St. Louis Cardinals Suffer EPIC Collapse In 9th Inning Of Wild Card Game Against Phillies

Everything appeared to be going according to plan for the St. Louis Cardinals. The #3 seed in the National League, they are hosting the Philadelphia Phillies in the Wild Card round of the MLB Playoffs.

Prior to the ninth inning, Cardinals pitchers had thrown eight shutout innings and had allowed just two hits. And thanks to a two-run, pinch-hit home run by Juan Yepez in the seventh, they had a 2-0 lead.

But that's when it all fell apart. The Cardinals summoned Ryan Helsley out of the bullpen in the eighth inning to get a five-out save, but didn't have it when he returned for the ninth. More accurately, he didn't have it after he got his third out of the night, the number he's probably most accustomed to getting.

Helsley retired the two hitters he faced in the eighth inning and the first batter he saw in the ninth. But that was the last out he would get. Thanks to a combination of timely hitting, poor defense, and a complete loss of control, Helsley allowed the next four hitters to reach before getting the hook.

He gave up a single, walked two batters to load the bases, then hit the next batter to force in a run. Helsley hadn't hit a batter all season and had allowed just 20 walks in 64.2 innings pitched in the regular season.

It goes from bad to worse for Cardinals

Helsley left with the Cardinals still leading 2-1 but the bases still loaded. Andre Pallante was called upon to close it out and he could accomplish no such thing. To be fair to Pallante, it wasn't really his fault. Juan Segura's go-ahead two-run single was a seeing-eye ground ball that sneaked through the infield.

Then, there was the grounder to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt who double-clutched and tried to throw a runner out at the plate, but could not. Then a ball got past third baseman Nolan Arenado and was generously ruled a hit by the hometown scorekeeper, though the nine-time Gold Glover will tell you he should have had it.

All told, the Phillies sent 10 batters to the plate, scored six runs and took a 6-2 lead.

On Thursday, we saw Broncos fans take off before overtime even started. Cardinals fans must have gotten the same memo. Traffic can be tough getting out of the stadium.

Tough loss for the Cards, big win for the Phillies. The only Philly who wasn't having much fun was Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins started the ninth with a strikeout and ended the rally with another strikeout. Every other Phillie either reached base or recorded an RBI in the inning. Hoskins went 0-5 on the day, but something tells me the win matters a lot more.

The teams will meet tomorrow for Game 2 in St. Louis with Aaron Nola pitching for the Phils and Miles Mikolas on the bump for the Cardinals. First pitch is scheduled for 8:37pmET.

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Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.