Oct 6, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
NLDS GAME 3: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS at PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Series: Tied, 1-1
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Gametime: 4:30 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from RF
Starting pitchers: STL RHP Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69) vs. PIT LHP Francisco Liriano (16-8, 3.02)
After bouncing back big-time to take Game 2 at Busch Stadium, the Pirates have to like their chances moving forward. They’ve got Francisco Liriano pitching at PNC Park (where he’s 9-1 with a 1.43 ERA this season, including Tuesday’s Wild Card victory) and against the Cardinals (who he went 3-0 with an 0.75 ERA against this year). They beat St. Louis in 7-of-10 matchups at home. And they should have another raucous crowd behind them, something that made a huge difference in their convincing win over the Reds on Tuesday.
But don’t sleep on Joe Kelly, either. The young Cardinals right-hander went 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA in six appearances (three starts) against Pittsburgh this season, including two of his team’s three wins at PNC. St. Louis will need a solid start out of Kelly, but it also needs a return to form offensively after some surprise struggles in key situations so far in this series. After setting an MLB record with a team .330 batting average with runners in scoring position, the Cards are only 2-for-15 in those situations in the NLDS.
NLDS GAME 3: ATLANTA BRAVES at LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Series: Tied, 1-1
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Gametime: 8 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Sunny, 83 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to RF
Starting pitchers: ATL Julio Teheran (14-8, 3.20) vs. LAD LHP Hyun-jin Ryu (14-8, 3.00)
Faced with something of a must-win game Friday night, the Braves came through in a big way, pulling out a 4-3 victory at Turner Field to even this series up. Now they head west to L.A., where they split a four-game series in early June. That, of course, was before Yasiel Puig made his MLB debut and before the Dodgers went on their remarkable run of 42 wins in 50 games.
Both teams send rookies to the mound for Game 3, though it’s a bit of a misnomer in the case of Hyun-jin Ryu, the 26-year-old South Korean who signed a six-year contract with the Dodgers over the winter and instantly became a key member of their division-winning staff. The left-hander displayed impressive consistency all season, allowing three or fewer earned runs in 25 of his 30 starts and never allowing more than five.
Julio Teheran made only four big-league starts prior to this season but flourished in his first full season with the Braves. The 22-year-old right-hander improved with his experience, posting a 2.97 ERA after the All-Star break and going 7-3 over his final 10 starts.
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