Raise your hand if you predicted that the Washington Nationals would walk into Busch Stadium and take the first two games of the NLCS on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The story of Games 1 and 2 has been the sheer dominance from Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer, but the Cards have choked away what should have been a significant home field advantage. After all, Mike Shildt's club finished 50-31 at home in the 2019 regular season.
What does it all come down to? Well, let's put it this way -- bench player Jose Martinez has two hits in both of his pinch hit at bats. All other St. Louis batters are a combined 2-for-52 at the plate.
Folks, that equates to a staggeringly poor .038 batting average. Yes, Sanchez has been thoroughly remarkable in the postseason throughout his career, but the Cardinals made him look like Cy Young in Game 1. Let's remember that this is the same club that hung 10 runs on the Atlanta Braves in the FIRST inning of a do-or-die Game 5 of the NLDS...on the road no less.
Game 2 on Saturday finished 3-1, and St. Louis was lucky to have that run on the scoreboard as Nats center fielder Michael Taylor horrendously misplayed a line drive in eighth inning, a gaffe that lead to the Cards' lone run.
In a truly perfect summary of St. Louis' palpable choke job, Sanchez and Scherz became the first teammates in MLB playoff history to take a no-hitter beyond the sixth inning in back-to-back days. That stat is as much of a product of a poor offensive approach as it is about good pitching.
Are we saying that this series is over? No, absolutely not. It's October, and anything can happen.
But the Cardinals have a STEEP hole to climb out of heading to DC, and the fact of the matter is that it shouldn't have come to this, not by a long shot.