Holliday jump-starts postseason offense in 1st

Holliday jump-starts postseason offense in 1st

ST. LOUIS -- It didn't take long for the Cardinals to establish their advantage in a 4-0 win in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cubs, getting a key contribution from Matt Holliday.

Game Date Results
Gm 1 Oct. 9 STL 4, CHC 0
Gm 2 Oct. 10 CHC 6, STL 3
Gm 3 Oct. 12 CHC 8, STL 6
Gm 4 Oct. 13 CHC 6, STL 4

In the bottom of the first inning against Jon Lester, Stephen Piscotty hit a ground-rule double to the right-field corner that bounced out of play. The next batter was Holliday, who hit a 0-1 fastball for a tailing liner into center field. Piscotty scored just ahead of Dexter Fowler's throw, successfully sliding past catcher David Ross' swipe tag attempt. It was the first run the Cardinals scored since the second game of a doubleheader against the Pirates on Sept 30.

"Well, they got a double down the right-field line," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said on TBS. "Then they got a base hit up the middle. That's going to happen. I think [Lester] looks really good, actually. The fastball velocity is where it needs to be. He really hasn't established the cutter yet, but he will."

Holliday missed 72 games combined over two stretches this season with a right quadriceps strain. He didn't return to the St. Louis lineup until mid-September.

Lester threw a two-out wild pitch to Jhonny Peralta that moved Holliday into scoring position. But Peralta swung and missed for strike three to keep the lead at one run.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.