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Despite Bueno Waino, Braves Win 3-1

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Carlos can’t make 1-0 lead stick in 9th; Braves lead series 2-1

MLB: NLDS-Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals
YadiHug™
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Home. Where the heart is.

Busch III provides you all the comforts of home.
Maybe it’s your home away from home.
No matter where you are, rooting for your Cardinals hits home.

The outcome sent the Cards’ fans home disappointed, but there’s hope yet.


“Show-Me” Cards fan welcomed the boys back to town...

Cards worked to keep your home-Field of Dreams alive.


It was unsurprising the team earned a split in the Hotlanta suburban desert, but that the one win came on Miles’ start, not Jack’s, was unexpected. Back at home in the bosom of Busch stadium and proper baseball post-season weather in the high 60s, not 90s, it was veteran-y savvy vs. the wilds of youth, as your 14-year stalwart Adam Wainwright was up against rookie righty Mike Soroka.

Another tidy story line from this match-up was the extreme splits each pitcher exhibited through this season, most obviously exemplified in their ERAs. Waino came in with an ERA at home more than half his road version: 2.56 vs. 6.22. Similarly, and oppositely, Soroka’s road ERA was more than half his home ERA: 1.55 vs. 4.14. But baseball repeatedly proves that season-long trends don’t necessarily continue into the post-season.

There was a little shakeup to the lineup for Game 3. In Game 2, Mike Foltynewicz stymied Cardinals hitters with a pitching diet consisting mainly of breaking balls, namely his slider. Soroka is a heavy sinker guy, throwing it 45% of the time, but a slider is his next-favorite offering, thrown 25% of the time. Looking to boost the offense’s chances, Shildt opted to insert lefty bat Matt Carpenter into the lineup at third and remove super-defender and slider-hater Bader from center. Dex replaced him in center; Tommy went to right.

This season, Busch III was the 8-th stingiest place in all of MLB in scoring runs (Park Factor of .917). Which pitcher that would benefit the most, if at all, was an interesting element in tonight’s game. Overall, the Redbirds came in 50-31 at home (ironically, also the Braves’ home record); the Braves’ mark was 47-34 on the road.

Regardless, it was good for the Cards to be home. Ya know, again, despite that darned score.

Tell ‘em, Dorothy...


THE BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

Depending on how things go tomorrow (or the next game), this possibly was Adam Wainwright’s final appearance as a Cardinal. If so, what a way to go out, against the club that weaned you.

Adam gutted through 7.2 often brilliant and dominant, sometimes shaky and lucky innings, leaving nothing but zeros in his wake and 4 outs for the bullpen to cover to preserve the tissue-paper 1-0 margin for victory. It wasn’t to be.

Adam mixed his pitches well early on, and he had them all working. One surprise was his repeated use of elevated velocity to notch strikeouts in the early going. The Gregarious Georgian was pitching on 7 days of rest, so perhaps he was feeling extra strong, yo.

The problem was, Adam’s youthful counterpart really was dealing even better, he just had worse luck. That bad luck was the Cards’ good fortune that produced their sole run in the second on a bloop double, ground-ball advancing a runner to third, and sac fly.

Adam experienced the first signs of danger in the third, as the Braves produced loud contact on three occasions at over 99 mph EV; one was a double, but two others produced outs.

Switching gears in the 4th, Adam brought in Uncle Charlie more often, then continued to mix and match everything he had, all at varying speeds and locations, to keep Atlanta guessing and off-stride. He produced 8 strikeouts on the night, and didn’t issue his first walk until a 2-out free pass in the 8th to lead-off man Acuna. Problem was, he followed that with his second walk, earned by Albies, the second A in the Braves’ AA battery power pack atop the lineup. He was spent.

Oh, and another problem was the walks happened after Dansby Swanson singled, so that loaded the bases. Fortunately, the mercurial reliever Miller came in to douse the fire in two pitches.

Despite very good results, the Braves’ hitters were making Adam work hard for everything. His 10-pitch 4th and 13-pitch 5th innings bought him enough time, though, to go deeper than the first few innings seemed to indicate would be possible. Ultimately, his night ended at 120 pitches.

Meanwhile, Soroka was exceedingly excellent, getting through 7 full innings in 30 fewer pitches than Waino’s 7.2-inning total. At one point, the gifted righty sat down 17 in a row.

