St. Louis Cardinals: Celebrating the anniversary of 2019 NLDS Game 5

A year ago today, the St. Louis Cardinals finished off the Braves in a historic way. Let’s look back at the highlight of 2019.

Ah 2019, simpler times. Way back when fans could be in stands, seasons were 162 games long, and the St. Louis Cardinals won the NL Central. Things were different back then, but that didn’t stop the usual grimace of being angry with the Cardinals.

After winning the NL Central in 2019 with Jekyll and Hyde offense, the Cardinals moved on to face the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. Much like this year, the Braves had a stellar offense and subpar pitching. Also much like this year, the Cardinals were the complete opposite.

Coming into the series, most experts had picked the Braves due to their stellar offense, but the Cardinal pitching wouldn’t let the expert picks get them down.

The series ended up being very close. In Game 1, the Cardinals bashed the Braves’ bullpen after Dallas Keuchel and Miles Mikolas put together great starts, taking the first game 7-6. After that, Mike Foltynewicz pitched the game of his life, outpitching Jack Flaherty and leading the Braves to a 3-0 victory in Game 2.

Heading back to St. Louis for Game 3, the Braves got to Carlos Martinez at the end of the game and won 3-1. Game 4 was won on the back of Yadier Molina poking the ball over Freddie Freeman‘s head at first to tie it in the 8th before winning it on a sac fly in the 10th. It was in this game where blood began to boil over and it set up a huge Game 5 back in Atlanta, exactly one year ago today.

The Braves took a bet on Mike Foltynewicz repeating his Game 2 performance and the Cardinals put their chips in Jack Flaherty’s corner once again. Thankfully for Flaherty, the pressure was off of him before he even stepped to the mound.

After a leadoff walk to Dexter Fowler to start the game, Kolten Wong bunted to move Fowler over, making the first out of the inning. After that, the next out wouldn’t be recorded for 10 batters. In between the first out and the final out of the inning, the Cardinals exploded for an MLB-record 10 runs in the first inning. 

When Flaherty did finally take the mound, the game was already over. The Cardinals pulled Flaherty after 6.0 innings of one-run ball and won the game 13-1, breaking the hearts of Atlantians and sending the Braves packing.

We don’t need to talk about what happened after the NLDS, but this game was certainly the high point of the 2019 season.

Now in 2020, it’s the Braves who are moving onto the NLCS with former Cardinal Marcell Ozuna after they embarrassed the Marlins in the NLDS.

Next: Alex Reyes deserves an expanded role in 2021

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Even though the Cardinals made their early exit, it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t have shared a similar fate as the Padres (three-game sweep) going up against the mighty Dodgers. No matter how 2020 or the 2019 NLCS went, we will always have the fond memory of the record-breaking offensive performance by the Cardinals on October 9th.