ATLANTA (KMOX) - The all-deciding Game 5 between the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves will be a rematch of Game 2 in the NLDS - with starting pitchers Jack Flaherty and Mike Foltynewicz facing off again.
Flaherty has been the best pitcher in the National League and possibly all of baseball since the All-Star break – winning back-to-back NL Pitcher of the Month awards in August and September. During his press conference on Tuesday he talked about something his teammates such as Harrison Bader and Matt Carpenter have noticed about the 23-year-old when he steps on the mound: He pitches with anger.
"That's something that's kind of gone on since high school," Flaherty says. "My high school coach talked about it, that you kind of turn into a different kind of animal or different kind of beast when you get on the mound. 'I don't know what it is or what you think about or what you try to channel or what energy you try to bring, but stay with that,' (my high school coach said). So every time I get on the mound it's getting into that zone and getting into that state.
"It's kind of whatever it takes. It's almost like we're going into a heavyweight fight and it's me versus the guy in the box. Granted, I've got seven guys behind me and a Hall of Fame guy behind the plate, but it's me versus you. And it's my job to get you out. And it doesn't matter what's going on or who's in my way."
First, the Atlanta Braves host the St. Louis Cardinals just after 4 p.m. and KMOX's coverage begins at 3:12 p.m.
Then, it's the Washington Nationals at the Los Angeles Dodgers beginning at 7:37 p.m. The winners meet in the best-of-seven NL Championship Series starting Friday.
Atlanta has lost nine straight postseason rounds starting with a five-game setback to Arizona in the 2001 NLCS. The Braves are one series loss from equaling an ignominious record set by the Chicago Cubs, who dropped 10 postseason rounds in a row between 1908 and 2003.
"History is history. We're in the moment now. This is a completely different and new team," Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson said with a shrug.
The pitching matchup will be a rematch of Game 2, when Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz outdueled Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals for a 3-0 victory.
Nine visiting teams eliminated the Braves at their previous ballpark, Turner Field — with the Cardinals doing it twice. The move to SunTrust Park in 2017 didn't change Atlanta's fortunes. Last season, the Braves were closed out at home by the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLDS.