So far this postseason, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has leaned heavily on his rookie starter, Michael Wacha, and Wacha has come through both times.
The first time was in the NLDS, when the Cardinals were facing elimination against the Pirates. All Wacha proceeded to do was to throw 7.1 no-hit innings, before giving up a homer in the 8th in the Cardinals 2-1 win.
Then, in game two on the NLCS, Wacha had to square off against Dodgers ace and likely Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw. Wacha was again up to the task and out-dueled the Dodgers' lefty in a 1-0 Cardinals win.
Tomorrow night in St. Louis, those two pitchers will square off again, as the Cardinals and Wacha look to clinch the NL pennant.
The pressure should not be as great on Wacha as it was in game 4 of the NLDS, as the Cards are up 3 games to 2 and have Adam Wainwright waiting in the wings should game 7 become necessary.
However, I'm sure the Cardinals (and all their fans) would prefer to wrap this up tomorrow night and save Wainwright for game one of the World Series.
It won't be an easy task, as its difficult enough to beat Kershaw, let alone beat him twice in one series. Kershaw is 1-1 this postseason, with a miniscule 0.47 ERA. However, he's also given up 3 unearned runs, including the deciding run in game 2 against the Cards.
For his part, Wacha has been just as impressive this postseason, going 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA. Having now faced him once, the Dodgers will have a better idea of what to expect from the Cardinals' youngster. That doesn't necessarily mean they'll be able to hit it.
In any case, tomorrow's game is shaping up to be another pitcher's duel, so break out the Rolaids.