It didn’t take the Cardinals long to recover from forking up a lead in the top half of the ninth inning in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants. Second baseman Kolten Wong led off the bottom of the ninth with a line drive home run down the right field line off of Giants reliever Sergio Romo, breaking a 4-4 tie. The win evens up the NLCS at 1-1.
Game 2 was a back-and-forth affair. Neither team scored more than one run in any inning. The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead with runs in the third and fourth inning. The Giants countered by scoring in the fifth, sixth, and seventh. The Cardinals tied the game in the seventh, took the lead in the eighth, lost the lead in the top of the ninth, and won in the bottom half.
There will be no National League baseball on Monday as the NLCS moves from St. Louis to San Francisco. The Cardinals and Giants will resume play on Tuesday afternoon when Cardinals starter John Lackey will oppose Tim Hudson of the Giants.
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.