Path to the NLDS: St. Louis (97-65) won the NL Central by three games; Pittsburgh (94-68) beat Cincinnati, 6-2, in the NL Wild Card Game.
Pittsburgh's long-awaited return to the postseason did not disappoint, as the exuberant Pirates fans got to see their club take down one NL Central foe in the Wild Card Game before taking on another rival in a thrilling five-game series. PNC Park was alive for the two games there, but Busch Stadium was home to St. Louis' Game 5 victory that sent the Cardinals on to the NLCS.
Gerrit Cole made two starts for the Pirates, scattering five hits over 11 innings for a 1-1 record in the series. He was outdone, though, by Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, who won both his starts and finished the series with a 1.13 ERA (two earned runs in 16 innings).
St. Louis' bullpen was spectacular, with Kevin Siegrist, Trevor Rosenthal, Edward Mujica, Seth Maness, Randy Choate and John Axford combining for eight scoreless innings in the series.
Pedro Alvarez (three home runs), Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau each had six hits for the Pirates in the series. St. Louis' Carlos Beltran only had four, but recorded six RBIs.