2022 National League Wild Card Series 1
|2022 National League Wild Card Series|
87 - 75 in the NL
|2 - 0
|St. Louis Cardinals|
93 - 69 in the NL
|1||Philadelphia Phillies 6 St. Louis Cardinals 3||October 7||Zack Wheeler (0-0) José Quintana (0-0)||2:07 pm|
|2||Philadelphia Phillies 2 St. Louis Cardinals 0||October 8||Aaron Nola (1-0) Miles Mikolas (0-1)||8:37 pm|
Game 1 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: David Robertson (1-0); LP: Ryan Helsley (0-1)|
|Home Runs: STL - Juan Yepez (1)|
- Attendance: 45,911
Game 1 was a pitching duel until the 7th, and then turned completely on its head in a wild 9th inning. For six and a half innings, neither team could get any offence going as Jose Quintana for the Cardinals and Zack Wheeler for the Phillies both had an excellent start. Quintana, coming off a very strong month of September that got him the start in the game, went 5 1/3 innings, allowing just 2 hits and one walk. Wheeler, did even better, allowing the same distribution of baserunners in 6 1/3 innings. Neither starter gave up a run. Things finally stirred after Wheeler left the game after retiring Nolan Arenado to start the 7th. Jose Alvarado replaced him, got a second out, then walked Dylan Carlson. Corey Dickerson was due up, but Oliver Marmol sent in Juan Yepez as a pinch-hitter, and it proved to be an inspired choice as he hit a homer to left field, putting St. Louis in the lead, 2-0.
After Quintana's departure, Jordan Hicks had retired the two batters he faced to complete the top of the 6th, and Giovanny Gallegos had retired the Phils in order in the 7th. In the 8th, he walked Bryson Stott with one out and gave way to Ryan Helsley who got the next two outs with no further damage. Helsley returned to pitch the 9th with a 2-0 lead and got things started by striking out Rhys Hoskins. And then things got really weird as the Cardinals completely fell apart. It started out with a single by J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper drawing a walk. Then Nick Castellanos drew another walk to load the bases and Alec Bohm was hit by a pitch, forcing in a first run. That was the end for Helsley, who was replaced by Andre Pallante. Jean Segura hit what looked like a potential game-ending double play grounder, but it got past second baseman Tommy Edman, who had moved there as part of slew of defensive changes at the start of the 8th inning. Two runners scored on the play, which was ruled a base hit. Stott then hit a grounder to 1B Paul Goldschmidt, and the Cards were again unable to record an out, the unsuccessful attempt to force out Segura at second resulting in a fourth run scoring. The Phils then kept piling on, with a single by Brandon Marsh and a sacrifice fly by Kyle Schwarber. By the time Hoskins struck out again to end the inning, the Phillies had put six runs on the board and turned a 2-0 deficit into a 6-2 lead.
St. Louis could not climb back from that hole. They did score a run in the 9th on a walk and a couple of singles against Zach Eflin, but the run was inconsequential as the Phils had stunned the Cards with a 6-3 win.
Game 2 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: Aaron Nola (1-0); LP: Miles Mikolas (0-1); SV: Zach Eflin (1)|
|Home Runs: PHI - Bryce Harper (1)|
- Attendance: 48,515
The Phillies built on their dramatic comeback in Game 1 to take Game 2, 2-0, thereby sweeping the Cardinals on the road in a considerable upset. Once again, their win was built on an excellent performance by their starting pitcher, this time Aaron Nola. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowed just 4 hits and a walk - all hits being singles - and kept St. Louis from scoring. Three relievers then finished the game: Jose Alvarado, in a redemptory outing after his cough-up in Game 1, who got two outs; Seranthony Dominguez who got two outs as well; and starter-turned-closer Zach Eflin who took care of the 9th inning. The Cards did better against the relievers, with 3 hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings, but again did not get a single extra-base hit and couldn't score either. As a result, they exited the postseason much earlier than anyone anticipated, marking the end of the glorious careers of Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, both of whom started today's game and combined for three of the team's seven hits, and possibly that of pitcher Adam Wainwright, who did not see any action in the series as it ended early.
For St. Louis, the starter was Miles Mikolas, but he wasn't able to tame the Phillies' potent bats. He got through the 1st inning fine, but in the 2nd, Bryce Harper hit his first pitch of the inning into the right field stands and the Phillies had a lead they would never relinquish. There were hardly any other baserunners through the first four innings - a single and a walk for St. Louis and a walk for Philly - then the Phillies chased Mikolas in the 5th. Alec Bohm led off the inning with an automatic double and was bunted to third base by Brandon Marsh. Mikolas then hit Jean Segura with a pitch and gave way to Jordan Montgomery who walked Bryson Stott to load the bases. Kyle Schwarber lifted a fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly, and the lead was now 2-0. That's how it would stay the rest of the game. The Phillies made a couple of baserunning mistakes in the 6th as Harper was caught stretching at second base, then with two outs and a runner on third base, the Cardinals issued an intentional walk to Bohm, only to have Montgomery pick him off at first base. In the 7th, in a repeat of the 5th inning, Marsh led off with an automatic double and was bunted over to third by Segura, but Stott and Schwarber both failed to cash in the runner as they struck out against Montgomery.
Nola left after allowing a two-out single to Corey Dickerson in the 6th, but Alvarado got Molina to pop out to end the inning. At that point, the Cards had had a grand total of two runners making it as far as second base, and had never managed to put two men on base in the same inning. That changed in the 8th when Lars Nootbaar coaxed a one-out walk from Alvarado and Pujols greeted Dominguez with a single. The veteran slugger then gave way to pinch-runner Ben DeLuzio as the Cardinals were finally putting some pressure on the Phils. But the next two batters, who were St. Louis' best two hitters during the regular season, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, both whiffed and that was that. In the 9th, Eflin got two outs before allowing back-to-back singles to Dickerson and Molina, with Dickerson being the first Cardinal to make it to third base. Dylan Carlson ran for Molina, and the Cards were one hit away from tying or winning the game, but it wasn't to be: Tommy Edman hit a foul pop-up that was caught by 3B Edmundo Sosa, who had ironically played most of the season with the Cards, and the series was over.
- John Denton: "Storied careers of Pujols, Molina come to a close: 'We left a mark'", mlb.com, October 9, 2022. 
- Bob Nightengale (USA Today): "'Sad to see two legends go:' Legendary careers of Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina end without a ring in St. Louis", Yahoo! News, October 9, 2022. 
- Manny Randhawa: "Phillies-Cardinals position-by-position breakdown", mlb.com, October 6, 2022. 
- Dave Skretta (Associated Press): "Phillies, Cardinals meet in playoffs; first time since 2011", Yahoo! News, October 6, 2022. 
- Todd Zolecki: "Steady Nola rewriting narrative, sends Phils to NLDS: Longtime Phillies righty tosses 6 2/3 scoreless innings to secure sweep vs. Cards", mlb.com, October 9, 2022. 
|Major League Baseball Wild Card Series|