Sports

Cardinals bullpen, defense falter as Phillies score six in the ninth for improbable victory

The St. Louis Cardinals were two outs away from putting the Philadelphia Phillies on the brink of elimination. And then they absolutely crumbled. 

Shoddy relief pitching and poor defense from St. Louis changed the game and, ultimately, the series. 

The Cards are now one loss away from having their season end after the Phillies’ miraculous 6-3 win Friday.

The Philadelphia Phillies' Edmundo Sosa (33) scores past St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina during the ninth inning in Game 1 of a National League wild-card series, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in St. Louis.

The Philadelphia Phillies’ Edmundo Sosa (33) scores past St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina during the ninth inning in Game 1 of a National League wild-card series, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Cards called on Ryan Helsley for a five-out save with a 2-0 lead. The eighth inning was easy, and the Phillies had just four baserunners through that frame. But the ninth was a different story.

After starting the inning with a strikeout, Helsley loaded the bases by surrendering a single and back-to-back walks. Then, he hit Alec Bohm to bring in a run. Helsley was taken out — by an athletic trainer, not by the decision of manager Oliver Marmol — and in came Andre Pallante to get the final two outs with the bases loaded. 

But Jean Segura squeaked a two-run single under the glove of second baseman Tommy Edman, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Bryson Stott then laced a grounder that MVP favorite Paul Goldschmidt stopped on a dive, but pinch runner Edmundo Sosa darted for home, and the throw to the plate was late, making it a 4-2 game.

Brandon Marsh then hit a routine double play ball, but it went under the glove of nine-time Gold Glove Award (and five-time Platinum Glove Award) winner Nolan Arenado, and it was a three-run lead. Kyle Schwarber added a sac fly, and Philly led 6-2.

The Cardinals did get the tying run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Yadier Molina struck out to end the game.

The St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina, left, and Albert Pujols sit together in the dugout during the ninth inning of Game 1 of a National League wild-card series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina, left, and Albert Pujols sit together in the dugout during the ninth inning of Game 1 of a National League wild-card series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

No one had a real threat until the bottom of the sixth inning, as both starters traded zeros. Edman singled, and Lars Nootbar walked to lead off the inning, which brought up the red-hot Albert Pujols. But he grounded into a double play. With a man on third, Goldschmidt came to the dish, and he grounded out to end the threat.

In the seventh, the Cards didn’t let an opportunity go to waste. After Dylan Carlson drew a two-out walk, rookie Juan Yepez pinch-hit for Corey Dickerson and, on the first pitch he saw from Jose Alvarado, launched a two-run homer just inside the left-field foul pole, giving St. Louis a 2-0 lead.

2022 MLB POSTSEASON: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW WILD-CARD ROUND

But that was all short-lived.

Jose Quintana came into the day with the league’s lowest ERA and WHIP since the start of September. He tossed 5 ⅓ scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out three. Zack Wheeler was even more dominant, going 6 ⅓ scoreless. He too allowed just two hits and a walk with four punchouts.

The Philadelphia Phillies' Alec Bohm is hit by a pitch during the ninth inning in Game 1 of a National League wild-card series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in St. Louis.

The Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm is hit by a pitch during the ninth inning in Game 1 of a National League wild-card series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Pitcher Aaron Nola will look to send the Phillies to the NLDS against the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves, while Miles Mikolas will try to keep St. Louis alive Saturday. 

Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News

Related posts

Newcastle full signing of Anthony Gordon from Everton

BBC Brk News

Twitter reacts to Morocco’s emphatic 2-0 win over Belgium on the World Cup

BBC Brk News

Players who reached 20 Premier League objectives the quickest

BBC Brk News

Leave a Comment