David Campbell – 23 Sports

If there was one word to describe this St. Louis Cardinals team, it would be resilient. The Cardinals fought extremely hard to even get a postseason berth due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their clubhouse that took 16 days to get healthy from.

They played countless doubleheaders, with very few days off. This put a strain on their bullpen and position players grew tired of having to play day in and day out.

Despite all the hardship, St. Louis found themselves in a very familiar spot, the postseason. A three game series versus the Padres in San Diego was their reward for all the long days and long nights.

The Cardinals had a mission going into the postseason as last year they were swept by the Washington Nationals in the NLCS. This year they were strictly business and with expiring contracts to team veterans Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina, who knew if this was going to be their last games with the team. 

The redbirds got off to a hot start in game one. They put up four runs in the first inning off San Diego starter Chris Paddack. The Padres were without their top two pitchers as Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet were both out for the series because of injuries. 

The Padres were able to claw back to make it a game early on but after three innings, the score was 6-3. St. Louis’ bullpen was strong and only gave San Diego one run the rest of the game and the away team took game one by a score of 7-4.

It looked as if game two was going to be the same script. The Cardinals jumped out to an early 4-0 lead through three innings. Going into the sixth it was 4-2 Cardinals. They added two more runs in the top half of that inning. 

However the series reached a major turning point, coming from the bats of Padre’s stars Fernando Tatis Jr and Manny Machado.

With two men on, Tatis turned on one and destroyed the left field seats with a laser. All of the sudden it was a one run game. That didn’t last long. Manny Machado followed Tatis with a bomb of his own. Tie game.

It was a whole new ball game. It basically became a best of three innings. After the Cardinals failed to score in the seventh, the Padres capitalized and Will Myers sent one over the wall to give San Diego the lead. A few batters later, it was Fernando Tatis Jr again this time with a two run shot to right field. The Padres now lead 9-6.

The Cardinals weren’t done just yet though. A couple of sacrifice flies in the top half of the eighth made it a one run game. However, the Padres weren’t done either. Will Myers sent another over the wall this time to dead center. That was a two run shot and gave them a 11-8 lead. 

After getting a leadoff home run by Paul Goldschmidt to start the ninth, the Cardinals failed to bring in any more and lost 11-9. It was a winner take all game three. 

Unfortunately for Cardinal fans, the offense they craved all year and received in the first two games failed to show up for the final. Starter Jack Flaherty gave St. Louis a chance, but they weren’t able to put any offense together the whole game. 

The Padres didn’t score a ton either, but it was enough to win. 4-0 San Diego. The Cardinals ended what was truly an amazing season with a tough defeat.

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