Happy Jack Flaherty day, everybody.
The Cardinals beat the Braves in game 1 of the NLDS and provided a whole series worth of drama in doing so. But what else should we expect? Nothing has come easy this year but the Birds have put themselves in the exact position they wanted to be in, and that is up 1-0 with their ace on the mound for game two.
The lineup for game two looks similar to that of game one:
Fowler – RF
Edman – 3B
Ozuna – LF
Molina – C
Wong – 2B
DeJong – SS
Bader – CF
23 year old stud that’s been dominating the entire league – P
Wong and DeJong flipped spots in the order. Other than that, the only change is the man taking the bump for the Cards today. The list of superlatives to describe Jack Flaherty is a long one and you’ve probably heard them all. To me, the best one is “ace”, mostly because that’s a position the Cardinals have struggled to really solidify recently.
In 2019, 425 pitchers got paid more than Jack Flaherty…. Only 5 had lower ERAs…talk about value. His second half was something many living Cardinals fans have never seen before; it featured a 0.91 ERA and a .142 opponent batting average. He’s coming off a 7-inning, 2-hit masterpiece against the Cubs that propelled us to an NL Central crown; it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which he doesn’t have success against the Braves here this afternoon. This dude is legit and you should be absolutely stoked to watch him pitch on this stage.
I’d love to talk about how if Goldy and Ozuna stay hot and if we tighten up the defense we should put ourselves in a good position to win… but ladies and gentlemen today is about Jack Flaherty. At this point, he can put us on his back and carry us to the NLCS with a win today and in game 5 if necessary. Yes, we must score to win but as we saw yesterday, runs against the Braves should not be too hard to come by. Runs against Jack Flaherty on the other hand, those are tough to get.