MLB Team Report – St. Louis Cardinals – INSIDE PITCH
Carlos Beltran has had a fine 16-year career, good enough that he is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate. The Cardinals right fielder’s ability to come up big in the postseason might just tip the scales for eventual induction in Cooperstown.
Beltran turned in yet another clutch October performance Friday night in leading the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory in 13 innings over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium.
Beltran drove in all three Cardinals’ run, including hitting the game-winning single in the bottom of the 13th off closer Kenley Jansen. Beltran’s two-run double in the third tied the game at 2-2 and accounted for all the runs starter Zack Greinke allowed in eight innings.
Beltran also made the defensive play of the game, catching Michael Young’s fly ball to medium right-center field in 10th then throwing Mark Ellis out at home as he tagged up from third base to complete an inning-ending double play that kept the game tied.
“It’s just fun to watch him do his thing, whether it’s offensively or the big throw he made defensively,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Added Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter: “You know he’s going to do something to win the game, especially in October.”
Beltran has driven in nine runs in the Cardinals’ six postseason games this season and has 33 RBIs in 40 career postseason games.
“I tip my hat to Carlos,” Jansen said. “It’s my job to get guys out in that situation and he’s a real professional and he came through.”
The Cardinals will try to build off the Game 1 momentum in Game 2 on Saturday afternoon as rookie right-hander Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78 in the regular season) draws the difficult task of facing Dodgers ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83).
Wacha beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 4 of the National League Division Series in his postseason debut, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning and allowing only one run in 7 1/3 innings. He has never faced the Dodgers.
Kershaw was 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, allowing one earned run in 13 innings. However, he was 0-2 with a 4.15 against the Cardinals in two starts during the regular season and has a 4-5 career record against them with a 3.75 ERA in 12 starts.
MLB Team Report – St. Louis Cardinals – NOTES, QUOTES
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0
NEXT: Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 16-9, 1.83) at Cardinals (Michael Wacha, 4-1, 2.78)
–RHP Michael Wacha will make his first appearance against Los Angeles in Game 2 of the NLCS Saturday. Wacha has been almost unhittable in his last two starts, allowing just two hits and a run in 16 innings while walking four and fanning 18. That includes Monday’s 2-1 NLDS Game 4 win in Pittsburgh that kept St. Louis’ season alive.
–RHP Joe Kelly got through three shaky innings and pitched well after that, leaving after six innings with his team tied 2-2. Kelly gave up six hits and two runs, walking two and fanning five. Kelly did a better job of pitching to contact after using 55 pitches to get through the first three innings and helped his team outlast a great outing by Zack Greinke.
–1B Allen Craig (Lisfranc sprain) was left off the roster for the NLCS, although he got some good news. He was allowed to ramp up “baseball-related” activities with hopes that he might be able to play if the Cardinals make the World Series. Craig, who led the team with 97 RBIs before being injured Sept. 4 in Cincinnati, could serve as a DH in either Boston or Detroit if active.
–RF Carlos Beltran won this one for St. Louis, knocking in all three runs and throwing out the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the 10th. Beltran notched the fourth game-winning RBI of his postseason career and now has 34 RBIs in 148 playoff at-bats. “It’s always great to be able to come through as a ballplayer. When you’re able to help the team win, that’s what it’s all about,” Beltran said.
–RHP Lance Lynn made his first relief appearance this year and worked two shutout innings to claim the win. Lynn is still a possibility to start Game 4 Tuesday night in Dodger Stadium, mainly because he worked six shutout innings there on May 24 in a 7-0 St. Louis win.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Just fun to watch him do his thing, whether it’s offensively or the big throw he made defensively. The guy is a player.” — Manager Mike Matheny, on OF Carlos Beltran, who drove in all three runs and gunned a runner out at the plate in a 3-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday night.
MLB Team Report – St. Louis Cardinals – ROSTER REPORT
–1B Allen Craig (Lisfranc sprain in left foot) last played Sept. 4. He was left off the National League Division Series and National League Championship rosters but Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said Oct. 11 that Craig might be able to at least serve as a pinch-hitter in the World Series if his team advances.
–LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 30. He was diagnosed with a torn labrum, and he underwent season-ending surgery May 24. Garcia began throwing off a mound in late September and is expected to be fully healed by the beginning of spring training.
–RHP Jason Motte (muscle flexor strain in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list March 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 14. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery May 7.
–SS Rafael Furcal (Tommy John surgery in March 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list March 20, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 3. He is out for the season.
–RHP Chris Carpenter (nerve problem in right shoulder) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 22. He started a rehab assignment at Double-A Springfield on July 15, then pitched for Triple-A Memphis on July 20. On July 23, he announced he was shutting down his rehab due to numbness in his right hand. He is out for the season.
RHP Adam Wainwright
RHP Lance Lynn
RHP Joe Kelly
RHP Michael Wacha
RHP Edward Mujica (closer)
RHP Trevor Rosenthal
LHP Randy Choate
RHP Seth Maness
LHP Kevin Siegrist
RHP John Axford
RHP Carlos Martinez
RHP Shelby Miller
1B Matt Adams
2B Matt Carpenter
SS Pete Kozma
3B David Freese
INF Daniel Descalso
INF Kolten Wong
LF Matt Holliday
CF Jon Jay
RF Carlos Beltran
OF Shane Robinson
OF Adron Chambers