Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Cardinals walk off in 10th inning of Game 4 to send NLDS to rubber match

9 Comments

The Cardinals rallied late twice against the Braves’ bullpen, in the eighth and 10th innings, to stave off elimination and send the NLDS to a decisive Game 5.

Dallas Keuchel started on short rest for the Braves and wasn’t great, surrendering three solo home runs including two to Marcell Ozuna. At least they were solo homers. Paul Goldschmidt and Ozuna hit back-to-back solo shots with two outs in the first inning and Ozuna followed up with another one in the fourth.

Keuchel gave up the three runs on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts across 3 1/3 innings. Luke Jackson got the final two outs of the fourth inning as the bullpen carousel started powering up.

The Braves got on the board against Dakota Hudson in the third inning when Ozzie Albies hit a sacrifice fly. Hudson — and the Cardinals’ defense — faltered in the fifth. Dansby Swanson hit a one-out double, moved to third base on a passed ball, and scored when Matt Carpenter misplayed an Adam Duvall grounder. Later in the inning, with the Braves trailing 3-2, Albies smacked a two-run homer just over the fence in right field to give the Braves a 4-3 lead.

Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina kept the Cardinals’ hopes alive in the bottom of the eighth as Goldschmidt hit a one-out double and Molina poked a single to right field to bring home the game-tying run, knotting the game at 4-4.

The Braves, throwing away a bases-loaded, one-out opportunity in the seventh, wasted a leadoff ground-rule double by Ronald Acuña Jr. off of Carlos Martínez in the ninth.

In the 10th inning, Braves manager Brian Snitker brought in Julio Teheran. Teheran, you may recall, was left off the original NLDS roster and only added when Chris Martin went down with an oblique injury. He showed why on Monday.

Kolten Wong led off with a ground-rule double to left field. Goldschmidt was intentionally walked to bring up Ozuna. Ozuna hit a grounder to the left of the mound. Teheran, a good defensive pitcher, quickly got to the ball and fired a perfect strike to second base for the force out, but Ozuna was able to just barely beat the throw to first base, putting the winning run on third base with one out. Molina, the reason the Cardinals were still alive, lifted a deep fly ball to left field. Duvall put all of his might behind his throw home but Wong scored easily for the walk-off 5-4 win.

The NLDS will be decided on Wednesday in Atlanta. That game is scheduled for a 5:02 PM ET first pitch and will be broadcast on TBS.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
1 Comment

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.