Both starting pitchers were masterful in Game 3 of this best-of-5 series between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals. Atlanta’s Mike Soroka pitched seven innings and allowed only two hits, one run, and no walks with seven strikeouts. Adam Wainwright was slightly better, allowing no runs on four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts through 7.2 scoreless innings.
But in the top of the 9th, trailing 1-0, the Atlanta Braves drew two walks and got three hits and three runs off of Carlos Martinez to take a 3-1 lead. The home crowd in St. Louis was left in a stunned silence, likely wondering why Carlos Martinez was even in the game in the first place. Martinez got tagged for two hits (both home runs) and three runs in St. Louis’s 7-6 win over Atlanta in Game 1.
Martinez was successful down the stretch as the Cardinals’ closer. But after a double to start the ninth inning and another double with two outs left to tie the game at 1-1, perhaps Cards manager Mike Shildt should have considered bringing in someone else to get the final out against red-hot pinch-hitter Adam Duvall.
But Shildt rolled the dice with Carlos Martinez, and Duvall delivered with a 2 RBI hit. Mark Melancon got the final three outs to earn his second save of the postseason.