Forget for a moment that you are a long and suffering Atlanta sports fan and the NLDS between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals has been wildly entertaining. We have had good pitching, good defense, controversial moments and now we will get a winner take all Game 5.
The Braves missed out on multiple opportunities in a 5-4 loss in 10 innings to the Cardinals in Game 4 on Monday. Atlanta was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base in the game. A Yadier Molina sacrifice fly in the 10th was the difference.
The series will shift back to SunTrust Park for the deciding game on Wednesday. The game will feature a rematch from Game 2 with Mike Foltynewicz getting the call for Atlanta while the Cardinals will go with right-hander Jack Flaherty.
The Braves are looking for some offensive contributions from its veteran players. Freddie Freeman was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in Game 4 and is just 2-for-16 in the series. He reiterated after the Game 4 loss that his elbow isn’t a factor but at this point you have to wonder. Ronald Acuña Jr, Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies have combined for 19 hits in the series. Getting baserunners hasn’t been the problem, getting them in has.
More Braves/Cardinals news
- Adam Duvall said that when he walked to the plate to pinch-hit for Mike Foltynewicz in Game 2 that his goal was just to put together a good at-bat. He came through with a big home run and did it again with a two-run single in the ninth inning of Game 3. I took a closer look at those at-bats and how he was able to come out on top in those matchups.
- Lost in the Braves’ big comeback in Game 3 was a tremendous performance by Adam Wainwright.
- The Arizona Fall League continues and here is your weekly update with some good pitching performances.
- The San Diego Padres are in search of a new manager and are reportedly doing their due diligence on Braves third base coach Ron Washington.
- Charlie Morton struck out nine over five innings to help the Tampa Bay Rays to a 10-3 win over the Houston Astros in Game 3 on Monday. Zach Greinke couldn’t escape the fourth after allowing five hits and six runs in just 3 2/3 innings.
- Tampa Bay will go with a bullpen day in Game 4 with reliever Diego Castillo scheduled to get the start. The Astros will look to close out the series and will bring back Justin Verlander on short rest.
- Max Scherzer allowed one run over seven innings and Ryan Zimmerman hit a big home run to help the Washington Nationals stave off elimination with a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The series will shift back to Los Angeles on Wednesday for a decisive Game 5.
- Gleyber Torres homered while Luis Severino tossed four scoreless innings to help the New York Yankees to a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins. New York Becomes the first team to advance to the Championship Series.
- While seven clubs are in the hunt for new managers for next season, the Philadelphia Phillies are still undecided on whether to bring back Gabe Kapler for another season. Reports state that Phillies owner John Middleton has been seeking input from players and could soon arrive at a decision.
- Joe Maddon interviewed with the Angels on Monday and is one of four candidates that will sit down with the club this week.
- Japan’s Yokohama DeNA BayStars announced on Monday that they intend to post outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. Once he is formally posted, Tsutsugo will have thirty days to negotiate a contract with any MLB team. Tsutogo is a 10 year veteran of Nippon Professional Baseball and is a career .284/.382/.525 hitter with 205 career home runs.