The Braves opted to remove Soroka after 7, attempting to produce offense in the 8th. It didn’t work. With Soroka finally out, the Cards blew a great scoring opportunity themselves in the 8th, getting the first two hitters on via walks (their first of the night). But DeJong was unable to even move those runners up, and then Bader got caught stealing third. A bloop single kept things alive (Bader likely wouldn’t have scored on it), but no scoring resulted.

Alas, there was no happy ending to Wainwright’s fairy tale shut-out performance. The fateful 9th started badly, reversed course positively, then the wheels came off. Josh Donaldson led off with a double, but El Gallo retired the next two batters. After an intentional walk, Carlos gave up a ringing double then a sorta lucky single off an actually good pitch, which made it 3-1. Mixed into the 8th was more Carlos shenanigans you can read about in The Flight Path’s 8th inning below.

Goldy produced a one-out double in the Cards’ 9th, but he was left stranded, as the Cards fell 3-1 in the game and down 2 games to 1 in the series.


THE FLIGHT PATH

Top of 1st

Waino went old-school, striking out the Braves’ first two young hitters. Veteran Freeman managed a weak grounder to second for a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Hot-hitter Ronald Acuna Jr. (4-8 in the NLDS; with one double hot-dogged into a single) led off. Waino showed him three different pitches: curve, sinker, cutter, striking him out swinging on an elevated 92(!) mph heater.

Waino went back up top on a 1-2 count to Ozzie “Osbourn” Albies, K’ing him looking at another elevated fastball for out two.

On a 3-2 count on Freeman, the crowd was pumped, willing Uncle Charlie to strike out the side. Freddie did make contact, but topped a low fastball, pulling it to Kolten, who charged, snagged it, and flipped easily to Goldy for the third out.

Bottom of 1st

Soroko matched Waino’s inning, striking out the first two hitters he faced.

Dexter Fowler stepped in against Soroka, who shaved for the first time before this game. (May or may not be true.) The 22-year-old got Dex to 2-2 then bore a back-foot slider in on him he couldn’t hold up on, getting rung up on the check-swing strikeout.

Kolten fared no better, chasing a 1-2 change-up way outside on the 4th pitch, becoming the “to-back” part of Soroka’s “back-to-back” strikeouts.

Paul Goldschmidt finally got good wood on one, but just mis-timed a mistake middle-middle 1-1 changeup, flying out at the track in center. The youngster got a break there.

Top of 2nd

Adam kept rolling, wheeling and dealing, and mixing his pitches, notching two more strikeouts in another 3-up, and 3-down inning.

Donaldson’s curls swirling out from the back of his batting helmet somehow make him sinister-looking to me. Waino ignored that, making Josh his third strikeout victim already, again with an elevated fastball.

Next, Adam went 3-1 to Nick Markakis, but he got in his kitchen, jamming him with an up-and in cutter out of the zone, flying out to medium left field.

Lefty Matt Joyce worked a 7-pitch count, but on 3-2, Waino’s 8th pitch, Uncle Charlie sauntered in slowly through the upstairs side door. Joyce protested, but it was a perfectly placed pitch in the upper-outer corner. And it was historic!

Bottom of 2nd

The Cards broke on the board with a gift, slo-mo double by Ozuna, some good situational hitting by Yadier Molina, and a sac fly from Matt Carpenter. Get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in.

Marcell Ozuna stepped in, the voice of hitting coach Jeff Albert still ringing in his ears: “Lay off the slider.” He worked a full count and got a 96 mph fastball that started outside then veered middle-up. He got horribly jammed, but it floated slowly over Freeman’s head, landing softly just in fair territory down the right-field line. It was far enough from anyone that the hustling and faster-than-you think Marcell sped in to second for a double.

Yadi then did what he does, making contact in key situations, hitting a grounder up the middle that Swanson snagged to his left. Marcell read it well and advanced safely to third while Molina was thrown out at first.

Matt Carpenter, getting his first NLDS start, got just enough of an elevated slider, flying to medium-right center. Acuna caught it, but with his momentum taking him to his left, the process of re-aligning his body gave Marcell enough time to score (plus the throw was was off, up the third-base line). 1-0 Cards!!!

The Braves appealed at third to check if Ozuna left early, but it was ruled he did not.

Tommy then got a good pitch to hit, a 3-1 middle-down 93-mph two-seamer, but he was out in front, and skied an easy fly ball to medium left for the third out.

Top of 3rd

All three Braves that came up hit the ball sharply, each one on more of the elevated-pitch variety that worked for Waino in the first two innings. But despite a one-out double, Adam escaped, giving up no runs.

