The Phillies sent shockwaves through St. Louis as the Cardinals completely collapsed in the ninth inning, blowing a 2-0 lead.
Game 1 of the NL Wildcard series between the Cardinals and the Phillies had a perfect narrative ready to go. Rookie Juan Yepez hit the first go-ahead pinch-hit home run in team playoff history. Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina had a youngster to thank for a victorious start to their final postseason.
Then the Phillies flipped the script.
A 2-0 ninth-inning lead turned into 2-1 lead after the bases were loaded and Ryan Helsley hit Alec Bohm to score a run.
The stunning collapse only got worse. Philadelphia poured on six runs as Cardinals fans looked on in shock.
Cardinals collapse vs. Phillies stunned MLB Twitter
Those on Twitter were in as much disbelief.
Philadelphia came away with a 6-3 win, taking a 1-0 lead in the wildcard series. That outcome would have felt unbelievable just a few minutes before it all went down.
This was the first time the Cardinals have ever lost a playoff game with a 2-0 lead later than the eighth inning.
Where does St. Louis go from here? This is uncharted territory for the franchise. Fortunately it’s a three-game series.
The team needs to get their heads right before Saturday night when the Cardinals are expected to have Miles Mikolas on the mound against the Phillies’ Aaron Nola. That would have been the case either way, but now STL is unexpectedly going into Game 2 on the brink of elimination from the playoffs. A loss is the end of it all. That’s how quickly fortunes can change in the game of baseball.
If the Cardinals make it through Saturday, everything will ride on Sunday’s Game 3. The right to advance to NLDS to face the Braves is at stake.