The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves 13-1 in Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS to advance to the NLCS. The Cardinals batted around and scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning without the benefit of a home run.
Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz came into this game as one of the hottest pitchers in the National League. He lasted only 0.1 innings and gave up seven runs after allowing three hits and three walks.
The Atlanta Braves blew a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. The Cardinals rallied late in Game 4 to win 5-4 in extra innings. Despite the home field advantage in the final game, the Braves were unable to recover after being buried by the 10-run avalanche in the first inning.
“Sometimes, it’s just crazy,” said Braves 3B Josh Donaldson. “Round ball, round bat.”
The Cardinals padded their lead with one run in the second and two more in the third. Before the Braves batted in the bottom of the third inning, they spotted the Cardinals a baker’s dozen worth of runs. Through the first four games of the NLDS, the Cardinals manufactured only 13 runs against the Braves. The Cards equaled that output in just three innings to start Game 5.
Jack Flaherty picked up the win in Game 5. He struck out eight batters and scattered four hits over six innings. Flaherty gave up a solo homer to Josh Donaldson for the Braves only run. His ERA improved to 1.13 over his last 18 starts.
Cardinals Explode for 10 Runs
The Cardinals set a new MLB postseason division series record for most runs in an inning. The ten runs tied the all-time postseason record for most runs in an inning with three other teams (1929 Philadelphia Athletics, 1968 Detroit Tigers, and 2002 LA Angels).
Mike Foltynewicz threw only 23 pitches before he blinked and the Braves were down 7-0. Max Fried could not do any better in relief. In less than twenty minutes, the Atlanta Braves season imploded before their eyes at SunTrust Ballpark.
“It’s like a nightmare. It just gets worse and worse,” taunted a pool hustler in the Martin Scorsese film “The Color of Money”.
Fowler walked on seven pitches to lead off Game 5. Wong sacrificed bunted to the pitcher for the first out. Goldschmidt reached base on an infield single. On an 0-2 count, Ozuna drove in two runs with a single. Molina reached on an error. Carpenter walked on six pitches to load the bases. Esman doubled to drive in two more runs. DeJong drew an international walk to load the bases. Foltynewicz left the game with just one out and the bases juiced.
Max Fried came into the game to stop the bleeding. It only got worse.
Flaherty, the Cards pitcher in the 9-hole, drew a five-pitch walk from with the bases loaded to put the Cards ahead 5-0. Fowler drove in two more runs with a double. Wong doubled and drove in two more. 9-0. Fried struck out Ozuna but Wong score via wild pitch and Ozuna reached first base safely. The Cardinals inflicted serious damaged with 10 runs in the first inning and they took a 10-0 lead.
— MLB (@MLB) October 9, 2019
Mike Foltynewicz won Game 2 in Atlanta after hurling seven scoreless innings. Coming into Game 5, Foltynewicz boasted a 1.48 ERA over his last eight starts.
The Atlanta Braves flew under the radar all season with 8/1 odds to win the World Series. The LA Dodgers ran away with the NL West crown while the super-tight NL Central race came down to the final weekend of the season. The Cardinals almost lost the division title to the surging Milwaukee Brewers, but the Cards held on to win the NL Central after slugging it out all summer.
The Cardinals didn’t freak out in the NLDS when they were in the hole 2-1. They maintained their composure and won three consecutive elimination games to keep their World Series aspirations alive.
The Braves struggled at the plate in the NLDS, especially the heart of the order. Even ten runs of their own would not have been enough firepower to overcome the Cardinals in Game 5.
“This whole postseason thing is timing, and we had the deck stacked I thought pretty good in our favor, and we just couldn’t get a hit,” said manager Brian Snitker.
The Cardinals advanced to the NLCS for the first time since 2014. This will be the ninth appearance for St. Louis in the NLCS since 2000.
On his Instagram account, Cardinals OF Randy Arozarena leaked a clip of his manager using salty language while calmly addressing the team after the blowout victory.
“I don’t give a f— who we play, because we’re gonna f— them up,” said Cardinals manager Mike Shildt. “We’re gonna take it right to them the whole f—ing way. We’re gonna kick their f—ing a–!”
The Cards will face the Washington Nationals, who stunned the LA Dodgers with a grand slam in extra innings, to win their Game 5. According to William Hill, the St. Louis Cardinals improved to 5/1 odds to win the World Series.