Brian McCann became the 7th-straight out, pulling an upper-third but inside, off-the-plate cutter, grounding out firmly on a nice play near the line by Goldy, who took it himself for the out. Adam got fortunate, as it was hit at a 99 mph EV.

Waino did not get away with a center-cut 91 mph sinker next to Dansby Swanson, who cranked it at 108 mph EV to dead center over Dex’s head, bouncing off the wall for an easy double. It was fortunate he didn’t get any more than his 22-degree launch angle or it would’ve been a long homer.

A nice gift for NL pitchers is NL pitchers must hit. So, Adam took care of Soroka next, easily striking him out swinging on a cutter way, way outside for out 2.

Now needing to finish the job against the top of the order, Waino got a nice present from the home-plate ump who called his second not-close up and away cutter a strike. On a 2-2 count, Acuna hammered an up-and-away four-seamer deep to dead center, but the cool weather likely helped limit that one (just as it did to Goldy’s the previous inning), as Dex positioned under it to catch it easily for the third out.

Bottom of 3rd

Soroka notched another two strikeouts from the bottom two of the Cards’ order, then retired Dex on an easy fly ball, taking just 12 pitches to do all that.

Finding himself hitting in the 8th spot, DeJong struck out on three pitches, the third one an elevated but over 93 mph fastball that has often been his kryptonite.

Adam then worked a 3-0 count and watched two go by right down the middle, purposely not swinging. He hacked at the next one, a sinker diving down and away from his bat for another strikeout.

Dex then attempted to elevate a sinker that was in the middle, but bottom of the zone, but he could only loft it to medium-deep center for the third out.

Top of 4th

Adam started going to the curve more, which was a good plan after all the hard contact off his elevated pitches in the third. A leadoff single did not produce anything for the Braves.

Two-hole hitter Albies led off and wasted not time, banging Waino’s first pitch, a down-and-in cutter to center for a single.

Now with a good double-play candidate up in Freeman, Adam lured him with curves and cutters, just off the dirt, but it ultimately took a cutter a little higher in the zone (but still down and in) to get Freeman to fly out harmlessly to Ozuna in left for the first out.

Waino got Donaldson to pop one up behind the plate that just fell on the other side of the netting. Molina gave chase and rammed his groin into the padded corner of a structure jutting out from the backstop, rubbing that tender area on his way back to the plate. On a 1-2 pitch, Waino got Josh to reach on a slow curve, topping it right back to Waino for the easy out at first as Albies made it to second.

Markakis stepped in attempting to cash in on a 2-out RISP chance. Waino dealt him two nice first pitches, a cutter and curve for strikes that Nick did not offer at. A patient hitter, Markakis worked the count full. Finally, Adam went back to the curve, which was under the zone and slightly away, but Nick got a great swing on it, swatting it do deep center, but it died in Dexter’s glove at the track for the third out.

Bottom of 4th

Dansby Swanson took care of all three Cardinals hitters this inning on ground balls, the calling card of Soroka. They were not hit hard.

Kolten chopped a grounder that Soroka tapped with his glove. It ricocheted toward Swanson, who charged and bare-handed, throwing out Wong, who dove head-first but was out. (Haven’t scientists proven that diving into a bag is slower?) Perhaps a full-strength Kolten hammy would’ve made the difference.

Goldy produced the same ground ball to Swanson, it just wasn’t deflected by Soroka. And Swanson was able to use the glove for that one, throwing Pauly G out easily. Just for good measure, Ozuna also tested the slick shortstop, grounding one in the hole. Dansby backhanded it cleanly and fired to first to take care of all the outs.

Top of 5th

Now at 66 pitches, Adam was looking for an efficient inning, facing the 6-8 hitters, to help keep himself in the game longer. Mission accomplished: it took him just 13 pitches to retire the side.

Wainwright got the first two, Joyce, and McCann, both on fly-outs to left toward the line. Next, Adam was highly motivated to get 8th-place hitter Swanson to force pitcher Soroka to lead off the 6th. On a 2-2 pitch, Waino invited slow-movin’ Uncle Charlie back to the party, getting Swanson to wave over the top of a perfect butterfly just off the outer edge at 77 mph.

Bottom of 5th

Soroka came into the inning at an extremely stingy 49 pitches. He kept baffling the Cards with his pitch mix, using only 11 tosses to get three outs.

Molina struck out swinging on a 1-2 change-up down and in that even the Master Yadi could not get any wood on at all, becoming Soroka’s 5th K.

