After a shaky inning from Chris Carpenter, Pete Kozma was apparently just what the St. Louis Cardinals ordered against Edwin Jackson and the Washington Nationals. With runners on first and third after a David Freese double and a Daniel Descalso single, Kozma pulled a Jackson pitch high into the air and into the left field stands, putting the Cardinals up by a score of 4-0.
So far in the postseason Kozma, who hit the ball hard in September to earn a very unlikely starting job at shortstop, had been better recognized for his defensive miscues than those unlikely offensive fireworks. His inability to stay on a ball Matt Holliday probably should have called off precipitated the Great Infield Fly Riot of 2012, and his ugly bobble on a late-inning grounder cost the Cardinals in Game 1, giving the Nationals the extra out that led to Tyler Moore's game-winning blooper.
His baserunning prowess never dimmed, though, and Wednesday afternoon he gave the Cardinals a cushion it looked like they might need after Chris Carpenter narrowly escaped the first. If Pete Kozma can hit a three-run home run, obviously, no four-run lead is quite safe, but the Cardinals are in a great position going into the bottom of the second. And they owe it all to a guy who was just a spectacular draft bust two months ago.