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October 10, 2013

Playoff Prospectus

NLDS Game Five Recap: Cardinals 6, Pirates 1

by R.J. Anderson


The Cardinals will play in the NL Championship Series for the third consecutive postseason. Their advancement comes after a Game Five victory over the Pirates, in which, fittingly, Adam Wainwright, David Freese, and Matt Adams played large roles.

Wainwright—in addition to being one of the last remaining links to the 2006 World Champions squad—delivered another stellar outing to go with his Game One gem. Altogether, the big righty finishes the series by pitching 16 innings, allowing one run, walking one, and fanning 15. He threw his monster curveball 48 times on Wednesday night—or about 45 percent of the time—and at least once in 25 of his 27 multi-pitch plate appearances. Wainwright threw strikes and kept the ball on the ground, and while he allowed eight singles, the Pirates only had three runners reach scoring position.

While Wainwright shut down the Pirates, it was Freese who delivered the first offensive blow. The third baseman best known for his postseason heroics went just 1-for-3 on the night before being removed for a defensive sub, but delivered a two-run home run in the second inning off a poor 1-2 breaking ball from Gerrit Cole. Credit is due to Jon Jay for battling Cole to an eight-pitch walk the batter before; he fell behind 1-2, then managed to foul off two tough pitches before walking and keeping the inning alive.

Finally, there was Adams. He clobbered a first-pitch cutter from Mark Melancon in the eighth to widen the Cardinals' lead to 5-1. St. Louis would add another, but it was Adams who delivered the gut punch to the Pirates' chances while simultaneously reminding everyone about St. Louis' enviable player development system. Lest we forget the Cardinals won this series without

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Related Content:  St. Louis Cardinals,  Pittsburgh Pirates,  Matt Adams,  Adam Wainwright,  Gerrit Cole,  David Freese

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