Matt Adams‘ 3-run home run sent the St. Louis Cardinals into the National League Championship Series (NLCS) for the fourth year in a row.
For a team that only hit 105 home runs (29th in the MLB, last in the NL) during the regular season, they turned the power on during the 2014 National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals led all postseason teams with seven home runs and their 18 RBI were second only to the Baltimore Orioles (20). The club’s 18 runs scored were second only to the Baltimore Orioles (21).
As a team, though, the Cardinals didn’t really hit the ball. They batted .238/.294/.452 but they hit the ball when it counted. Their .425 slugging percentage ranked first in the postseason.
Going back to the 3-run blast off the bat of Matt Holliday in Game 1, every Cardinals run scored had come as a result of a home run. The Cardinals ranked 20th this season in hitting home runs off of left-handed pitching with 33 home runs.
The regular season doesn’t matter right now. Staying alive in the postseason does. The Cardinals are alive and will be taking on the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS for the second time in three years.
Since MLB instituted the NLCS in 1969, the Cardinals have made an NL-record 13 appearances including the 2014 NLCS. The team holds a 7-5 record all-time with losses coming in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2012.
To date, the Cardinals have won 10 of 12 Division Series and are 32-15 all-time in NLDS play.