This was the worst case scenario entering Saturday. And it's not a bad place to be. Despite losing 3-2 to the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS the Cardinals still head back to Busch Stadium with home field advantage in what is now essentially a best-of-three series.
"Obviously we would've liked to have won but given the circumstances facing (Clayton) Kershaw and (Zack) Greinke in the first two games here in LA...to get a split heading back to St. Louis is what we were after," Matt Carpenter said.
"You look at the two guys they had to throw to start both games, to come out of (LA) with one (win), we're in a good spot going home," Lance Lynn said.
Clearly, the Cardinals are satisfied with their work even though they could have been up 2-0 if a few things would have gone differently. Lance Lynn pitched well - 6 innings, 2 runs allowed - but he wasn't quite as good as his counterpart Zack Greinke who went 7 shutout frames before giving way to the bullpen.
The Cards looked like they were going to pull off a magical win yet again when Matt Carpenter blasted a J.P. Howell sinker into the right field stands in the 8th inning but Pat Neshek allowed a homer of his own in the bottom half.
Matt Kemp gave the Dodgers the lead for good and, thus, sending this series back to St. Louis knotted up at one apiece.
The Cardinals still are in a good position starting on Monday. They'll throw established veteran John Lackey in Game 3 against Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who's not 100% healthy at this point. Then on Tuesday it'll be Shelby Miller versus former Cards farmhand Dan Haren.
If these two teams split in St. Louis, it'll be back to Los Angeles for a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday. That would presumably be Clayton Kershaw against Adam Wainwright once again.