Carpenter then struck out as well, but looking at a slow slider at 83 mph that drifted to the inside-bottom corner, placed perfectly. Tommy Edman made contact, but it was of no consequence, and he grounded out easily to second for another quick 1-2-3 inning.

Top of 6th

A lovely thing appeared in the 6th: the opposing pitcher lead off the inning. Adam worked around an infield single, relying on ol’ reliable Charlie with key pitches to hang another zero up.

It took 5 pitches, but Adam retired Soroko looking on a slow curve. That’s supposed to be unfair, throwing curves to pitchers, but whatever.

Sweet Jeebus: Molina’s groin got dinged once again, as he took a foul tip down there off the bat of Acuna. After Acuna leaned in to ask how that felt, Waino then got him to roll over on a curve, grounding out to DeJong for out 2.

Albies then grounded one firmly, slightly away from the shift. DeJong dove far to his right on the third-base side of the base to glove it cleanly. He threw from his knees but couldn’t get enough on it to nab the speedy Albies.

Now with the dangerous Freeman up, Adam brought the entire assortment of pitches, getting him to 2-2. Sensing a third out, the crowd got to its towel-waiving feet. Waino obliged, striking the lefty out swinging at yet another excellent curve, for his 8th strikeout on the day.

Bottom of 6th

Soroka continued making Cardinals hitters look feeble, despite offering some very hittable pitches.

DeJong got into a rare hitter’s count 3-1, and Pauly D missed a great opportunity, swinging late, and popping up a middle-up (but within the top third of the zone) fastball to foul territory beyond the first-base line.

Adam then came in and struck out swinging on the fourth offering for out 2, waiving wildly at a slider nowhere near the zone, way outside.

Now back to the top of the order in Dex, the Cards finally began the third time through the order. That mattered not to young Soroka, who induced Dexter to top an 82 mph hittable, slightly elevated change-up to third, grounding out easily for the third out.

Top of 7th

Waino yet again kept the Braves off the board in a clean inning. He inched across the 100-pitch mark, ending the inning at 103 bullets thrown.

One pitch, one out was so, so, sexy, as Adam got Donaldson to lunge at Uncle Charlie, popping out to Molina behind the plate for a quick out. Pesky Markakis continued to be a pitch count thorn in Adam’s side. But it was worth the wait, as Nick rolled over on yet another curve, grounding out meekly to second for out 2.

Falling behind 2-0 to Joyce, Adam hung a 73 mph curve badly, in the middle top-third of the zone. Joyce made good, elevated contact, and at first it seemed to be destined for a homer. Edman scurried back to the track,...then took a few steps in, ultimately catching it in front of the track for a “Whew!” third out. It seemed the clench-inducing fly ball was produced more from Tommy going too far back at first rather than the ball getting pushed back by any wind.

Bottom of 7th

Soroka got two more quick outs, using just 5 pitches. Ozuna did get a single, but it produced nothing.

Kolten tapped a grounder right back to the pitcher, who fielded it cleanly and easily threw him out. Goldy then hit one of the very few hard-hit balls off Soroka, as he hit a screaming grounder (97 mph EV), but it was right at Freeman, who niftily snagged it for the second quick out.

Ozuna, owner of the only Cardinal hit to this point, decided to keep handling things himself, singling sharply to left for a 2-out single. That got the Braves’ bullpen stirring. Soroka was due up third in the 8th.

Molina then entered, trying to keep the inning alive. Alas, he lunged at an outside fastball in the zone, but he got under it, popping out to second.

Top of 8th

The opposing managers’ approaches diverted in the 8th. Shildt sent Adam out there again, to venture deeper into 100-plus-pitch territory. With Soroka up third this inning, he was pulled for a pinch-hitter. A single and two-straight walks loaded the bases with one out, and Adam’s great day was done. Miller kept the Braves where they were.

McCann led off and offered at an up-and-in four-seamer, popping out to Carpenter, who caught it about 10 feet from home. Dansby Swanson, however, smacked a clean line-drive single through the hole between third and short for a one-out single.

Owner of a Game 2 two-run homer, slugger Adam Duvall stepped in. He was probably amped up, and offered at the first pitch, lining out softly to Carpenter at third. Matt attempted to double off Swanson at first, but Dansby was back safely.

Now, the the dangerous leadoff hitter Acuna up, Adam remained in, as Miller and Gallegos warmed up. Acuna worked the count full, and Adam tried to back-up a curve inside, but Acuna watched it go by for a walk. Five of the six pitches were curves.

