2015 NLDS: Matt Holliday Takes a Holiday and the Cards Lose
By Chris Gigley
The final score of NLDS Game Four doesn’t look so bad on paper, but the Chicago Cubs’ victory over the St. Louis Cardinals looked a lot worse for the Cardinals in person. And on TV. And even on the MLB.com Gameday statcast.
Desperation was in the air for the Cardinals long before first pitch, when manager Mike Matheny decided to start a 36-year old John Lackey on short rest. The righthander gave up four earned runs on four hits and a walk in three innings of work. Lackey also struck out five.
After Adam Wainwright was his usual stellar self for two scoreless innings of work, Kevin Seigrist came in and picked up right where he left off from in Game Three. After giving up a solo shot to Anthony Rizzo in the fifth inning on Sunday, the exact same thing happened in Game Four. Kyle Schwarber also homered off Siegrist, hangin the righthander with the loss.
Wonder whether a league-high 81 appearances during the regular season finally got to Siegrist.
It doesn’t matter. It’s hard to pick on pitching when key cogs in the Cardinal offense barely showed up. Outfielder Matt Holliday in particular. His final at-bat of Game Four exemplified the series for him. With Steven Piscotty on first with a walk, Holliday hit a Fernando Rodney hanging changeup to deep left center. Schwarber caught it just in front of the warning track. Close, but no cigar.
Veteran shortstop Jhonny Peralta was also MIA for the series. He singled and scored in the top of the sixth of Game Four, but he ended the NLDS batting an anemic .143 with an equally weak .414 OPS.
Outfielder/first baseman Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run shot in the first to give the Cardinals the early lead, continuing his strong showing in his first playoff series. He finished with a very un-Peralta .375 postseason batting average and 1.444 OPS. That’ll be a nice thing to keep Cards fans warm over the winter.
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But, it wasn’t enough tonight. The season is over for St. Louis. And now, as the Cubs have done for so many years, the Cardinals just have to wait ’til next year.