ATLANTA — The St. Louis Cardinals turned the diamond into an enormous pinball machine, dinging hits throughout SunTrust Park.
By the time the Atlanta Braves lastly bought the third out, it was the best first inning in postseason historical past.
“That was crazy,” mentioned Marcell Ozuna, one in every of 5 gamers who batted twice within the beautiful outburst. “We got a good opportunity — and we took it.”
CLICK HERE FOR MORE MLB POSTSEASON COVERAGE
Before many followers had reached their seats, the Cardinals had been already booking their plans for the NL Championship Series, the place they may face both the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Washington Nationals in a best-of-seven set starting Friday. Those groups had been assembly in their very own Game 5 at Dodger Stadium.
It will probably be St. Louis’ first NLCS trip since 2014.
“We know we can beat anyone at this point,” Kolten Wong mentioned.
For the Braves, it’d take some time to recover from this debacle.
After pitching seven scoreless innings in a Game 2 win, Mike Foltynewicz retired just one hitter earlier than getting yanked. First baseman Freddie Freeman booted a possible double-play ball that may have restricted the injury. The Cardinals scored their last run of the inning on a strikeout — a wild pitch within the filth that skipped away from catcher Brian McCann.
“We just strung together a bunch of great at-bats,” Wong mentioned.
It was Atlanta’s 10th straight postseason spherical loss since its final victory 18 lengthy years in the past, tying the ignominious mark set by the Chicago Cubs between 1908 and 2003.
Carrying on the custom that began at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, moved on to Turner Field and is now turning into an annual incidence at SunTrust Park, it was a visiting group that bought to have fun within the A-T-L.
The Cardinals broke out T-shirts and caps, hopped round in the course of the infield and gathered on the pitcher’s mound for a group portrait with the middle area video board looming as a backdrop.
For the 13th time in 21 postseason appearances since transferring to Atlanta, the Braves completed the 12 months with a loss on their house area.
“It was more of a shock than anything,” mentioned Josh Donaldson, whose homer supplied the lone Atlanta run. “You don’t expect something like that to happen, especially with how well we played all season.”
The Cardinals batted round and bought greater than midway by means of their order a second time earlier than the Braves even got here to the plate.
Tommy Edman, Dexter Fowler and Wong all had two-run doubles as St. Louis equaled the highest-scoring inning in postseason historical past, a document set by the Philadelphia Athletics towards the Chicago Cubs within the 1929 World Series. It was matched by the Detroit Tigers (1968 World Series vs. St. Louis), the Anaheim Angels (2002 ALCS vs. Minnesota) and, now, the Cardinals.
No group had ever scored 10 runs within the very first inning of a postseason recreation. It was the primary time the Braves franchise has allowed that many opening-inning runs in any recreation since they had been in Boston on July 2, 1925, towards the Brooklyn Robins.
The Cardinals made a number of modifications after their 10-spot in what may’ve been the primary set of defensive strikes ever made by a group earlier than its opponent had batted. There was no want to fret about any extra offense with budding ace Jack Flaherty on the mound, coming off one of many nice second halves by a beginning pitcher in baseball historical past.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“We took the crowd out of it,” Fowler mentioned. “We knew Folty would try to get ahead of us. We were trying to get some good pitches to hit. It was a little easier to see the ball today.”
Manager Mike Shildt let the 23-year-old Flaherty throw 104 pitches over six innings, surrendering 4 hits for the primary postseason win of his blossoming profession. Flaherty loaded the bases within the fifth after drilling Ronald Acuña Jr. with a fastball, however induced an inning-ending groundout from Freeman.
This one, although, will lengthy be remembered for what occurred earlier than Flaherty even took the mound.