The St. Louis Cardinals clinched a berth to the 2013 NLCS with a 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates were playing in the postseason for the first time since 1992 and their fans should be proud of what they did this season. There’s nothing to be upset about.
The Cardinals did what has been a frequent occurrence and advanced to the NLCS. Since Tony La Russa was hired as the manager in 1996, the Cardinals have advanced to the NLCS in 1996, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Mike Matheny has now managed his first two St. Louis teams to the NLCS.
In the sixth inning, Jay added an insurance run when he knocked in Matt Holliday on an grounder to center.
The Pirates scored in the top of the seventh after Pete Kozma goofed and through it to first instead of second base for the force out. What would have been the end of an inning turned into an inning being extended and gave the Pirates an opportunity to score. It was the first blunder by Kozma on the night after laying out to make some diving catches earlier in the evening.
Needing more insurance runs, Matt Adams hit a long ball to right field and Holliday scored. Kozma added another run on an infield single.
Wainwright pitched a complete game in front of 47,231 fans. Wainwright allowed nine hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and struck out six. He joined Cardinals pantheon with Chris Carpenter, Bob Gibson, Dizzy Dean, and Danny Cox with pitching a complete game for the Cardinals in the postseason.
“I wanted it bad,” Wainwright said in an MLB.com article. “I wanted it bad. I kind of got nervous a little bit. I don’t get a whole lot of nerves usually when I pitch. But before I pitched today, I was pretty nervous. It’s hard not to think back to what happened in Game 5 last year. I just wanted to prove I could go out there and be a good playoff pitcher. So, I’m just so fired up for this team and this city right now.”
The Cardinals will now host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday and Saturday. The game will be seen on TBS. St. Louis Cardinals tickets are available for the NLCS here.