The Cardinals are up 1-Zero within the Nationwide League Division Collection after a 7-6 victory over the Braves.
Atlanta led the sport 3-1 within the eighth, however a string of actions from earlier within the sport and an unlucky damage main as much as the beginning of that fateful inning compelled this contest uncontrolled.
Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman gave a valiant effort to tie the sport within the evening with a two-run homer and solo shot, respectively, however the deficit was an excessive amount of to beat within the last half-inning.
Now the Cardinals ship Jack Flaherty to the mound for Recreation 2 on Friday and the Braves are chasing.
MLB playoffs 2019: Three takeaways from Cardinals’ comeback Recreation 1 win over Braves
Overmanaging prices Braves
The playoffs are all about getting pitchers out of the sport too early somewhat than too late in addition to matching up sure relievers with particular batters down the road. However the Braves merely overdid it in Recreation 1 and that is simple.
Now, it isn’t fully their fault as a result of setup man Chris Martin suffered an damage within the eighth inning forcing supervisor Brian Snitker to place in Luke Jackson, which finally led to Atlanta blowing a 3-1 lead, however Jackson might have been prevented fully had Snitker simply backed off a bit.
It began with Keuchel. He was taken out after simply 74 pitches when the Cardinals hadn’t made a lot laborious contact on him your complete sport. The Braves then solely used Darren O’Day for one batter and introduced in Shane Greene to start out the sixth. Atlanta was three pitchers in throughout the seventh inning and introduced in starter Max Fried in aid. However then the Braves solely left him in for one inning after which went to Martin.
This one was easy — and clearly hindsight is 20-20 — however it’s important to belief Keuchel to maintain getting into that state of affairs. He’s a veteran who is aware of how you can battle within the postseason and the Cardinals hadn’t figured him out but. Their one run got here on an infield hit, stolen base and floor ball. Why take him out?
It is a sport Snitker want to have a do-over on, nevertheless it’s too late. Now the Braves are down 1-Zero within the sequence and it is all as a result of he did not belief his veteran lefty.
All the pieces modifications within the playoffs
It is a cliché to say “everything gets turned up a notch in the playoffs” nevertheless it’s additionally true. Nothing a participant did within the common season issues within the playoffs as a result of adrenaline is working excessive, the stress is elevated and numerous gamers’ psychological video games change.
This was by no means extra clear than in Recreation 1 of the NLDS. Simply take a look at the primary inning for the Cardinals:
- Miles Mikolas walked 32 batters all season (1.Three per 9 innings). He walked the primary two batters of the sport.
- Yadier Molina’s pop time this yr was comparatively mediocre for him at over 2 seconds. He caught Acuna stealing simply.
- Kolten Wong made 9 errors all yr and posted 14 defensive runs saved above common, based on Baseball Reference. He made an error that allowed a run to attain.
Then within the fifth inning for the Braves, Keuchel who did not permit a stolen base all yr lengthy, forgot about Harrison Bader at second which resulted in a steal of third and led to the Cardinals’ first run of the sport on a Dexter Fowler groundout.
We are saying all of this to remind you to overlook what you noticed within the common season — all the things is totally different now.
The Cardinals allowed Dallas Keuchel to nibble
There’s a system to beating Keuchel: make him throw the ball within the strike zone. If a staff does not do this he’ll beat them each single time.
In the course of the common season, Keuchel threw a mere 33.6 % of his pitches within the zone. The league common is round 45 %. When groups let him work out of the zone that performs into his benefit. The Cardinals did simply that routinely swinging at deliveries both simply outdoors the zone or bit out which led to inning-ending double performs in each the third and fourth.
Keuchel tossed 4 scoreless innings to start the sport and allowed only one run in four 2/Three innings pitched. Keuchel is a troublesome pitcher to crack due to the way in which he skirts the skin of the zone so it is laborious to put off of that stuff, however the Cardinals did not do themselves any favors by swinging are far too many borderline pitches.