St. Louis Cardinals: With their backs against the wall, this could be it
By Matt Graves
The St. Louis Cardinals have their backs to the wall after blowing the game yesterday. With Dakota Hudson on the mound, what are their chances looking like?
It would’ve been on-par with postseason baseball to write about the takeaways or recap the St. Louis Cardinals game from yesterday, but I just couldn’t. As most Cardinals fans felt, there was no happiness after the bullpen blew the lead.
Adam Wainwright pitched like we haven’t seen him pitch in a long time as the 38-year-old threw 7.2 innings of four-hit ball without giving up a run. Mike Soroka on the other side more or less matched Waino as he gave up just one run on two hits over 7.0 innings. Both pitchers did amazing jobs despite the 16-year difference in age.
In a heartbreaking turn of events though, Carlos Martinez allowed three runs in the 9th inning leading to the loss in the end. Mike Shildt’s managing in the 9th can definitely be debated, but in the end, a loss is a loss.
Hopping on Twitter after the game, it was not a very fun place to be. All sorts of angry fans took to the interwebs to share their takes after the Cardinals fell behind in the series. As all fans know, the game today could be the very last Cardinals game of 2019. Their backs are against the wall and they are going to have to step up in every sense of the word.
The Braves are putting Game 1 starter Dallas Keuchel back on the mound after he threw 4.2 innings on Thursday of last week. The Cardinals were mostly unable to hit the slow pitching lefty (wow, we’ve never said that before) but after seeing him just four days ago, they might have better luck. The other benefit could come from Keuchel being on short rest.
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For the Cardinals, rookie Dakota Hudson will take the mound in his first-ever postseason appearance. The 25-year-old has never thrown this many innings before in a season but didn’t show any signs of slowing down at the end of the year. In Hudson’s last five starts of the season, he had a stellar 2.33 ERA over 27.0 innings.
The Cardinals are (frustratingly) sticking with the same lineup that mustered just one run Sunday. The biggest question of the day, if the Cardinals have a lead, is undoubtedly going to be who Mike Shildt turns to in the 9th inning. I’m sure fans will riot if Martinez even begins to warm up, but debating this is a topic for another article.
After an amazing Game 1, it seems much too quick for it all to be over already. The Cardinals have battled their way off the ropes in the past and can do it again, it just won’t be easy.
I predict they don’t go out without a fight today.
Must-win games are always gut-wrenching and I’m sure this afternoon’s game will be no different. It’s frustrating to see fans giving up already as if the team does win today, Jack Flaherty gets the ball again on Wednesday. If today is it for the 2019 Cardinals, at least they had a good run.