The St. Louis Cardinals have rallied all night but never been quite able to put it all together against the Washington Nationals, who built a 6-0 lead against Adam Wainwright early. But the sum total of all their missed opportunities and near-misses is now five runs, and after Daniel Descalso hit his second home run of the NLDS, an eighth-inning shot off Tyler Clippard, they're within a run.
Descalso, you'll remember, hit one home run in 2011 and four in 2012. His career slugging percentage is .337. But he's always had a strange kind of pull almost-power, the kind of power that only shows when he wraps a fly ball around the right field foul pole, and it's worked to the Cardinals' advantage in the 2012 postseason.
The Cardinals' bullpen has been nearly perfect, and that's been the difference; their young arms pitched like it was a one-run game from the beginning, and now it finally is one. But the Cardinals still need to open up a rally that culminates in something more than a walked-in run or an RBI groundout, and they're running out of time to do it.