is the 7th Cardinal to debut this season and 3rd pitcher to do so.

THE MEMPHIS MOB: With the addition of pitcher Drew Rom to the active roster today, the Cardinals currently have nine players on the team with as many, if not more, games played at Memphis (AAA) then they do with St. Louis this season: 1B Luken Baker (84 Memphis games/12 St. Louis games); INF José Fermín (12/11); INF Taylor Motter (56/23); OF Richie Palacios (40/4); INF Masyn Winn (105/3); RHP Daktoa Hudson (11/11); RHP Casey Lawrence (3/1); LHP Drew Rom (2/0); LHP Andrew Suárez (28/5).

BOTTOM’S UP: This week’s series represents the first time since 1995 (Oct. 1) that the Cardinals (62-80, 4th) & Pirates (57-86, 5th) met each other while also sharing company as being either next-to-last or in last place in the Division after August 1. (Elias)

OH BROTHER: Cardinals outfielder Richie Palacios (who made a HR robbing catch in CF yesterday) will match-up this series against his older brother Josh of the Pirates. Earlier this year, the Cardinals Willson Contreras matched up against his younger bother William with Milwaukee. Other Cardinals who have faced their brother in the opposite dugout include Yadier Molina, who played against his brother Jose in 2014. Yadi also had meetings against his brother Bengie as recently as 2010. Cardinals Asst. GM & Director of Scouting Randy Flores and his brother, Ron, played against each other in 2007 while Randy was pitching for St. Louis. (Elias)

WAINO TURNS 18 BEFORE 42: Adam Wanwright is celebrating 18.000 years/days of Major League service today, just nine days before he celebrates his 42nd birthday
(August 30). Also of note, the Reds Joey Votto hits the 16.000 MLS milestone today. Miguel Cabrera (20.074) and Zack Grenike (19.030) are only other active players to have hit that mark. (thanks to Rob Butcher/Reds PR).

WINN-SANITY: Masyn Winn (age 21-150) on Friday became the 11th starting MLB shortstop since 2000 age 21.150 or younger to record a hit in his MLB debut and the 4th-youngest Cardinals starting shortstop to do so behind Garry Templeton (20-138) on Aug. 9, 1976, Creepy Crespi (20.210) on Sept. 14, 1938, and Tommy Thevenow (20.364) on Sept. 4, 1924…Winn had his 1st career two-hit game yesterday and has already legged out two infield singles. FRIENDS: Yesterday’s win was the 1st in which fellow rookies and close friends Winn and Jordan Walker shared hits in the same game.

SWISS ARMY KNIFE: This season, Gold Glover Tommy Edman has appeared defensively at shortstop (44G), center field (30G), and right field (8G), and 31 games at second base to join Pittsburgh’s Ji Hwan Bae (44 at 2B and 45 in CF) as the only two Major Leaguers this season to have appeared in 30+ games at both second base and center field this season … Prior to Edman, the only two Cardinals in franchise history to have done so were Tommy Dowd (48 at 2B and 78 in CF) in 1896 and Joe Delahanty (47 at 2B and 46 in CF) in 1909 … Including Edman’s 44 games at shortstop this season, Tommy has already become the only player in MLB history to play 7 or more games at second base, shortstop, and center field in a single season.


  • Making his Major League debut for the Cardinals after being acquired from the Orioles at the trade deadline with two minor leaguers for RHP Jack Flaherty.
  • Was recalled for two days May 9-10 with Baltimore, but did not see any game action.
  • Becomes the 7th Cardinals player to make his Major League debut this season and third pitcher with RHP Guillermo Zuñiga (5/2 vs. LAA) and RHP Kyle Leahy (7/7 at CWS).
  • Is the most recent Cardinal pitcher to make his MLB debut in a start at PNC Park since Matthew Liberatore on May 21, 2022.
  • Made two starts in Memphis (AAA) and held his opposition to one hit in each start throwing five and six innings.
  • Struck out 10 batters in his Memphis Redbirds debut, the second double-digit strikeout game of his career.
  • In 89 career minor league starts (101 app), has posted a 34-15 record with a 3.71 ERA averaging 10.6 strikeouts/9 IP.


