Wacha, Rookie Relievers And Thankfully A Passed Ball

While Michael Wacha didn’t come close to a no-hitter during Saturday’s Game Two of the NLCS, there were no complaints. Instead, it was just continued awe — of him as well as rookie relievers Kevin Siegrist, Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal.

Photos: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Photos: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The quartet (plus Randy Choate, who tripled his production to three pitches in Game Two) shut down the Dodgers in a no-room-for-error 1-0 Cardinals win, as the Cardinals managed to score with their only hits of the day being a first inning triple and fifth inning double.

It was the first 1-0 Cardinals postseason victory since that guy hugging Wacha in the picture at left beat the Phillies in Game Five of the 2011 NLDS.

Pitching really was the story of the game, as it has been whenever Wacha starts. And while he gave up five hits, scattered through four innings, he struck out eight — none bigger than the last.

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Letter To The (Now) Cardinals Enemy: Skip Schumaker

Dear Skip,

Ah, yes indeed, our dearest and beloved Skippy! Congratulations should be in order first of all, to you and your Dodgers on making it to the National League Championship Series. Way to go!

LOS ANGELES DODGERS WORKOUTYou guys definitely have had quite a season, from being in last place in the National League West on June 30 to being the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot when you won your division — and the team definitely knew how to celebrate that accomplishment, right? Then you took care of the Braves in the NLDS rather easily in four games.

Which leads us to where we are today: Dodgers vs. Cardinals in the NLCS for the first time since 1985, first team to four wins moves to the World Series while the other team goes home.

Should be quite the match-up. As you are well aware, it’s the third straight year for the Cards in the NLCS — and your third straight year there too. But, adored as you still are among Cardinals fans, we’re rooting that you’ve had your last celebration in 2013. We have to, unapologetically.

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Going To The NLCS? Here Are Details

After beating the Pittsburgh Pirates in a winner-take-all Game 5, the St. Louis Cardinals advance to the best-of-seven 2013 National League Championship Series that starts Friday in St. Louis against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

With the best record in the National League at the end of the regular season, the Cardinals have home field advantage throughout the series.

2013_nlcs.jpgThe Cardinals are making their 10th appearance in the postseason since 2000 and the 26th postseason appearance in franchise history (#PostCards).

A very limited number of NLCS tickets may be available. For updated ticket availability, visit cardinals.com/postseason.

Here are details on how fans can enjoy postseason baseball in St. Louis.

Game Schedule & Highlights

NLCS Game 1 – Friday, Oct. 11
Busch Stadium – 7:37 p.m. Central Time on TBS

  • 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Pre-Game Pep Rally in Ballpark Village Parking Lot
    • Live Music from That ’80s Band, entertainment, prizes, Fredbird, Team Fredbird, 2011 World Series trophy and more
    • Former Cardinal pitcher and current FOX Sports Midwest broadcaster Rick Horton will sign autographs from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
    • Budweiser Clydesdales will be staged in the Ballpark Village Lot
  • Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
  • 40,000 fans receive a Cardinals Rally Towel, courtesy of Phillips 66
  • Pre-Game Ceremony starts at approximately 7 p.m.
    • Budweiser Clydesdales will parade the warning track
    • Introduction of both teams to the line and introduction of Cardinals Hall of Famers
    • Colors presented by Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C Honor Guard
    • Cardinal Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and current Cardinals Jason Motte and Adam Wainwright will throw out the ceremonial first pitches. Each threw the final out of a Cardinals World Series Championship (Gibson ’67, Wainwright ’06, Motte ’11).
  • “God Bless America” will be sung by Generald Wilson, retired Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, during the 7th Inning Stretch

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Wainwright Leaves No Doubt – Cardinals Are NLCS Bound!

Before Adam Wainwright took the mound  to try to carry the Cardinals into their third-straight NLCS, before newbie Matt Adams and Mr. October David Freese blasted their way past those pesky Pirates, before 47,000+ fans made their way through the gates at Busch III to see which team had more magic left, Adam Wainwright thought about his last NLDS Game 5 start. Waino Winner

That game didn’t quite go according to plan. Six runs in 2 1/3 innings? Not exactly vintage Waino. But, the Ace said, that may have been the problem. That night against the Nationals, Wainwright — who has always deeply admired Chris Carpenter — wanted to recreate a magical night from one year earlier: Carpenter’s shutout in Game 5 against the Phillies.

“To be honest, I wanted to replicate his game,” said Wainwright, whom the Nationals roughed up for six runs before the end of the third inning. “That was the wrong kind of thinking. I needed to be me. I needed to be focused and be prepared and be me.” Continue reading