The St. Louis Cardinals won a nail-biter in Game 1 of the NLCS on Sunday, taking down the San Francisco Giants 6-4. It was a close one, with starter Lance Lynn giving up four runs in the fourth inning before the team settled down on the backs of their bullpen and managed to pull out the win.
Following the game, Cards blog Viva El Birdos focused on what has been a problem for the entire postseason, the pitching management of rookie manager Mike Matheny. Specifically, his lack of a quick hook on starters that have had less than stellar starts to games:
Kelly and his fellow middle relievers, Trevor Rosenthal and Edward Mujica, have pitched very well. (I would even include Shelby Miller in the group.) They are a very nice bridge to the late innings and Matheny should not hesitate to turn to them at the first sign of trouble. Matheny stuck with his starter too long for a second straight game and, in doing so, hurt his team's chances at winning an all-important postseason game. The Cardinals cannot afford many more of these rookie mistakes.
Fortunately for St. Louis, they suffered no consequences from Lynn's fourth-inning issues. They'll go into Game 2 on Monday with a win in hand in the seven game series.