(BaseballStL) – For the second straight night defensive miscues cost the Cardinals an NLCS game. This time it was a three-run sixth inning that gave way to the San Francisco Giants stealing the lead and win away from the Cards.
Heading into the sixth inning, the Redbirds were clinging to a one run lead. Marco Gonzales was pitching in relief of starter Shelby Miller who had exited the game in the fourth inning and Carlos Martinez made it out of the fifth inning unscathed.
However, Gonzales gave up a lead-off walk to pinch-hitter Juan Perez that was followed by a single to Brandon Crawford. The Giants sacrificed both runners over a base which brought the Birds defense in for a potential play at the plate.
Facing Gregor Blanco, Gonzales got the ground ball he needed, a hit to first baseman Matt Adams, but Big City stumbled over his feet bringing his momentum over the top of his body. He then had to throw home off his opposite foot, and the Cards were unable to get Perez before he crossed the plate.
Now with a tied ballgame, Gonzales got Joe Panik to ground out as well, but Adams made the wrong decision on where to throw. With Crawford halfway down the third base line, Adams decided to step on first while throwing on to second in hopes that Jhonny Peralta would be able to tag out Blanco attempting to end the inning with a double play. Instead, his throw was off-line and the go-ahead run scored.
Although his manager stood behind his intent when Adams decided to get the out at first.
"It's the right play by touching the base," Mike Matheny said, "He's just got to check home at that point and the runner wasn't going. But you know, they took off once he released the ball to second base. That's not really the play we want."
Buster Posey tacked on another run for a two run lead that effectively shut the door on the Cardinals as the offense was unable to push anyone past second base and were held scoreless for six innings.
What makes it worse, the Cards will have to fight off elimination against Madison Bumgarner. Facing the Giant ace in Game 1, they mustered only four hits in the 3-0 shutout.