First, the positive side of things.
It was a back-and-forth battle all game long.
I mean, they don’t call Adam Wainwright the “ace” for nothing.
Pitching in one of the most important games of his long career, Wainwright went toe-to-toe with one of baseball’s top pitchers… Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer. Wainwright, 40, broke the record (that he had already set) for the oldest pitcher to pitch in a Wild Card game.
But as he’s shown all season, age hasn’t slowed him down a bit.
Wainwright went 5 1/3, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, and allowed a HR on 95 pitches, 59 of which for strikes.
Ok, now for the not-so-positive side of things.
The Cardinals’ bats, which were extremely hot in September, were practically frozen all evening long by the Dodgers’ stout pitching. They went 0-11 with runners in scoring position.
Yes, you read that right. 0-11 with RISP!!!
That will not win you games, especially in the playoffs, and even more so against a powerhouse such as the Dodgers.
Justin Turner‘s home run off Wainwright in the bottom of the fifth tied things up, and in the bottom of the ninth, Chris Taylor hit a two-run, walk-off home run off of Alex Reyes to send the Dodgers to the next round.
“That’s gonna be fun. Yeah, two of the best regular-season records of all-time. We’ve been battling all year, so I expect a hard-fought series,” Taylor said.
While the Dodgers advance to face their heated arch-rival San Francisco Giants in the best-of-five National League Division Series, the Cardinals see their 2021 season draw to a sad close.
On top of all that, manager Mike Shildt will surely have to answer for his decision to put Reyes in the game in the bottom of the ninth. As Katie Woo said it best… Jack Flaherty was still available, and so was Dakota Hudson. But all they could do is sit and watch their season end with a home run into the bleachers, and not be able to do a thing about it.