I just don't understand the spell Randy Wolf apparently casts over the Cardinals. The was rocked in his previous work in the playoffs and the Brewers and their fans were absolutely dreading the prospect of him starting a key game in the National League Championship Series.
But all he allowed was a pair of solo homers in seven innings of work. And his quick innings really seemed to wear down St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse who was forced to throw pitch after pitch without a break after a 12-day layoff. You'd think a guy who had been off that long might start off rusty and get better as he got a feel for his mechanics. But Lohse started off very well. And then he seemed to rapidly fall apart as he tired under the stress of three consecutive innings of more than 20 pitches with little break in between.
Thursday's loss was a parade of dubious milestones for the Cardinals. Wolf had the most wins in the regular season (127) amongst major league starters who had never won a playoff game. In four post-season appearances he's 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA and 1.85 baserunners allowed per inning pitched. The guy was pummeled for eight hits, three walks and seven earned runs his last playoff appearance against the Diamondbacks. The loss also gave the Brewers their first road win in the post season since game one of the 1982 World Series...
While the NLCS is only tied and the Cardinals still have a good chance to prevail, they've made things a lot harder than they had to be by blowing a four-run lead in the opener in Milwaukee and by failing to add to a two-run lead Thursday in St. Louis. A hit here or there and one or two bad pitches erased and this series would have already been won.
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I hope the Redbirds can bear down and find another gear for game five in St. Louis. Because if they win tonight I think they'll easily be able to win one of two in Milwaukee. But if they lose, winning two games in a row on the road might be a pretty tough task.