Cardinals land crushing blow
Record 10-run 1st vaults them into NL Championship Series
ATLANTA — With a stunning outburst their first time up, the Cardinals scored 10 runs for the biggest opening inning in postseason history and dealt the Braves another playoff heartbreak with a 13-1 rout in decisive Game 5 of the NLDivision Series on Wednesday.
Before many fans had reached their seats, the Cardinals were already booking their plans for the NL Championship Series.
It will be the Cardinals’ first NLCS trip since 2014.
“We know we can beat anyone at this point,” Kolten Wong said.
For the Braves, it might take a while to get over this debacle.
After pitching seven scoreless innings in a Game 2 win, Mike Foltynewicz retired only one hitter before getting yanked. First baseman Freddie Freeman made a crucial error that might have limited the damage. The Cardinals scored their final run of the inning on a strikeout — a wild pitch in the dirt that skipped away from catcher Brian McCann.
It was the Braves’ 10th straight postseason round loss, tying the ignominious mark set by the Cubs between 1908 and 2003. “Everything went wrong,” Freeman said. Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty threw 104 pitches over six innings, surrendering four hits and one run.
This one, though, will long be remembered for what happened before Flaherty even took the mound.
The Cardinals batted around and got more than halfway through their order a second time. Tommy Edman, Fowler and Wong all had two-run doubles in what looked like a giant pinball game as the Cardinals equaled the highest-scoring inning in postseason history, a record initially set by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1929.