NLDS Game Five Snapshot

Series Tied 2-2


As they've so often done, the Cardinals pushed Game Four to the very brink... and somehow, found their way to the other side.


A pair of game-saving (season-saving) at bats by Yadier Molina kept the Division Series alive and sent the Cardinals back to SunTrust Park one more time. The anemic offense has to recover against a starter who silenced it just days ago. The bullpen has to sort out the final three outs once again. And a second half that saw Jack Flaherty become the unchallenged ace all comes down to this -- to him -- once again.


Here we go.


Linups

St. Louis

  1. Fowler CF

  2. Wong 2B

  3. Goldschmidt 1B

  4. Ozuna LF

  5. Molina C

  6. Carpenter 3B

  7. Edman RF

  8. DeJong SS

  9. Flaherty P


Braves

  1. Ronald Acuna CF

  2. Ozzie Albies 2B

  3. Freddie Freeman 1B

  4. Josh Donaldson 3B

  5. Nick Markakis RF

  6. Adam Duvall LF

  7. Brian McCann C

  8. Dansby Swanson SS

  9. Mike Foltynewicz P


Tonight's Starters

Jack Flaherty

33 starts, 196.1 IP, 2.75 ERA, 3.64 xFIP, 10.59 K/9, 39.5 Ground Ball%, 7.1 BB%, 6.9 Barrel%

Vs Braves (Game 2): 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO


Small Sample Size Warning (Game 2):

  • Ronald Acuña Jr. Single, Double, 2 Strikeouts

  • Adam Duvall Home Run (pinch hit)

  • Freddie Freeman Ground out (x2), Walk


What you'll see (from Ben Cerutti)

"Sure enough, Flaherty only threw 47.9% fastballs last week and they got beat around a little bit. Of the 56 fastballs, 23 were called balls (41%) and 8 were called strikes. That leaves 25 more fastballs that were swung at."

Mike Foltynewicz

21 starts, 117.0 IP, 4.54 ERA, 4.73 xFIP, 8.08 K/9, 36.7 Ground Ball%, 7.5 BB%, 7.8 Barrel%

Vs Cardinals (2019): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO *Only allowed three base runners


Small Sample Size Warning (Game 2):

  • Yadier Molina Single (x2), Fly out

  • Marcell Ozuna Single, Ground out, Fly out

  • Paul DeJong Reached on Error, Strikeout


What you'll see (from Ben Cerutti)

"His 13 curve balls produced 5 outs on balls in play, two ground outs and three fly outs. It produced zero hits. He threw 5 of them for balls and 8 for strikes. Out of the strikes, as I already mentioned 5 were put in play for outs. The other three had one fouled off and two swinging strikes."

Fun Facts

Yadier Molina

After "ambushing" Braves pitching with first pitch swings twice on Monday, Molina mentioned to reporters that he's "been doing that for 16 years." But THIS year, how has that gone?


On 0-0 counts, Molina has an OPS of 1.028. Nineteen of his 57 RBI and 6 of his 10 home runs have come off of the 0-0 pitch. Perhaps it's not so much an "ambush" as it is a Molina.


Dansby Swanson

The man with the perfect hair and the imperfect bat is inexplicably hitting .500 and rocking a 1.247 OPS through the first four games of the postseason.


However, on the season, he's been exceptionally less effective with runners in scoring position.


In 123 chances this year, that average drops to .187 with a .685 OPS. That's the Swanson Mike Shildt and Company thought they were walking Brian McCann to get to. Oh, and also the one whose numbers vs. right handed pitching drop significantly, too (108 wRC+ vs lefties, just 89 wRC+ vs righties).


And this is why you can't predict baseball in October.


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