(BaseballStL) -- After ending the Pirates’ Cinderella story two chapters short of a perfect ending, the Cardinals wait to let the champagne burn in their eyes and the beer drench their clothing before they have to prepare for their next date, the Dodgers.
“We certainly weren’t getting too far past today,” manager Mike Matheny said. “We respect the game too much to get any further past what we had in hand, and we had our hands full.”
In their first postseason since 1992, the Pirates took the Cardinals to the brink coming one win away from advancing. But the team ran into Adam Wainwright twice and fell into the hot trap of Michael Wacha.
An ‘oh so close’ effort put in by a team of the future.
Wainwright delivered the first dagger with a 9-1 victory in Game 1 and struck them for a final blow in a complete game 6-1 victory in the decisive Game 5. Sandwiched in between was a Wacha gem that kept the Pirates hitless into the eighth inning.
Cardinals advance. Pirates go home. Dodgers up next.
“It’s going to be a blast,” David Freese, who smacked a go-ahead two-run blast in Game 5, said. “It’s going to be really fun, St. Louis and L.A. going at it. They’re a great team. It’s going to be huge. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The Dodgers enter the series defeating the Braves in four games and as one of the hottest teams in the second half of the season. Despite finishing the month of September with a 12-15 record, the Dodgers finished 45-23 in the second half.
It’s an upcoming task that Matheny isn’t ready to tip his hand to regarding the starting rotation.
“We’ll talk about that later,” Matheny said. “We’ll be looking forward to that Dodgers series. I know they’ve got a strong club too. It’s going to be a tough assignment for us, but we’ll start preparing for that tomorrow.”
It’t the first postseason meeting with the Dodgers since the Cardinals were swept 3-0 in the 2009 NLDS. The Cardinals lost four of the seven meetings with the Dodgers this season, but were outscored 27-30.