11 thoughts on a playoff rematch 11 years in the making

PITTSBURGH — When remaining the Philadelphia Phillies seemed in the postseason, the Cardinals had been celebrating in the background and there, in the foreground and in evident ache, was once Ryan Howard, the slugger and ultimate out of the 2011 National League Division Series felled by way of an Achilles’ tendon damage in the ultimate act of that season.

The Cardinals went on to win the World Series that season.

The Phillies haven’t been the identical since.

With a third-place end the NL East, the Phillies earned a playoff berth and overdue Tuesday night time had been confident the 6th seed in the league’s playoffs. That brings them to St. Louis for a best-of-three wild card sequence that will likely be performed fully at Busch Stadium. Game instances are to be introduced, most probably Wednesday.

In the period in-between, from the different facet of Pennsylvania, listed here are 11 fast thoughts on a rematch of the ’11 NLDS 11 years after the Phillies had been remaining in the playoffs.

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1. The Phillies gained the season sequence, 4-3. They took two of the 3 video games in the Cardinals’ talk over with to Philadelphia, after which break up a four-game talk over with to Busch Stadium previous this season. In the ones seven video games, the Phillies outscored the Cardinals, 22-20. The Cardinals hit 9 house runs towards the Phillies, and the Phillies hit 8 towards the Cardinals.

2. In two begins this season towards the Cardinals, Philadelphia right-hander Zack Wheeler pitched 14 scoreless innings. He allowed 9 hits (all singles) and struck out 10 whilst main the Phillies to 2 wins. Wheeler is the presumptive Game 1 get started Friday at Busch. And he can have been a Cardinal. In 2019, the Cardinals and New York Mets had business talks at the closing date about Wheeler. The Cardinals hesitated at the deal as a result of it will have value them both Tyler O’Neill or Harrison Bader as the centerpiece. This summer time, they traded Bader to the different New York workforce for a pitcher, lefty Jordan Montgomery.

3. In their profession, Paul Goldschmidt (5-for-23) and Nolan Arenado (5-for-15) are a blended 10-for-37 (.270) towards Wheeler. Albert Pujols has but to take an at-bat towards the right-hander in both in their careers. The Cardinal with the largest good fortune towards Wheeler? Paul DeJong, who’s four-for-nine (.444) with two house runs.

4. The reigning National League MVP, Bryce Harper has had an injury-challenged season that started with a lengthy stint at designated hitter because of an elbow damage after which plunged into a stretch on the injured listing with a fractured thumb. Since returning to the lineup in overdue August, Harper has hit .226 with a .327 on-base proportion and a .355 slugging proportion for a .681 OPS. He’s hit 3 house runs and 10 extra-base hits in his previous 147 plate appearances.

5. The Cardinals and Pujols level to the All-Star Game or even the three-time MVP’s participation in the Home Run Derby as a turning level in his summer time. His supervisor mentioned he was once “rejuvenated” by way of the revel in and that gave him the booster rockets for one in every of the largest 2d part performances of his profession. Well, if this is the case, that began with a first-round knockout of Philadelphia slugger Kyle Schwarber in the derby. Schwarber, the former Cub who is aware of a homer or two about having good fortune towards the Cardinals in October, reached the ultimate day of the common season 2d simplest to Aaron Judge in homers. Schwarber had 46. But, the best seed in the Home Run Derby misplaced in a swing-off to Pujols, the crowd favourite at Dodger Stadium.

6. The Phillies have their rotation set as much as throw Wheeler (12-7, 2.92) in Game 1, Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25) in Game 2, and lefty Ranger Suarez (10-6, 3.37) in Game 3, if vital. Kyle Gibson, a Mizzou alum who spends his offseason in the St. Louis house, went 10-8 for the Phillies in 31 begins with a 5.05 ERA.

