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October 16, 2013

Playoff Prospectus

NLCS Game Four Recap: Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2

by Ben Lindbergh


Matt Holliday hit a long home run on Tuesday night. According to Home Run Tracker, it traveled 423 feet, which made it the fourth-longest homer hit since the postseason started.

It looked a lot longer. Not only because the broadcast made it tough to tell when (or if) it came down, but because it had been so long since the last dinger these two teams had produced that the notion of multiple runs generated by a single swing seemed strange. (As TBS reported, no series had gone three games without a homer since the 1948 Fall Classic.) The inning snapped a 16-frame scoreless streak for St. Louis, almost as long as the 22-inning drought the Dodgers ended in Game Four.

As R.J. Anderson noted last season, teams generally try to pitch Holliday inside, which is where A.J. Ellis set up. Ricky Nolasco missed up and out over the inner third of the plate; the red ellipse superimposed on this image illustrates where Ellis’ glove was when Nolasco was about to deliver the ball.

Holliday did what he does to fastballs in the strike zone, and St. Louis’ lead increased from 1-0 to 3-0, large enough that Los Angeles couldn’t catch up. The left fielder had a huge second half (.348/.442/.552) to make up for a slow start (.268/.351/.448), but until this at-bat, he hadn’t reached base since the end of the NLDS. When he finally reached first base, he got to keep going.

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<< Previous Article
Baseball Prospectus Ne... (10/16)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL... (10/16)
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Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/16)

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