Wednesday’s Division Series lineup featured two do-or-die Game 5 matchups, the first between the St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves, and the second between the Washington Nationals at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The night ended with painful losses for both home teams.
Cardinals 13, Braves 1 (box score)
The Cardinals scored ten runs in the first inning, seven charged to Foltynewicz (six earned). Surprisingly, none of their thirteen total runs came on the long ball.
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt, with the game well in hand after his team posted a ten spot in the top of the 1st, made a perplexing decision to have Flaherty, the Cardinals’ best pitcher, take the hill as planned. Flaherty threw 104 pitches in 6.0 IP, striking out eight Atlanta hitters, and will likely not be available for two starts against Washington in the National League Championship Series. This could come back to bite the Cardinals in a matchup against an opponent with elite starting pitchers (you hate to see it).
Nationals 7, Dodgers 3 (box score)
In the 10th inning, Dodgers RP Kelly intentionally walked Soto to load the bases for INF Howie Kendrick, who hit a grand slam to center field.
RP Sean Doolittle closed out the game for the Nats to secure their first-ever postseason series win in a stunning defeat of the favorite to represent the National League in this year’s World Series.
I believe former Montreal Expos mascot Youppi! has now exacted vengeance against the Dodgers for being ejected from LA’s marathon extra-innings defeat of the Expos in 1989. Will this revenge appease him enough to break his curse on the Nationals franchise?
Division Series action wraps up tonight with one last Game 5 in the American League as the Tampa Bay Rays look to knock off this year’s other World Series favorite, the Houston Astros, at 7:07 PM ET. Matchup: Tyler Glasnow (6-1, 1.78 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50).