Called up in August from the Cardinals' AAA affiliate, Memphis (Pacific Coast League), Wacha was used primarily as a reliever until September, when he joined the starting rotation, going 2-1, with a 1.78 ERA in five starts.
In the ALDS, Wacha held the Pirates to one run on one hit - an eighth-inning solo homer by Pedro Alvarez - over 7 1/3 innings for a 2-1 win. St. Louis won the divisional series in five games.
In game two of the championship series, Wacha faced off with Kershaw for the first time, shutting out the Dodgers on five hits over 6 2/3 innings in a 1-0 St. Louis victory.
In three post-season starts, Wacha is 3-0, with an 0.43 ERA, allowing one run on eight hits over 22 innings, walking four and fanning 22. In the pennant-clincher Friday, the 6'6" right-hander walked one and fanned five.
Beltran got the Cardinals on the board in the third inning with an RBI single and later scored as the Cardinals got to Kershaw early for four runs. In the fifth, St. Louis plated five more, Beltran finishing the job with another RBI single, driving in Wacha with the final run of the game.
Beltran also doubled, going 3-for-4 for the game. He drove in six runs for St. Louis in the series, the same number he had in the divisional series against Pittsburgh.
By beating the Dodgers four games to two, St. Louis heads to the World Series for the fourth time in the last 10 years. They await the winner of the ALCS which resumes Saturday night in Boston (8:37 pm EDT), the Red Sox holding a 3-2 lead in games over Detroit.
Game one of the World Series is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23. Having won the All-Star game, the American League champion will have home field advantage, hosting games one, two, six and seven, if necessary. The middle three games will be in St. Louis.
Today's Trivia: The record for RBI in a single World Series is 12. What player holds that distinction? (answer tomorrow)
Yesterday's Answer: Mickey Mantle holds the record for most World Series homers with 18. Babe Ruth is second with 15, though Ruth hit his in 167 plate appearances; Mantle had 273 World Series plate appearances.