The St. Louis Cardinals are back in the NLCS for the first time in five years. Let’s look back at the historic game that got them there.
The St. Louis Cardinals did it. Many of us didn’t think they’d make it this far, but after destroying the hearts of Braves fans everywhere in a 13-1 victory in NLDS Game 5.
The Braves were let down by their Game 2 starter Mike Foltynewicz who, after pitching the game of his life last Friday, didn’t get two outs before he was pulled. The game situation called for Folty to be pulled quickly, but he did end up responsible for six earned runs in that first inning.
For the Cardinals offense, it all started with a leadoff walk to Dexter Fowler. The tone was clearly and quickly different as they were just not chasing Folty’s breaking balls the way they did in Game 2. After a bunt by Kolten Wong to get Fowler to second, two consecutive singles by Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna brought in the game’s first run.
From there, every single Cardinal batter would either walk or get a hit until Goldy batted for the second time and flew out making the second out of the inning. In the first inning, the Cardinals received four walks, hit two singles and three doubles. All this output led to a historic 10-run inning.
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By historic, I mean that the 10 runs scored in the first inning were the most scored in a single inning in postseason history. All of the output was done without hitting a homer either.
Batting and running the bases before he even threw a pitch, Jack Flaherty came out a little stale in the bottom of the first inning but ended up going 6.0 innings allowing just one solo homer which would end up being the only run of the day for the Braves.
There was an argument for pulling Flaherty early with such a big lead, but I agree with Mike Shildt’s decision to just let him get his pitches in and make sure the lead is intact.
In all, the game ended with the Cardinals celebrating at SunTrust Park and on their way to the first NLCS trip in five years. in 2014, the Cardinals were tragically escorted out of the playoffs by Travis Ishikawa and the Giants.
Hopefully, the Cardinals have better luck this year. After a wild game in Los Angeles, the Cardinals are going to be facing off against a Nationals team that unexpectedly knocked off the 106-win Dodgers in five games as well.
As was written before, if the game had been flipped, there wouldn’t have been any reason for Cardinals fans to be upset or angry. For both teams, pushing a very balanced NLDS series to the final possible game is a win. I don’t think anyone figured the final game would go as it did, but it’s nothing to be mad at for Braves fans.
The NLDS was a series that saw the Cardinals get tied up in some controversy. There were definitely some tempers rising and had this been a seven-game series or had Game 5 been closer, there could’ve been some conflict. The Cardinals took the higher road though and beat them on the field, as they should’ve done.
Looking ahead, the NLCS starts tomorrow in St. Louis. We are going to try and get as much preview up as we can before the series starts as there’s plenty to go on with the pitching heavy Nationals coming to town. For now, just enjoy the Cardinals win over the Braves.