Not in writing mode today. Will do my best!
San Diego deserved to lose. No home runs in the playoffs and a total inability to hit in crucial situations (2 for 32 with runners in scoring position). They scored in only three of 28 innings. Their top-tier NL pitching staff didn’t pitch well enough to make up for the Padres awful offense.
Tip of the hat to the Cardinals for winning the NLDS series.
The Padres didn’t adjust well to Adam Wainwright’s knee-buckling curveball especially since he seemed to use it as his out pitch in Game 4. Credit Wainwright, and the rest of the Cardinals bullpen, which didn’t allow a run in the NLDS, for their great work.
The Padres had momentum going into Game 4. Early in that game, San Diego scored twice off Carpenter, an encouraging sign. Still, the Padres coming away with just two runs is quite disappointing. A four-spot or more would’ve given San Diego a world of confidence and silenced the Cardinals fans. Carpenter did a great job of bouncing back and putting forth seven plus innings of great work.
St. Louis second baseman Ronnie Belliard put together one heck of a series. He went 6 for 13 and was rock-solid in the field. His amazing stop and twirl throw to Pujols with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of Game 1 squashed a Padres rally and kept the Cardinals lead at 5-1. Belliard’s two-run single in the bottom of the first in Game 4 tied the game. More importantly, it gave Carpenter the sense of a tie game again. In the crucial sixth, Belliard was hit by a Meredith pitch and scored on David Eckstein’s perfect suicide squeeze.
LaRussa still has not lost a postseason series when his team is up 2 games to none (11-0).