In the early going it looked like it was going to be an early night for Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez. Through the first four innings he gave up four extra base hits including an RBI double in the first and a home run in the fourth. He even hit a batter. Down 3-1, Martinez settled in and the Cardinals rallied with a three-run fifth inning. From there, Martinez bowled his way through the Pittsburgh lineup to go eight innings in a 4-3 win.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he was left with no other choice, but to stick with Martinez.
“Right then we needed our best pitcher, and to me he was the best pitcher we had for that situation, and I think he proved that,” said Matheny.
Martinez ended the night matching his career high for innings, striking out eight with one walk, and allowing one runner in scoring position his last three innings. His record improved to 12-4 with a 2.62 ERA. Numbers that are worthy enough to get him into Cy Young Award consideration.
The Cardinals are 72-40 overall, at 32 over .500 it matches the season’s high water mark, and 41-16 at home — both major league bests.
Wednesday’s game features two more pitchers who are Cy Young candidates. The Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (14-5, 2.39), who leads the NL in wins and Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (13-4, 2.92) who is right behind will get the start. Cole is 0-3 with a 5.95 ERA in four starts against the Cardinals and 14-2 with a 1.82 ERA in his other 18 starts.