October 13, 2012
NLDS Recap: Cardinals Defeat the Nationals
After Game Four, I wrote:
As it turns out, the Cardinals did mimic Jayson Werth’s at-bat. They trailed by three runs after the first inning and by six runs after three innings. Bit by bit, St. Louis got back into the game. In both the fifth and the seventh, the Cardinals sent the go-ahead run to the plate. But they were unable to tie the game either time, and instead entered the ninth inning down by two runs.
Drew Storen, the Nationals’ closer, entered the game. A leadoff double caused some stomach knots in the crowd, but Storen rebounded to retire the next two batters. Storen got into a two-strike count against Yadier Molina, then walked him on six pitches. He did the same with David Freese. That’s okay, that’s all right, Nationals fans had to be thinking. Due up was the liver of the Cardinals’ order—Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, and the pitcher’s spot—and Storen just needed to record one more out without allowing two runs.
Storen did get one more out, but not until after the Cardinals had scored four runs and turned a two-run disadvantage into a two-run lead, all with two outs. Jason Motte completed his second inning of work, and the Cardinals advanced to the National League Championship Series.
In trouble early, surviving in the middle, and winning out in the end, the victorious Cardinals are an unusual brand o