ST. LOUIS – The Philadelphia Phillies stunned the St. Louis Cardinals in a matter of 34 hours, winning back-to-back games in the National League Wild Card Series to end the Cardinals’ 2022 season.
Philadelphia won back-to-back games in a best-of-three series to eliminate the NL Central division champion St. Louis Cardinals. It comes as the Phillies oddly enough were outhit, 12-9, in the series.
Two-time National League MVP Bryce Harper capitalized early in Game 2, turning on a first-pitch curveball as the Philadelphia Phillies jump out to an early 1-0 lead over the Cardinals. Harper blasted the Phillies’ first and only home run of the series.
Harper was one of only two Phillies with multiple hits in the series. The Cardinals even found a way to simmer down sluggers, holding Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos and Rhys Hoskins hitless over 23 combined at-bats in the series.
That said, the Phillies cashed in at opportune times, even if a 2-for-12 RISP rate might not represent that. Aside from Harper’s round-tripper, Philadelphia’s only runs came from six-run ninth inning in Game 1 and a Schwarber sacrifice fly in Game 2.
“We had a lot of unselfish at-bats, you know, guys giving themselves up, bunting runners over from second to third with nobody out to try and score extra runs,” said Phillies manager Rob Thomason. “It was a complete team effort. And I’m really proud of them.”
Like the Phillies, the Cardinals had trouble drawing up hits. Unlike the Phillies, any chances for momentum-building rallies were short-lived. St. Louis only had back-to-back runners reach base on four occasions over 18 innings and finished the series just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
In the sixth and eighth innings, Albert Pujols singled before an inning ended with back-to-back strikeouts of MVP hopefuls Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado.
“We just couldn’t produce offensively outside of the two-run homer from Yeppy [in Game 1],” said Cardinals manager Oli Marmol. “We were in a tough stretch where our offense wasn’t clicking.”
Returning to the postseason stage for the first time since 2011, Philadelphia got revenge on a Cardinals team that last eliminated them from the dance that year. The Phillies advance to face the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series next week.