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NL Wild Card Game: Dodgers 3, Cardinals 1 – Victory Was Not in the Cards

Joker in hand

The St. Louis Cardinals enjoyed an incredible run during the month of September. They started the month in third place with a record of 68-63, but vaulted into second place and the second National League Wild Card spot with a 17-game winning streak from September 11 to September 28, finishing with a record of 90-72. This incredible stretch earned them a date with the 106-56 Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Wild Card Game.

Dodgers 3, Cardinals 1

W: Kenley Jansen
L: T.J. McFarland

While the matchup seemed lopsided on paper, the game ended up being a low-scoring nailbiter in front of the Dodgers Stadium crowd. The Cardinals had enjoyed the devil’s own luck late in the year and had the perfect opportunity to send the defending champions to an early exit. St. Louis took a 1-0 lead when Tommy Edman scored on Max Scherzer‘s wild pitch in the 1st inning. However, they failed to capitalize on later opportunities, going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

In the 4th inning, Justin Turner tied the game with a solo shot to left field off St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright.

The game would remain locked up at 1-1 until the bottom of the 9th inning, when Chris Taylor stepped in with one on and two outs. Taylor lined Alex Reyes‘s 88 mph hanging slider into the left center field seats to give Los Angeles a 3-1 walkoff victory.

Taylor’s homer ended the Cardinals’ improbable run, and the Dodgers will advance to face their archrival, the San Francisco Giants, in the Division Series starting on Friday night at 9:37 PM ET. Logan Webb will take the hill for San Francisco against a L.A. pitcher TBD. The winner of this series will be the favorite to win the National League pennant.