Now with first and second and two out, Yadi led a mound visit with the other infielders, as switch-hitting Albies was up next, batting lefty. Adam got behind 2-0, almost sailing a fastball above Yadi’s head, trying to reach back for more, as the veteran backstop snagged it with outstretch mitt to prevent the runners from advancing.

Albies then hit one off the end of his bat but sent it far down the right-field line, that barely went foul. On a 3-1 count, Waino missed again high with a fastball, walking his second batter in a row.

Now with the bases loaded, two out, and Waino reaching 120 pitches, Shildt took him out. As he left the mound, he got a firm YadiHug™. The remainder of the walk to the dugout was accompanied by a packed house of Cards fans on their feet, cheering wildly in thanks to the tremendous effort provided by their long-time favorite.

Andrew Miller was called upon to get lefty swinger Freddie Freeman out and keep the Braves at zero. He started him off with a well-placed fastball, down and away, that Freeman swung through for strike one. Miller came back with another great pitch, this time his slider, that Freeman got under and lofted to medium center, the Dex barely had to move for, catching it near the peak of the grass cut-out arch.

Waino gave an emphatic “Woo!” in the dugout.

Bottom of 8th

The Cardinals finally got their first walks of the game, both off Max Fried, who replaced Soroka. Alas, they were unable to parlay that situation into any insurance runs.

Mercifully, Soroka was now absent, but things got no easier, as normal lefty starter Max Fried was called on to face Carpenter. Duvall remained in the game to play left. Markakis moved from left to right. Right fielder Joyce was out of the game.

Matt ignored several balls down and in, ultimately walking on the 5th pitch. Bader entered to run for Carpenter, creating a cat-and-mouse game between him and Fried, owner of a nasty (and prob illegal) pick-off move.

Fried failed to hit spots against Tommy Edman as well. On a 3-1 count, Edman did not get overly aggressive; instead, he watched a fastball just wide of the zone, to make it first and second with no outs.

With a rare RISP chance now this game, Pauly D stepped in. Bader repeatedly danced a jig to try to unnerve Fried, who stepped off twice. On a 2-0 count, Paul got a 93 mph fastball just barely in the low-away quadrant, and he got under it, lofting it into short right. It was way too shallow for even Bader to attempt advancing.

Pinch-hitter Jose Martinez then was called on to get the big hit. The Braves totally saw that and replaced the lefty Fried with the righty Darren O’Day. Shildt did not counter-counter, leaving Cafecito in, feeling he was his best available pinch-hitter regardless.

With a portion of the crowd chanting “Jose! Jose-Jose-Jose,...Jose,...Jose!” Bader bone-headidly took off for third, but O’Day broke out an inside pick-off move, and tossed to an on-the-move Donaldson toward third, tagging Harrison out easily for the second out.

Martinez then hit one into left off the end of his bat, and it fell just in front of a sliding Duvall for a single, moving Edman to second. And despite Bader’s speed, he more than likely only would have made it to third on that play. It was too shallow, and Duvall gloved the bounce cleanly, and he’s got a good arm. Even if Harrison had still been on second and broke immediately, he likely would not have scored.

Now lefty Sean Newcomb entered to turn Dex around to hit righty, his weaker side. He got decent wood on it, sending one with 93 mph EV to center, but it hung up, allowing Acuna to catch it easily to end the best threat the Cards had since the second inning.

Top of 9th

El Gallo came in to close out the razor-thin one-run game. Bader stayed in to play center; Fowler moved to right. Tommy went to third. It started with a leadoff double and got worse from there.

Josh Donaldson led the Braves’ frame off and jumped all over the second pitch, a horribly mis-placed change-up that floated over the center of the plate, banging it down the left-field line for an easy double. Uber-fast Billy Hamilton pinch-ran for Donaldson.

Markakis suddenly came in as the go-ahead run. Getting behind 2-0, Carlos came back to strike him out swinging on a devilish 89 mph change-up for a huge first out with nothing going in play.

Adeiny Hechavarria then came in as a pinch hitter, not known for his bat but 3-11 against Carlos. After fouling off pitch one on a big hack, Yadi went out to talk to his enigmatic hurler and the boys. The TBS announcers felt it was because Carlos needed to pay more attention to Hamilton, not because of an errant pitch.

Carlos got ahead this time 0-2. On a 1-2 pitch with Hamilton dancing off second, Carlos uncorked two identical wild sliders that Yadi somehow snared with lunges to his right, twice saving the runner from advancing to third.

