No one wanted to play the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Wild Card game. The team of the last month or so had somehow clawed their way from fringe contenders to a team capable of beating anyone. And the Los Angeles Dodgers, the defending World Series champs, had to settle for playing them after finishing second in the NL West despite winning 106 games. To get a second crack at the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS, they had to defeat the team no one wanted to face. And they had to do it after going behind at the top of the first.
The Cardinals capitalized on a Max Scherzer wild pitch to get across their only run of the contest, and they would hold the 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth when Justin Turner launched a solo homer to tie the game. From there, it remained tight and tense for the next five innings, ultimately culminating when the Dodgers got a man aboard in the bottom of the ninth. With Cody Bellinger, who has struggled all year long with injuries and got on base three times in the outing, on it was Chris Taylor that delivered with a two-run bomb that sent the Dodgers back to the ‘proper’ playoffs to take on their division rivals in a five-game series. It’s a remarkable underdog story for the Dodgers even if it may not look like it. The Cardinals truly had put together a tremendous run, and though on the road, they had all of their players available while the Dodgers have fought all year with injuries and continue to do so. Either way, it’s over for the Cards now and the Dodgers will be the ones that will look to end the unlikely run of the Giants.