The St. Louis Cardinals’ biggest problem all season came back to roost in Game 3 against the Padres. With no offense, the Cards were quietly eliminated.
Despite all of our hopes and dreams, Friday was not a fun day for the St. Louis Cardinals or their fans.
With their series tied at one going into a winner-take-all Game 3, the Cardinals had Jack Flaherty taking on the worn-out San Diego bullpen. Flaherty hadn’t been the same player fans were used to seeing in 2019, but in any must-win game, the Cardinals gladly put their faith in Flaherty.
As we had hoped, Flaherty pitched a vintage game. Over six innings, Flaherty gave up just one run on six hits and two walks. He struck out eight Padres and gave the Cardinals every chance to win.
Sadly though, just like we have seen so many times over the past two years, the Cardinals’ offense went quiet and Flaherty’s masterful start was wasted.
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Facing off against Craig Stammen to begin the game, Stammen gave up just one hit to Dylan Carlson over 1.2 innings. After that, Jayce Tingler utilized eight other relievers in the game. In total, the Cardinals’ offense put up just four hits, taking three walks and striking out eight times. Tell me if you’ve heard this before: on the night, the Cardinals went 0-6 with runners in scoring position.
Towards the end of the game, things truly started to fall apart. After Flaherty was lifted, Alex Reyes was brought in to eat some innings. In the seventh, the defense let him down, making two errors behind him, ultimately causing the Padres’ lead to jump to 3-0. A solo homer to Jake Cronenworth in the 8th capped off the Padres’ scoring and the Cardinals went quietly in the ninth, with Trevor Rosenthal striking out the side, all looking.
It was a historically bad day offensively for the Cardinals as no team had ever used nine pitchers in a shutout before.
Look at that, the Cardinals have a record-breaking offense!
The Cardinals faced multiple Padre relievers who were pitching for their third day in a row, but it seemingly didn’t matter. The Padres are moving on to face the Dodgers in the NLDS even after the Cardinals took the first game of the series.
The day just kept getting worse as after the game, the news came out that Cardinal legend Bob Gibson had passed away at 84. The outpouring of love for Gibson drowned out the hate from the game, but for many, it just turned anger to sadness.
After the NL Central sent four teams to the postseason, the Cardinals were the only team to get a win. The rest of the playoffs now continue with all East or West coast teams, leaving things a bit lonely now. Soon, the Cardinals’ offseason can begin and we can truly figure out if there will be strides made to fix the offense this winter. At the end of the day, we were all just lucky to have baseball at all this year.