Sometimes past history should be set aside for recent history. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said he and the rest of the team visiting on the mound was in agreement it would be better to walk aging catcher Brian McCann to face Dansy Swanson, who was 0-for-6 lifetime against Carlos Martinez.
However Swanson, who had already put up two hits in the game including the only ball hit hard against starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, drove an elevated fastball from the Cardinals closer off the wall in left field to tie Game 3 of the NLDS with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to start a rally for the Braves.
Adam Duvall followed with a two-run single as the Braves went on to win 3-1 and take a 2-1 lead in the best of five series.
With the way Swanson was swinging the bat, I felt facing McCann was the better option.
Deal with McCann. Swanson has had the best swings. This is a non discussion. Hope this doesn’t backfire #ATLvsSTL
— Bill Pollock (@missourisports) October 6, 2019
Shildt says it was the right call that just didn’t work out.
The ninth inning ruined a gem of a game thrown by Adam Wainwright. Wainwright tossed seven-and-two-thirds scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out eight. He left in the eighth inning with the bases loaded, but Andrew Miller got Freddie Freeman to fly out to end the threat.
If given the opportunity to close out Game 4 or Game 5 of this series, Shildt won’t hesitate going back to Martinez.
“He’s bent, but he hasn’t broke a lot,” manager Mike Shildt said. “He’s been able to demonstrate it all year. No reason to get knee-jerked without a guy having any setback. So no real thought about not sending him out there at all.”
Game 4 is Monday at 2:07.