Twenty two year old Michael Wacha went into the eighth inning with a no hitter before Pirates' Jose Alvarez took him deep to pull the Buccos within one in Game Four of the NLDS. Monday's outing proved the rookie was up to the task of handling the pressure of a sold-out PNC Park crowd totaling more than 40,000. It's a very pleasant surprise, given the young star only had 15 appearances all year, and only 9 starts.
The Cards' bats were held in check, for the most part. Only tallying three hits in the ballgame isn't exactly what you would call a dominating offensive performance, but Matt Holiday's two-run bomb in the sixth was enough to hold off the struggling Pirates offense.
The Red Birds seem to play their best with their backs against the wall. Since Mike Matheny took over in 2011, the Cardinals are 7-1 in elimination games. They'll have another coming up Wednesday when the series returns to Busch Stadium for Game Five.
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