Adam Wainwright. @ 7:07 tonight.
In the balance will hang a trip to the NLCS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. That's the macro.
Anytime 50 paid professionals get together knowing half of them will have to start all over on their professional goals, memorable things can, and often do, happen.
The micro, though, may be just as compelling.
I can't remember a time when Cardinal fans were so confident in something that to everyone else was closer to a toss-up.
Around your office or school or preferred message board, people are ready to celebrate a NLDS GM5 win tonight. This isn't a contest as much as a coronation of the inevitable.
Because Adam Wainwright at home.
The ace of the staff signed a 5 year, 97.5 million dollar contract extension before the start of the season. And the bulk of that money is earned from situations like tonight - a do or die game in the most literal of senses.
Trouble is, the Pirates are good. 12-11 against the Cardinals in 2013.
Trouble is, Gerrit Cole, the other pitcher, had a dominant start (in St. Louis) just days ago.
Trouble is, the Cardinals, can't seem to find their bats, hitting under .200 for the series.
Trouble is, the last time Adam Wainwright pitched in a NLDS GM5, it took a miracle comeback to win.
If I had to bet a dollar on the outcome of the game, you're right - I'm putting it on the Cardinals. Wainwright is a different pitcher in 2013 than 2012 (coming off Tommy John Surgery). But I'm also worried about the swag factor with Cardinal fans being a bit too juiced.
The Pirates of the previous 20 years would have folded long before the playoffs started. The 2013 version hasn't shown any indication that giving up is in their DNA.
We could be in for a classic. Let's just hope this reaction is the one we have this time too. Chris Carpenter sealed his legacy in a GM5, Mr. Wainwright can go a long way in securing his tonight.