ATLANTA (CBS46) – There is no tomorrow for the Atlanta Braves if they can’t pull out a win in Game 5 of the National League Divisional Series Wednesday evening.
The Braves are tied 2-2 with the St. Louis Cardinals in the series and everything will come down to the final game of the series. The Cards will turn to right-hander Jack Flaherty to take them to the National League Championship Series while the Braves will counter with right-hander Mike Foltynewicz.
Flaherty was lights out in the second half of the regular season with a 0.91 ERA and more than 100 strikeouts over his final 15 regular-season starts. But Foltynewicz also performed well down the stretch of the regular season with a 1.73 ERA over his final seven regular-season starts.
In Game 2 of the NLDS, Folty was nearly unhittable, retiring the last 11 batters he faced in the game. On the flip side, Flaherty struggled, for him, giving up eight hits and three runs in Game 2.
Momentum is behind the Cardinals after a thrilling Game 4 victory sent the series back to Atlanta for the definitive Game 5. But, playing in the friendly confines of SunTrust Park may be just what the manager ordered for the Braves.
In the regular season, Atlanta was 50-31 at home while St. Louis finished just one game over .500 with a 41-40 record on the road.
Yet, after Atlanta’s disappointing bullpen performance in Game 4, and the fact that St. Louis will have pitcher Adam Wainwirght available if needed; it would appear the Braves have a tall task ahead of them to make it to the NLCS.
The Braves haven’t been to the NLCS since 2001 and haven’t won the NLCS since 1999. Still, dating back to 1982, the Braves have appeared in the playoffs 19 times and have made it to the NLCS 10 times.