Two weeks ago, Cardinal rookie Michael Wacha had a no-hitter going against the Nationals until the very last out of the game. This afternoon, with the season on the line, he was nearly as good.
Down 2 games to 1, the cliche description would have been “win-or-go-home.” Now the Cardinals are going home, winners. Game 5 of this series, in St. Louis, should be a beaut – Adam Wainwright, who has never lost a post-season game and who mowed down the Bucs last Thursday, faces Pirate rookie Gerrit Cole, who did his own number on the Redbirds the day after Wainwright’s gem.
Today was pretty heart-stopping all by itself. Wacha was perfect through 5 and had a no-hitter until Pedro Alvarez launched a 93 mph fastball into the seats in the 8th for the Bucs’ only hit and only run. Wacha ended the day with that 1 hit and 1 run, 2 walks and 9Ks.
On the other side, Charlie Morton, who the Cardinals have owned this year, was just about Wacha’s equal. He allowed only 2 hits until the sixth, when he walked Carlos Beltran to get to Matt Holliday, who’s been struggling. This time, however, Holliday uncorked a 2-run homer that would be the last hit the Cardinals would get.
Trevor Rosenthal was summoned to close it, and after giving up a 2-out walk, got Andrew McCutchen to pop up to second.
Back to St. Louis for a game that might rival Carpenter v. Halladay in 2011.