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The St. Louis Cardinals will advance to the National League Championship Series after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 in game five of the National League Division Series.
On a night when Adam Wainwright pitched a one-run complete game backed by the raucous St. Louis crowd, the Pirates Cinderella story season comes to an end.
"You try to draw up what an ace should look like on a staff and Adam Wainwright embodies that. He's a pro," Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny said according to the LA Times.
Wainwright had it going from the gate. His breaking ball was fooling the Pirates hitters left and right. He had a shutout until the seventh inning when Pedro Alvarez knocked in Justin Morneau. Wainwright only gave up eight hits the entire game, which were mostly singles, and had six strikeouts, according to ESPN.
Mr. Playoffs himself, David Freese, hit a two-run homerun off of Gerrit Cole in the second inning to give the Cardinals the early lead. Cole went five innings and gave up two earned runs.
The game was still relatively in reach for the Pirates. They were only down 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning until Mike Adams, who grew up loving the Pirates, blasted a two-run shot off of Mark Melancon and crushed any hopes of a Pirates comeback.
After recording two outs in the ninth inning, Wainwright gave up base hits to Morneau and Marlon Byrd. With Alvarez at the plate things became more interesting. Alvarez went on to swing at three consecutive breaking balls in the dirt from Wainwright. The Cardinals immediately stormed the mound after the strikeout.
It was tough loss for the Pirates, who finally stepped out of baseball mediocrity this season. They just faced a tough matchup in the Cardinals. The Cardinals will now face the Dodgers in the NLCS, which should be a phenomenal series between two very talented teams.