Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Cardinals News

Hustling Harrison fuels Cards' first NLDS run

Infield single, steal of third jump-start St. Louis, help chase Keuchel
@JoeTrezz
October 4, 2019

ATLANTA -- The home run may come to define these playoffs, like it did the 2019 regular season. But the Cardinals and Braves are showing the little things still matter in a big way come October. The Cardinals proved that Thursday, when they scored their first run of their 7-6

ATLANTA -- The home run may come to define these playoffs, like it did the 2019 regular season. But the Cardinals and Braves are showing the little things still matter in a big way come October.

The Cardinals proved that Thursday, when they scored their first run of their 7-6 win in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Braves at SunTrust Park without the benefit of a ball leaving the infield. The catalyst was Harrison Bader, who legged out an infield single leading off the fifth. He advanced to second on Miles Mikolas’ sac bunt, stole third off Dallas Keuchel and scored on Dexter Fowler’s groundout to second base with the infield in.

The sequence of events knotted the game at 1. Throw in Tommy Edman's bloop double that followed, and it was enough to chase Keuchel, who was replaced by Darren O’Day with two outs in the fifth. The Braves had jumped ahead early when Mikolas walked his first two hitters of the game, Freddie Freeman singled and Josh Donaldson scored Ozzie Albies with a fielder's choice.

Bader motored down the first-base line to reach safely on his single, reaching an elite 30.3 feet per second sprint speed to go home to first in 4.12 seconds. He benefited from a 38-foot secondary lead on his steal of third, which he completed without a throw from catcher Brian McCann.

Though he had an uneven offensive season overall, Bader remains one of the bigger speed threats on a Cards team that tied for the NL lead with 116 steals in 2019. Bader swiped 11 in 14 attempts; Keuchel didn’t allow a stolen base in 19 starts this season.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.