Now at a full count, Hamilton broke for third. Carlos went back to the slider again, and he tamed it just enough to get Hechavarria to offer at just enough, and the home-plate ump declared he went around for strike 3! There was no throw on the running Hamilton.

Now with two out and Hamilton on third, veteran McCann was up. Shildt went out to talk about strategy, and that discussion produced an intentional walk. Rafael Ortega pinch-ran for McCann.

Unfortunately, Dansby Swanson cranked a first-pitch hanging slider, yanking it off the bottom of the wall for an RBI double, tying the score 1-1. Don’t think that was part of the strategy.

Now it was second and third with slugger Duvall up. Carlos got ahead 0-2. He went back to the slider and placed it just off the plate, down and away, but Duvall reached out and got just enough of it off the end of the bat, and it dropped in front of Bader in center, scoring two to make it 3-1 now, Braves.

Now with the top of the lineup up in Acuna, Carlos whistled a fastball up and just slightly in toward Acuna’s head. On the way back to the mound, Carlos turned to bark something at the hitter. Recall that in Game 1, El Gallo had issue with Acuna’s linger at home plate while watching his home run.

Then at 3-2, El Gallo flung a 99 mph heater again up and in, walking him. Acura did take a step in front of home plate to remove his protective gear, but he walked slowly to first with Yadi accompanying him about half-way down. He was seen shouting briefly from first, and his base coach held him just in case, but nothing else came of the incident. Finally, Martinez got the third out, but even that was a hard liner to right off the bat of Albies.

Bottom of 9th

Mark Melancon entered to show Carlos how to finish off your opponent. Hechavarria stayed in to play third. Tyler Flowers came in to catch. The Cards had their 2-4 hitters up: Wong, Goldy, and Ozuna. Goldy gave hope with a one-out double, but the happy ending wasn’t to be.

Wong got jammed and sent a slow roller toward short. Charging it, Swanson’s running throw went wide, and Freeman had to do a full-body lunge toward his right, catching the ball while somehow also keeping his toe on the base. It was reviewed, but the quick pronouncement was that he was out.

Now with one out, Goldy entered, and gave the Cards life by banging a perfectly placed low-and-away cutter right down the first-base line for a double!!!

Ozuna now represented the tying run with one out. Recall that in Game 1, Ozuna doubled late off Melancon. In a tense at-bat, Marcell got down 1-2 then Melancon zipped a cutter that actually was off the plate inside, but he got the call, striking out Marcell looking for out 2. That hurt. Bad.

That left the Cards in the hands of Molina to keep their hopes alive in this game. He got decent wood on a down-and-in cutter, lining it at 90 mph EV to center, but it wasn’t hit hard enough or away enough from Acuna, who easily caught it to end the game.

Cards lost, 3-1.


THE BOTTOM LINE

  • Adam’s final line: 7.2 IP, 120 P, 0 R, 4 H, 8 Ks, 2 BBs. Bueno.
  • Wainwright’s start was his 25th appearance in the post-season, giving him the most by any Cardinal. Like ever.
  • Adam joined Roger Clemens, Kenny Rogers, Steve Carlton, and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers over age 38 to throw more than 7.2 scoreless innings in a post-season game.
  • Yadi and Waino first became a battery in Spring Training 2004.
    Tonight might’ve been their last.
  • Waino earned his 100th career post-season strikeout when he got Matt Joyce in the 2nd with—did you need to ask?—Uncle Charlie.
  • Adam’s 120 pitches nearly matched his season high of 126.
  • Soroka had a 4.66 ERA in first inning this season. The Cards must not have known that.
  • Soroka led the majors in lowest HR/9 rate at .7. I can see why.
  • The Cards were 0-5 with RISP; the Braves were 2-9.
  • Swanson’s game-tying double was the first hit he’s ever had off Carlos.
    Ever. (Okay, he’d only faced him 5 times before tonight.)
  • The Braves had 7 hits on the night.
    Eighth-place hitter Dansby Swanson had 3 of them.
    Dansby. Freakin’. Swanson.
  • [Cleansing breath...]
    Down now 2 games to 1 in this best of 5 series, the Cards fight for their playoff lives tomorrow in a 2:07 CT matinee, with the Cards’ own ground-ball machine Dakota Hudson against somebody named “TBD.”
    Perhaps it’s Ted Bridge Danson, reprising his role as washed-up pitcher Sam Malone from Cheers.