The St Louis Cardinals made light work of the Atlanta Braves as they reached the MLB's National League Championship Series for the first time since 2014.
St Louis humbled Atlanta, cruising to a crushing 13-1 victory in Game 5 of the NL Division Series in Atlanta on Wednesday – sealing a 3-2 success.
The Cardinals got on top 4-0 before Braves manager Brian Snitker pulled starter Mike Foltynewicz. And when the first inning was all said and done, St Louis led 10-0.
The game was over at that point. The largest comeback in a Division Series game is six and there was virtually zero chance the Braves were going to come back from 10 down.
Now the Cardinals await the winner of the Los Angeles Dodgers-Washington Nationals series that will be decided later on Wednesday.
Three takeaways from the Cardinals' series-clinching NLDS Game 5 win over the Braves
Flaherty shut it down
Let's be honest, Jack Flaherty did not have to do much in this game as he came in with a 10-0 lead, but that does not change the fact that he was great. After a Game 2 performance where he allowed three runs in seven innings of a 3-1 loss, Flaherty came back and was even better in Game 5 – allowing just one run in six innings of work.
More importantly though, after that 10-run first inning, he left absolutely no doubt. He came out and worked around a single and a walk to post a scoreless inning, and immediately got rid of any idea that he would give the Braves an opportunity like the Cardinals were given in the top half of the inning.
Flaherty was fantastic to end the year and he has carried that into the playoffs. He is this team's ace and there is no doubt about it.
What year is it?
When 10 runs are scored in an inning, it must come with at least one home run right? In 2019 when MLB broke the home run record once again, that has to be the assumption. But believe it or not, that was not the case in Game 5.
The Cardinals, in fact, scored 13 runs through seven innings and did it without a single homer. That cannot be all that common. Especially for 2019. But it was not the most this season. St Louis were actually the team to pull that off as they scored 17 without a home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 9, according to NBC Sports Chicago.
However, it is not nearly the most ever scored without a run. In 1923, the Cleveland Indians scored 27 runs without a home run, according to Baseball Reference. But for 2019, 13 is one heck of a big number.
The beating goes on
It is tough being an Atlanta sports fan. Forget this miserable loss in a winner-take-all game but think about the longevity for a second. With this defeat for the Braves, Atlanta have now lost 10 straight postseason series.
The last win came in the 2001 NLDS when the Braves beat the Houston Astros in four games.
But the Braves have not really been all that close to winning a series either. Until this year, the last time they had a chance to win a Division Series was in the 2004 NLDS against the Astros which they lost in five games. Other than that, they had not won more than one game in a series until 2019.
It has been a rough go of it for Braves fans, and honestly, we feel for you.