The club's season-long storyline is familiar to that of the Cardinals' last season when they waited until September to make a postseason push on their way to World Series title.
The D-backs will try to emulate St. Louis' stunning run as they look to take down the Cardinals for the first time this year on Wednesday when the two clubs meet for the second game of a three-game set.
Taking the hill for Arizona will be veteran lefty Joe Saunders. In his last outing, the 31-year-old shut down the Pirates over seven innings, allowing just two earned runs as the D-backs won, 6-3.
The victory came in spite of Saunders having a shaky second inning. The Pirates grabbed the lead as they scored three times, making the southpaw work hard during the frame, as he threw 30 pitches.
"The second inning was not much fun," Saunders said. "I was making pretty good pitches. They were still finding holes. I just kept telling myself, 'Hey, keep making good pitches and keep pounding the strike zone and it's going to start going your way.' I'm going to try to stay as positive as I could."
Adam Wainwright will start for St. Louis. He threw his second complete game of his season on Aug. 4, allowing one run against the Brewers. He followed that up with seven innings of one-run ball against the Giants. In six starts since the All-Star break, he has a 2.32 ERA.
"Every game is so important now," Matheny said. "Home or road, it doesn't matter who we're playing. The urgency of every game right now is all over us, and I think that's the way the guys are going about playing the game right now."
Cardinals: Rosenthal back up
After a brief stint in Triple-A, Trevor Rosenthal was recalled to St. Louis on Tuesday to replace reliever Brian Fuentes, who has been placed on the restricted list.
Rosenthal threw a scoreless inning on July 18 in his first appearance with the Cardinals, and posted a 4.50 ERA in four outings before having been optioned to Triple-A on Aug. 1. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said there is no particular plan in place for how the club intends to use Rosenthal.
"He gives us another right-handed arm, obviously, but also gives us some depth when you have a pitcher that can go long with high pitch counts," said Matheny. "He's still in the process of working himself into tougher innings, but right now, he's healthy and ready to go and we're excited to have him back."
Rosenthal made the jump straight from Double-A to the Majors earlier this season, and was 8-6 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 starts with Springfield. His two starts with Triple-A Memphis after a brief stint in the big leagues were the first of his career.
D-backs: Saito goes to the DL
D-backs reliever Takashi Saito was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained left hamstring and left-hander Mike Zagurski had his contract selected from Triple-A Reno.
Signed as a free agent during the offseason, Saito has spent more time on the DL than on the active roster. He missed the first 93 games of the season with a calf injury and an upper respiratory infection.
After compiling a 6.14 ERA in 10 appearances, he began to experience discomfort in his hamstring.
"He's had a hard time staying healthy all year," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
The D-backs have scored five or more runs 59 times, most in the National League and second-most in the Majors behind the Yankees (67). The club is 48-11 in those games.
The Cardinals have won all four meetings against the D-backs this season.