St. Louis entered Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader in Pittsburgh with a magic number of two, and that number remained two after an ugly 8-2 afternoon loss to Gerrit Cole and the second-place Pirates.
But it looks like there may be a division-clinching ceremony in the visitors clubhouse following the nightcap.
Jhonny Peralta and Matt Adams both drove in runs off Game 2 starter Charlie Morton in the top of the first inning to give the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead. St. Louis then loaded the bases off Morton with no outs in top of the third, and Jason Heyward promptly obliterated this delivery from reliever Bobby LaFromboise …
Start the countdown now. This would be the third straight division title for the Cardinals.
Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates released Francisco Cervelli. Yesterday he was signed by the Braves. Atlanta gave him the start behind the plate and he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in to help his new team to victory over the Mets. Welcome to Atlanta, Frankie.
Cervelli had been rehabbing from a concussion and hadn’t seen big league action since late May. He was ready to come back, though, and the Pirates — who are going nowhere — gave him his release so that he might join a contender for the stretch run.
The performance he put up last night, obviously will not be the norm for him going forward. But it’s also the case that his early 2019 batting line of .193/.279/.248 is not indicative of his talent level either. He posted an .809 OPS (122 OPS+) in 2018, and if he gives Atlanta anything even approaching his usual production it’ll help stabilize a shaky catching situation for the Braves.