Phillies score 6 runs in 9th inning to steal Game 1 of wild-card series from Cardinals
The Phillies stormed back with a postseason record 6 runs after trailing entering the 9th inning to steal Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series from the Cardinals 6-3.
Phillies Lead Cardinals 1-0 in Best Of 3 Series
- Winning Pitcher: David Robertson (1-0, 0.00)
- Losing Pitcher: Ryan Helsley (0-1, 36.00)
The Phillies straight up punk’d the Cardinals on their home turf in front of 45,339 fair-weather St. Louis fans on Friday afternoon.
Nothing was going right for the Phillies in the first 8 innings of Game 1 of the NLWCS. In a continuation of the last few weeks of the regular season, the offense had been unable to get anything going, combining for just two hits and managing to strand the few runners that had actually reached base.
Cardinals starting pitcher Jose Quintana was excellent in 5.1 innings, striking out only three hitters, but effectively keeping a powerful Phillies lineup off balance. The Cards went with Jordan Hicks and Giovannni Gallegos out of the bullpen in the 6th and 7th innings and they produced much of the same results, with neither allowing a single hit.
To make things worse for the visiting Phillies, manager Rob Thompson had played his best hand in the 7th inning and lost with the decision to bring in their hottest reliever Jose Alvarado in relief of Zack Wheeler. Alvarado allowed a 2-out walk to Dylan Carlson and then a 2-run pinch-hit home run to Juan Yepez, that wrapped just inside the left field foul pole giving the Cards a 2-0 lead.
The way the pitching for both teams had been performing, it seemed highly unlikely that the Cardinals would need to score any additional runs to top a struggling Phillies lineup.
But after allowing a single to Bryson Stott in the 8th inning, the Cardinals were forced to go to their closer perhaps earlier than they had anticipated. And I can’t blame them for relying on Ryan Helsley, who had pitched extremely well for them all season to the tune of a 1.25 ERA. Helsley easily worked out of the jam in the 8th, needing only 10 total pitches to get both Brandon Marsh and Kyle Schwarber.
But in the 9th inning it was a totally different story for Helsley, who appeared uncomfortable and unable to get a good grip on the baseball. After striking out Rhys Hoskins for the first out of the inning, the Cardinals had a 96.4% chance of winning the game. Unfortunately, the Phillies next four batters reached on a single, two walks, and a hit by pitch that pushed the first run of the day across the plate.
The Cardinals were then forced to make a desperation move, handing the ball to rookie reliever Andre Pallante with 1-out and the bases loaded. Jean Segura, making his first playoff start in his decade-plus career, had arguably the biggest at-bat of the game, driving in the go-ahead run with an RBI single past the glove of a diving Tommy Edman on the right side of the infield.
From there the Phillies poured it on the Cards, pushing a run across the plate in each of the next three at-bats to take a dominant 6-2 lead.
The crowd at Busch Stadium was so stunned, that hundreds if not thousands of the so-called die-hard Cardinals fans headed for the exits so they could make it home in time to watch The Bachelorette, or whatever people in Missouri are interested in.
It was the first time in 94 postseason games that St. Louis, an 11-time World Series champion, had blown a lead of at least two runs going into the final frame, according to Sportradar. What it actually was, is retribution for the 1-0 loss the Phillies suffered at the hands of the Cardinals in the 2011 NLDS.
This one was for the Big Piece, Ryan Howard!
The Cardinals did put up somewhat of a fight in the 9th inning, logging two hits and a walk against the newest Phillies closer Zach Eflin. With the tying run at the dish, Yadier Molina struck out swinging to end the threat and give the Phillies an absolutely enormous Game 1 win.
Suddenly, the Phillies have a real chance to reach the NLDS with the red-hot Aaron Nola set to take the mound in Game 2 on Saturday night.
Up Next for the Phillies
The Phillies will look to win the series and advance to the NLDS as they take on the Cardinals in Game 2 of the NL Wild Card Series with the first pitch scheduled for 8:37 EST from Busch Stadium in St. Louis. ESPN2 will carry the broadcast of the game.
Aaron Nola (0-0, 0.00) will take the mound facing off against Miles Mikolas (0-0, 0.00)
Zack Wheeler gets Nolan Arenado to pop out to Nick Castellanos in left field to end the 1st inning.
Zack Wheeler gets Corey Dickerson swinging at a ball in the dirt to end the 2nd inning.
Neither Kyle Schwarber or Rhys Hoskins are able to drive in the go-ahead run that is left standed at second base in the 3rd inning.
Alec Bohm makes a fantastic defensive play in foul territory to end the 3rd inning.
Nolan Arenado and everyone at Busch Stadium 100% thought this ball was out of the park. Instead it dies in the left field breeze and into Matt Vierling’s glove.
Alec Bohm leads off the 5th inning with a huge double.
Both Bryson Stott and Matt Vierling fail to push home a stranded Alec Bohm at third base in the 5th inning.
Yadier Molina cant pull the trigger on a 97 mph 4-seam fastball from Wheeler in the 5th inning.
Zack Wheeler challenges Albert Pujols on the inside part of the plate and gets the old fart to ground into a huge double play with the go-ahead run at second base.
Zack Wheeler’s 1st career postseason start was electric!
6.1 IP | 2 H | 0 ER | 1 BB | 4 K
After a 2-out walk Jose Alvarado lets up a 2-run shot down the left field foul line to pinch hitter Juan Yepez.
Ryan Helsley hits Alec Bohm with an high and inside fastball to allow the first run of the day for the Phils. LETS GOOOOOO!
Jean Segura drives in the go-ahead with an 2 RBI single that just gets under the glove of Cards first basemen Paul Goldschmidt.
Paul Goldschmidt is unable to get a sliding Edmundo Sosa at home plate after fielding a ground ball from Bryson Stott. Everyone is safe!
9-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado is unable to come up with the chopper off the bat of Brand Marsh allowing yet another run to score for the Phils in the 9th inning.
Kyle Schwarber knocks in the 6th runs of a huge comeback 9th inning with a sacrifice fly off Cards reliever Pallante.
The Cards cut the Phils lead to 3 runs with an RBI single by Nolan Gorman in the 9th inning off Zach Eflin.
Zack Eflin manages to avoid disaster by getting Yadier Molina to strike out swinging with the tying run at the plate in the 9th inning.
PHILS WIN 6-3!!!
Mandatory Photo Credit: Philadelphia Phillies