April 4: Cardinals (2-1) @ Pirates (2-1)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

wpid-0404141546a.jpgThe Cardinals are back in Pittsburgh, where the tarp is on the field but the forecast is nevertheless promising for this evening. That’s welcome news for everyone after sitting through six hours and 22 minutes of rain delays over the past two days.

You never want to overplay the significance of a three-game series in April, but this is certainly an intriguing one. The Pirates were the final team the Cardinals had to hold off to win the NL Central last season, and they then met them again in what turned out to be a tremendous five-game NL Division Series. Manager Mike Matheny later called the Cardinals’ October games in Pittsburgh as some of the best baseball atmospheres he has ever experienced.

Only early bragging rights are on the line this weekend. Both clubs won their opening series, with the Pirates beating the Cubs on walk-off hits both times. The Cardinals won two games by a one-run margin, too.

You can read the full game preview here; it also includes comments from tonight’s starter Shelby Miller about his readiness for a fresh start against the Pirates. He went winless in four outings against Pittsburgh last season.

UPDATE (5:35 pm CT): The game will not start on time, as rain is expected to hit Pittsburgh around the time of the scheduled first pitch. The start will likely be delayed by about an hour.

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