*****Update**** 11:45 pm ET- Tigers win ALDS over A's. 3-0 final score.
The MLB Playoff Standings are shrinking as the 2013 NL Championship Series is set. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-1, in Game 5 of the NLDS, winning the series 3-2 and advancing to the League Championship. How did the Cardinals clinch and who else is alive in the MLB Playoff Standings?
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Adam Wainwright deserves a lot of the credit for the victory. He held the Pirates to just one run. The run would have never scored had the Cardinals played tidier defense, but with Wainwright on the mound, the offense provided the thunder necessary to advance to the following round.
David Freese, who played a gigantic role in the 2011 championship, got things started on the offensive end almost immediately. He whacked a two-run bomb to left field, giving the Red Birds a 2-0 lead. A lead that was never threatened until the top of the sixth when the Pirates got there run in on a single by Pedro Alvarez, who was truly a bright spot for the Bucs.
Wainwright, however, proved to be more clutch than the Pirates. He got himself into messes and was able to work out of trouble multiple times despite having the game-tying run at the plate. Wainwright tossed nine innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits, walking one and striking out five.
Matt Adams also joined the party, smacking a moonshot in the bottom of the eighth for insurance. It was his first career postseason home run.
Now, the Cardinals gear up to face the red hot Los Angeles Dodgers, who have been firing on all cylinders in the playoffs. the series starts on Friday and we will bring you more information on that matchup as it nears.
Here's a look at all the teams remaining in the 2013 MLB Playoffs.
MLB Playoffs Standings
Pirates 2 --- Cardinals
Braves 1---- Dodgers
Red Sox 3--- Red Sox
The A's and Tigers still have to finish their ALDS and that series will conclude on Thursday.