Postseason power burst gives Cardinals the edge

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 13, 2014 3:43 AM

By Brett Wolf

ST LOUIS (Reuters) - For a team that says they are not focused on hitting home runs, the St. Louis Cardinals are hitting them in bunches in the postseason.

In Game Two of their National League Champions Series against San Francisco on Sunday, the Cardinals had four home runs, all solo shots, in a 5-4 win over the Giants that sends the series to California tied at 1-1.

St. Louis were last in the National League with 105 homers during the regular season, but have hit 11 in an explosion of postseason power.

Matt Carpenter, Oscar Taveras, Matt Adams and Kolten Wong all went deep on Sunday. After the game, Taveras, Adams and Wong – all smiles as they sat should-to-shoulder for a group interview -- said they were not swinging for the fences.

"I think if we go up there looking to hit a homer we're going to get too big and probably end up getting jammed," Adams said. "We don't go up there trying to hit the ball out of the park."

When asked to explain the power surge in the postseason, Adams said it was simply the product of sticking with an approach and having good at-bats.

"Throughout the season people were worried about our power, but we knew inside the clubhouse that we didn't lose any power (from the 2013 season)," he said.

Wong, whose walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning sent the standing room-only, red-clad crowd into a frenzy, agreed.

"You have so much adrenaline, so much excitement going on being at this stage ... things you never expected to happen, happen," he said.

Cards coach Nike Matheny said the key has been simply trying to put a good swing on the ball.

"In the big situations, they seem to get a little air under it," he said.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)