Los Angeles Dodgers defeat St. Louis Cardinals, 5-1
John Smoltz added to his playoff legacy Saturday night, if the Cardinals did not.
Pitching in relief, Smoltz entered in the sixth inning and fanned five Los Angeles Dodgers in succession. The "Ks" gave the red-clad masses at Busch Stadium a rare opportunity to get excited, and increased Smoltz' NLDS career record strikeout total to 58. He has 186 postseason strikeouts in 41 career postseason appearances, which includes a record 16 NLDS pitching appearances.
OK, what was that? Where did the Cardinals go? I don't think I've ever seen a quality team fade and disappear as quickly and quietly as the 2009 Cardinals, who utterly reeked in getting swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS.
And that's what we'll take into the postseason: the perplexing mystery of why this team imploded in the final stages. We'll wonder about bats that went hollow, good vibrations that turned negative and bold trades that didn't fully pay off.