  • In his second start for Memphis (AAA), faced his former team Norfolk and fired 6.0 scoreless innings of one-hit ball with eight strikeouts en route to a 5-0 win.
  • Was his second straight start limiting his opponent to one hit as a member of the Cardinals organization since being acquired.
    8/15 NOR W 5-0 W-9 6.0 1 0 0 2 8 0 87-54


THE PIRATES: Went 2-4 on their road trip against the Mets and Twins…Have gone 14-15 in their last 29 games since losing each of their first five games following the All-Star break…Have lost three straight series after going 2-0-3 in their previous five.

THE DEFINITION OF HEART AND HUSTLE: Prior to tonight’s game former Pirate Matt Capps will present this year’s Heart and Hustle Award to David Bednar…The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced earlier this month that Bednar is the Pittsburgh Pirates winner of this year’s Heart and Hustle Award…The Heart and Hustle Award recognizes one player on each Major League team who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.

PLAY RENEGADE: Since the beginning of last season, David Bednar is tied for third among all National League pitchers with 45 saves…The only two National Leaguers with more saves in that time are Josh Hader (63) and Camilo Doval (60)…Bednar comes into today ranked fifth in the National League in saves (26), fifth among NL relievers in ERA (2.12) and first in home runs allowed per 9.0 innings (0.18). AND THE WHIFF: The Pirates recorded 16 strikeouts in yesterday’s loss at Minnesota, which was one shy of their season-high of 17 on May 14 at Baltimore…The Pirates have struck out a total of 180 batters this month, which ranks first in all of MLB.

SETTING UP THE SERIES: This is the first time the Pirates and Cardinals have faced each other since June 2-4 when Pittsburgh swept a three-game series here at PNC Park…Pittsburgh has gone 5-2 this year against St. Louis…The Pirates will return to Busch Stadium for one more series this season next month from September 1-3.

OH BROTHER: Tonight Joshua Palacios will play against his younger brother Richie for the first time as big leaguers…The Palacios’ have played on the same teams as each other three times in their lives…The first time was for a World Series tournament with the Sayo Grays in 2011 when Joshua was 16 and Richie was 14 years old…The two were also teammates last year in the Roberto Clemente Baseball League for winter ball with the Mayaguez Indios (the team won the championship)…The two were also teammates this spring while representing the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic…The Palacios’ are expecting approximately 40 friends and family members for tonight’s game.

THOMAS THE PIRATE: Thomas Hatch will open tonight’s game, which will be the fifth start of his big league career…Hatch made his last big league start on July 2, 2022, against Tampa Bay in his only game in the big leagues last year with Toronto…His big league debut came in a start on July 26, 2020, at Tampa Bay, where he struck out three batters in 2.1 scoreless innings.

THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK: According to Stats Perform, Endy Rodríguez is tied for fifth in Pirates history for most games caught to begin a Major League career without making a error… The only other Pirates backstops to have a longer errorless streak to begin their careers are Milt May (34 games from April 18, 1971 to May 21, 1972), Orlando McFarlane (33 games from April 23, 1962 to August 23, 1964), Humberto Cota (32 games from September 20, 2001 to August 20, 2004), Ed Ott (29 games from September 16, 1975 to June 4, 1977) and Ed Fernandes (27 games from June 9, 1940 to September 28, 1940).

REYNOLDS ROLLING: Bryan Reynolds has a .931 OPS in his last 28 games dating back one month ago today…Reynolds has also recorded 68 total bases since July 21…The only three National League players to record more total bases in that time are Pete Alonso (77), Freddie Freeman (70) and Austin Riley (70).

THOMAS HATCH: The 28-year-old righthander will make his fourth appearance (first start) with the Pirates tonight…He made six relief appearances with Toronto this season before being claimed off waivers on 8/6.

VS. ST. LOUIS: Has never faced the Cardinals.

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