Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ringo bracket: Cardinals (87) defeat Padres (87) in seven games

Game One: Cardinals 7, Padres 6 (11 innings)
WP: Worrell (1-0)
LP: McCullers (0-1)

Game Two: Padres 7, Cardinals 4
WP: Whitson (1-0)
LP: Cox (0-1)
Save: Gossage (1)
HR: Wynne 1)

Game Three: Padres 5, Cardinals 2
WP: Grant (1-0)
LP: Dawley (0-1)
Save: Comstock (1)

Game Four: Padres 3, Cardinals 2 (10 innings)
WP: McCullers (1-1)
LP: Horton (0-1)

Game Five: Cardinals 2, Padres 1
WP: Mathews (1-0)
LP: Show (0-1)
Save: Worrell (1)

Game Six: Cardinals 6, Padres 1
WP: Cox (1-1)
LP: Whitson (1-1)
HR: J Clark (1)

Game Seven: Cardinals 4, Padres 1
WP: Magrane (1-0)
LP' Davis (0-1)
Save: Worrell (2)

On the brink of elimination after four games -- and definitely outplayed by the lowly San Diego Padres -- the St. Louis Cardinals shut down the Padres lineup in the final three games to advance.

Game One proved a microcosm for the series as a whole. The Padres scored five runs in the first inning and another in the third to chase Greg Mathews, while Eric Show opened with three perfect frames.

But the Cardinals scored two in the fourth and two more in the fifth. Show was done after six innings. Bob Forsch and Bill Dawley held San Diego scoreless through nine innings, and the Cards broke through in the ninth against Mark Davis and Goose Gossage to tie it the bottom of the ninth. Todd Worrell threw two more scoreless innings for St. Louis, and in the 10th Tom Herr singled home Curt Ford for the decisive run.

Marvell Wynne led off Game Two with a home run -- the only dinger San Diego would hit in the series -- but Ed Whitson gave the lead right back in the bottom of the first. St. Louis led 3-2 going into the seventh, but Tony Gwynn led off the inning with a single and Carmelo Martinez doubled him home to tie it. After John Kruk walked, Lee Tunnell relieved Danny Cox and surrendered RBI doubles to Randy Ready, Garry Templeton and Whitson. The five-run inning carried San Diego to the win.

The Padres turned to Davis for Game Three in a surprise move, and the lefty shut out the Cardinals for five innings before weakening in the sixth. By the time Greg Booker got the Padres out of the inning, the score was tied at 2. It remained there until the Padres plated three runs off Dawley in the bottom of the eighth, which made a winner of Mark Grant, who was originally scheduled to start but threw two scoreless innings of relief.

Sane Diego came up with another lefty to start Game Four, Eric Nolte. He too threw five scoreless innings and gave up two runs in the sixth, with Booker relieving to preserve the 2-2 tie. After Jimmy Jones -- another displaced starter -- escaped the seventh, Lance McCullers threw three shutout innings, and the Padres stung Ricky Horton for the game-winner in the 10th.

Vince Coleman stole four bases without scoring a run. Bruce Bochy, catching for San Diego because of an injury to Benito Santiago, did throw out three Cardinal basestealers (Terry Pendleton twice, Willie McGee once).

One win from upsetting the best team in the 1987 National League but without another lefty to start, the Padres went back to rotation mainstay Show for Game Five. Show pitched well, allowing just six hits and two runs in six innings, and Keith Comstock and Gossage added three more scoreless frames. But Mathews was even better, allowing just three singles and one run over eight innings, and Worrell pitched around a one-out double by Ready in the ninth to nail it down.

Back in St. Louis, Cox wasn't as efficient in Game Six as Mathews was in Game Five -- the Padres had two baserunners in five of his eight innings -- but the ultimate result was the same: eight innings, one run allowed. The Cardinals plated five runs off Whitson in the first two innings. Jack Clark added a sixth run with a seventh-inning homer off Grant, the only homer of the series for St. Louis.

Joe Magrane got the ball for Game Seven, despite an inclination to go with Forsch, and the lefty did not disappoint. He too allowed just one run, although he needed relief help earlier than Mathews and Cox did. Dawley got the final out of the seventh, Horton worked a perfect eighth and Worrell allowed only a harmless walk in the ninth.

The Cardinals scored three runs off Davis in the fourth inning, with  McGee doubling home one run and Pendleton singling home two more.

Pitcher availability: Magrane and Cox cannot pitch until Game Three. Mathews and Tudor will be fully rested for the start of the second round. The bullpen has not been overworked and is fully available. Projected rotation: Mathews-Tudor-Cox-Magrane-(Mathews)-(Tudor or Forsch)-(Cox)

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