The St. Louis Cardinals took control of Game 5 of the National League Division Series like no team has taken control of a playoff game before.
The Cardinals sent 14 batters to the plate against the Atlanta Braves and produced a postseason record-tying 10 runs in the first inning. The 10 runs were also the most scored in a single inning in a division series game.
The rally set the stage for a dominant 13-1 victory that will send St. Louis to its first NLCS since 2014.
Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, who held the Cardinals scoreless over seven innings in Atlanta’s 3-0 Game 2 victory, couldn’t recapture the magic of that brilliant outing. Foltynewicz retired only one of the eight batters he faced, and that out was gifted to him by St. Louis on a Kolten Wong sacrifice bunt.
The 28-year-old right-hander walked three, allowed three hits, and was further hampered by a Freddie Freeman error on a potential double play ball. Foltynewicz was charged with seven runs, six of which were earned. That represents another postseason milestone of the worst kind for Atlanta.
The Cardinals continued to pour it on after Max Fried was brought on in relief.
After Fried walked Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty to begin his outing, Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong produced back-to-back doubles that plated three additional runs.
The inning got so out of hand for Atlanta, even a two-out strikeout of Marcell Ozuna couldn’t end it. Ozuna ended up reaching on a wild pitch and an errant throw by catcher Brian McCann. This allowed Wong to race home with the Cardinals tenth and final run of the inning.
Given how dominant Jack Flaherty had been during the second half of the season, the game appeared to be over before it ever really started.
Flaherty backed that up by pitching six innings of one-run ball to pick up his first career postseason victory.
As for Braves fans, it was a disappointing afternoon. Particularly those who were late arrivals.
The Cardinals will now await the winner of Wednesday night’s NLDS Game 5 between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
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