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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cardinals held to three hits twice in NLDS

On Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals missed a chance to clinch their National League Division Series, losing Game 4 to Washington by a 2-1 score. The walkoff hit was a home run by the Nationals’ Jayson Werth off Lance Lynn, ruining an excellent pitching performance by Kyle Lohse.

Both teams finished the day with just three hits. Cardinals hitters struck out 10 times, including eight of their final nine outs.

It was the 209th post-season game in Cardinals team history. Prior to this series, the Cards were restricted to three or fewer hits just 12 times in 205 tries.

Now, it has happened twice in four games, both one-run defeats.

In the 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Nationals at Busch Stadium, the offense also managed just three hits.

Their Game 2 and 3 wins provide a huge contrast. In those contests, the club’s feast-or-famine offense collected 13 and 14 hits, respectively.

That’s right. 27 hits and 20 runs in the two wins compared to just six hits and three runs in total in the two losses.

Which Cardinals offense will show up for Friday’s deciding Game 5?

St. Louis Cardinals, post-season games with three or fewer hits, team history

Date Series Gm# Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO SB CS LOB
10/18/2004 NLCS 5 HOU L 0-3 30 28 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 6 0 0 3
10/5/1967 WS 2 BOS L 0-5 29 28 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 2
10/23/2011 WS 4 TEX L 0-4 31 28 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 0 8 0 0 4
10/7/1987 NLCS 2 SFG L 0-5 30 26 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 0 6 0 1 3
10/6/1931 WS 4 PHA L 0-3 30 29 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 8 2 0 3
10/11/2012 NLDS 4 WSN L 1-2 36 29 1 3 0 0 0 1 5 0 10 0 0 8
10/7/2012 NLDS 1 WSN L 2-3 39 28 2 3 0 0 0 1 7 0 8 2 0 10
10/9/2001 NLDS 1 ARI L 0-1 32 30 0 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 9 0 0 5
10/16/2000 NLCS 5 NYM L 0-7 31 30 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 8 0 0 4
10/12/1982 WS 1 MIL L 0-10 31 30 0 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 4
10/9/1967 WS 5 BOS L 1-3 31 31 1 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 0 0 3
10/6/1930 WS 5 PHA L 0-2 35 30 0 3 1 0 0 0 4 1 7 0 0 8
10/4/1928 WS 1 NYY L 1-4 32 29 1 3 0 0 1 1 3 0 6 0 1 4
10/2/1926 WS 1 NYY L 1-2 33 29 1 3 1 0 0 1 3 0 4 0 0 5

Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for the above table.

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20 Responses to “Cardinals held to three hits twice in NLDS”

  1. Nutlaw says:

    Right. Not pessimistic as much as confused. I’d honestly be more surprised to see the Cardinals score 3-6 runs tonight than 0-2 or 7+. Flip a coin for which it’ll be.

  2. blingboy says:

    Hopefully umpiring will not be a factor.

    Come on guys. No nerf noodles. No butterfly nets. Play well and play on.

  3. blingboy says:

    That ‘W’ logo, my wife says it looks like we’re playing Walgreen’s.

  4. Nutlaw says:

    Uh, well, three Nationals batters in and now I’m pessimistic.

  5. Bw52 says:

    Wainwright laid a big stinking pile of crap performance tonite.Somewhere Joaquin Andujar is remembering.Damn blown chances in games 1 and 4.Damn.

  6. Bw52 says:

    The pathetic bench bats show up again.Schumaker is okay for what he does but missing a bat with some pop sure hurts at times.From both sides of the plate.No real threat for a pinch long ball.

  7. Nutlaw says:

    Feast!

    I just can’t believe how these guys keep pulling out these wins. Simply an amazing comeback. What a great game.

    • Kansasbirdman says:

      I know I am several days late, Friday was date night as little Kansas was staying at his grandparents. The boss (my wife) didn’t want to spend our free night watching baseball so I dvr’d it and last I had checked we were down 6. After our movie I checked the score on my phone and when I saw 9-7 victory for the good guys I went ahead and stayed up to watch. 3 a.m. and even though I knew the outcome I was so pumped I couldn’t go to sleep!

  8. blingboy says:

    Had to go to bed around 10 to get up now (330) to go to work.

    I’m doing we’re not worthy bows while facing the dirction of Busch stadium.

    Just unbelievable.

  9. Bw52 says:

    Simply never say die team.Went to sleep with Cards down 6-4.Checked score out several hours later.Pleasant surprise.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Descalso is probably a better hitter than many expect. He only received 3.5 seasons of minor league training, so his ascent up the ladder was swift. His one year at Memphis, Descalso averaged .282, solid for a PCL rookie.
      Now with a foundation of 700 ML at bats, Descalso seems recently to be lifting his game as a hitter. The timing of this is extremely useful for playoff-competition purposes, given Furcal is injured and Skip not doing much with the stick. Against the Big Government Gnats, Descalso hit two dingers and almost a 3rd (during Game 1), a power surge.
      With Molina, Holliday, and Beltran exhausted and sore, Descalso and Kozma have given the Cards a much needed energy boost from the draft class of 2007.

      • Brian Walton says:

        Is four years a really swift ascent for a college player to reach the majors for good?

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Yes, this is an important point for understanding Descalso’s potential.
          For contrast, it took Allen Craig 4.5 years and he had one more year of college ball. Craig is a good hitter, but still had two full years at Memphis, whereas Descalso got less AAA training.

          Descalso opened at Batavia in 2007, hit pretty well given an advanced league. Then he skipped QC and was at PB for 2008, in another low offense league. 2009, Decalso’s offensive upside was revealed in the Texas league. The he hit solidly at Memphis during 2010, but did not get a second or third year there, as others do, like Skip Schumaker (5years at AA and AAA).

          Its not surprising Descalso has not excelled with the stick for the Cards during 2011 and 2012, owing to the brevity of his minor league resume. Happily, he seems to have recently turned a corner and is lifting his game. He might be capable of a 700 OPS during 2013 and a 750 OPS in later years. Wong better not assume he is going to be handed a position.

          • Brian Walton says:

            You cherry-picked Craig, so I will counter with Matt Carpenter. 2.5 years on your scale.

            • CariocaCardinal says:

              not the ideal counter example – 2 more years of college than Descalso (1 was a redshirt yr) and 3 years older when drafted.

              • JumboShrimp says:

                Right Carioca, it is important to bear in mind amateur experience. Otherwise one compares apples and oranges.
                Freese, another 5th year senior, might have reached the majors in 2.5 years like Matt Carpenter, but suffered an injury in January 2009 after an outstanding 2008 season for Memphis.
                2..5 years is very fast for a college senior. 3.5 seems a similarly swift ascent for a college junior like Descalso. He was lucky there was a roster slot available on last year’s team, since the Cards would have been pleased to have assigned him to a second year in the PCL.

            • Brian Walton says:

              Descalso was slightly younger and faster than average to reach MLB. 23 years, 10 months vs. 24.4 years average and 1808 plate appearances vs. 2070 average.

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