Key homers cap tough postseason for Siegrist

Key homers cap tough postseason for Siegrist

CHICAGO -- The postseason sequel to the Kevin Siegrist vs. Anthony Rizzo matchup on Tuesday was just as costly as the first meeting for the lefty reliever. But this time against the Cubs' first baseman, it proved disastrous for the Cardinals.

Rizzo's two-out home run off Siegrist in the sixth inning was the go-ahead run that snapped a tie game and sent St. Louis to a 6-4 loss and playoff elimination in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.

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"I was just trying to make good pitches against him. I wasn't sharp tonight," Siegrist said. "There's not really any excuse. I threw a slider. It just hung up a little bit and he hit it out."

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

When Siegrist entered in Game 3 on Monday, his first batter was also Rizzo. In that spot, the slugger hit a 2-2 fastball for a homer that gave Chicago back-to-back long balls and helped cinch the game.

Entering the postseason, Rizzo was 2-for-14 with five walks, four strikeouts and no extra-base hits in his career against Siegrist.

"He just took some good at-bats off of me. A good piece of hitting, I guess," Siegrist said.

Siegrist threw 27 pitches on Monday, but did not use that as an excuse. Rizzo said Tuesday's pitches were completely different from Monday's.

"All three sliders. First night was all fastballs," said Rizzo, who hit a 0-2 slider on Tuesday. "There's no cat-and-mouse game with these teams. We know what everyone has. We know what their pitchers have. They know what we have. Luckily he's been tough on me -- every time I've faced him. I don't know how I got him, but just an unbelievable game overall."

Siegrist finished the sixth inning and returned for the seventh when leadoff batter Kyle Schwarber crushed a 1-2 fastball on the inner half of the plate for a 419-foot homer that hit the new video board in right field.

Statcast: Schwarber's moonshot

Siegrist, who struggled in 2014 but rebounded this season to become the Cardinals' primary setup man while leading the team with 81 appearances, had allowed only four home runs in the regular season. That included two homers in 79 at-bats vs. lefty hitters.

In the postseason, Siegrist gave up three homers in two games, all to left-handed hitters.

"You can't pitch like that in the postseason," Siegrist said. "There's no excuse for that. I'll learn from it. I'll be better next year for it."

A hard lesson to take into what could be a long winter.

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.