Cheap Seats

NLCS game four: Bottom of the second

The home plate umpire has taken the opportunity to irritate a Cardinals hitter to even things out. He called a strike on a low tumbling curve to put David Freese in an 0-2 hole and Freese waved at a neck high pitch for strike three in his first at-bat as the cleanup man. Matt Holliday seems to find the five slot more agreeable, however. He snuck a ball just inside the right field foul pole -- and off the hands of a first row Cardinals fan -- for a homerun to give the Birds a 1-0 lead. It was about the shortest home run possible in Busch Stadium, just over the 335 sign in the corner. Holliday seemed to think the ball would go foul initially. But he ran it out and was able to just keep going when it cleared the wall. Yadier Molina then worked an 11-pitch at-bat before hitting a ground rule double down the right field line. Ryan Theriot hit a ball to the right side of the infield to try to get Molina to third and Rickie Weeks kicked it while playing casually and trying to field the ball with one hand. Jon Jay grounded out to first and Molina had to hold at third but Theriot moved to second base. Starting pitcher Kyle Lohse then struck out on three pitches to end the threat of further damage.

The Cardinals failed to score in the first inning for the first time in this series. But they made up for it by breaking through in the second. It was a much better approach than in the first as the Birds appeared to look for pitches they could swing late on and drive them to right field. They forced Wolf to work a lot harder. Molina worked the count full and then fouled off two pitches before coming through. It was a shame that the Redbirds couldn't break through with some more runs.

Cardinals 1, Brewers 0.