2012 MLB: St. Louis Cardinals make swift advance in the NLDS – Part 4
The St. Louis Cardinals came menacingly prepared for Game 2 of the National League Division Series. The defeat inflicted on them by the Washington Nationals, was to be outdone. So it was the Cardinals that reversed the tide here.
Losing Game 1 by 3-2, herein the Cardinals came back aggressively to win by 12-4. The offensive and defensive shortcomings in the previous game were to be overcome, the Nationals’ weaknesses to be exploited and turned into defeat for them.
It indeed was a reverse of fortune here as the Cardinals' pitchers did their bid to outmanoeuvre the Nationals’ batters, while the Cardinals' offence was to incapacitate the Nationals’ defence. Under the aegis of rookie manager Mike Matheny, the Cardinals indeed were a tough rival now.
With the offensive prowess at its best, Matheny said he knew the club had the potential to do this – hoping it would remain contagious for the club in the days to come.
It was a game which saw four homers being hammered by the Cardinals' batters; two of which came off Carlos Beltran’s bat. Beltran became the second player to have multi-homer game in the post-season play both for and against a team.
He had homered against the Cardinals when he was a part of the New York Mets in 2006 in the post-season game. Previously it was Manny Ramirez who had achieved this distinction. For Beltran, this was all the more necessary.
After all, his team was 0-1 and here was a feat that enabled the team to draw the five-game series by 1-1 apiece.
Jordan Zimmerman, who had an otherwise successful season, could not hold his ground here; thanks to incredibly forceful display of offence by the Cardinals. He surrendered five runs, allowing seven hits, in merely three innings.
But facing the likes of David Freese and Beltran, Zimmerman had probably anticipated what was coming his way.
"They have a great lineup," Zimmermann said. "You get a few guys out and then you've got Beltran, (David) Freese and it never stops. You have to make your pitches and I wasn't able to do that tonight."
Lance Lynn proved right replacement after Jaime Garcia had to leave the game incomplete due to pain in his shoulder, after pitching only two innings, as he allowed only two runs in his three inning spell.
"I was ready from the get-go in case anything happened," he said. "Something I was able to do at times this year, able to be down in the bullpen a little bit, and I was able to use that experience."
With the 12-4 win, the Cardinals were to make another strong show in Game 3 wherein they scored a majestic 8-0 win.