7. In video games towards the Cardinals this season, Alec Bohm has led the Phillies going 8-for-19 with a slash line of .421/.429/.842 and tw homers, 3 RBIs, and 5 runs scored. Rhys Hoskins has vexed the Cardinals sooner than and this season he’s hit 9-for-25 with a slash line of .360/.414/.800. He has 3 homers with 4 RBIs and 4 runs scored. On the different facet of the splits is Nick Castellanos, the former flexing Red who’s 7-for-29 with a line of .241/.241/.241. Schwarber, this 12 months, has hit 4-for-29 vs. the Cardinals with a line of .138/.167/.241but does have a homer.

On the different facet of the sequence, there’s Arenado who went 10-for-22 towards the Phillies this season with a slash line of .455/.520/1.000. He had 3 homers and 6 RBIs. Pujols went 4-for-13 for a line of .308/.357/.615 towards the Phils, however that was once additionally all the way through a time when Pujols’ taking part in time was once extra equipment towards dealing with left-handed pitchers. Lars Nootbaar has a .300/.364/.700 line towards Philadelphia in restricted look. Cardinals’ sparkplugs and leadoff hitters have no longer carried out as neatly. Tommy Edman is 2-for-12 towards the Phillies with a .167/.286/.250 line and 5 strikeouts in the ones 12 at-bats. Current leadoff hitter and rookie Brendan Donovan went 1-for-14 vs. Phillies with a .071/.235/.071 line.

During a recreation at Philadelphia – the one the Cardinals gained – the Cardinals hit house runs in 4 consecutive at-bats: Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez, and Dylan Carlson.

8. And then there’s pitching. Cardinals nearer Ryan Helsley has held the Phillies to a .071/.143/.071 line in 3 video games and 13 at-bats towards him. Genesis Cabrera, who significantly hit Harper in the face with a pitch all the way through an indictment of MLB’s three-batter minimal rule, struck out 3 of the Phillies he confronted this season in 5 at-bats. Of the Cardinals’ most probably starters, simplest Miles Mikolas has confronted the Phillies in a Cardinals jersey this season. He’s 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA in two begins towards Philadelphia this season. Two of the Phillies’ 3 losses to the Cardinals this season had been pegged to reliever Seranthony Dominguez.

9. The Cardinals and Phillies made a refined business at the closing date. The Cardinals, having a look to transparent a spot for DeJong’s go back to the majors, despatched shortstop Edmundo Sosa to Philadelphia for lefty JoJo Romero. Both avid gamers discovered higher alternative with their new workforce. Romero has caught with the Cardinals since his promotion and is a candidate to be one in every of the lefties out of the bullpen in the wild-card sequence. Sosa was once a defensive revelation for a workforce that struggled when dealing with the ball. He’s on the 10-day injured listing (hamstring pressure) however may go back in time to offer a just right glove and welcome velocity off the bench in the wild-card around.

Aside: The participant the Phillies recalled when striking Sosa on the injured listing is some other former Cardinal – Yairo Munoz.

10. The Phillies’ has season has been outlined by way of exchange. In June, Philadelphia fired supervisor Joe Girardi and promoted bench trainer Rob Thomson, who oversaw a revival for the Phillies and the overdue run for the 6th seed in the NL playoffs. That would counsel Thomson would possibly stick as supervisor. Late in the season, lefty Brad Hand deliberate to throw to hitters as he made his long ago from elbow soreness. Corey Knebel, who leads the Phillies with 12 saves this season, is on the 60-day injured listing. Zach Eflin has extra begins (13) than appearances as a reliever (seven) and but he may well be the Phillies’ nearer all the way through the weekend wild-card sequence. Eflin’s first profession save was once the save in the win that despatched Philadelphia to the postseason.

11. The Cardinals would put a galloping squirrel on their 2011 World Series championship rings as a nod to the “Rally Squirrel” who confirmed up at Busch Stadium all the way through the NLDS towards Philadelphia. Skip Schumaker was once at bat when the squirrel buzzed house plate, and it was once Schumaker who then, in Game 5, delivered the RBI double for the simplest run. Schumaker’s double adopted leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal’s triple, and Carpenter made that sufficient.

Well, Schumaker is again with the Cardinals as bench trainer.

The squirrel, like the Phillies, has been absent from each October since.

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