MLB Postseason: 5 key moments from Wednesday’s playoff action

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Sean Murphy #12 and Jake Diekman #35 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after they defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-3 in Game Two of the American League Wild Card Round at RingCentral Coliseum on September 30, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Sean Murphy #12 and Jake Diekman #35 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after they defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-3 in Game Two of the American League Wild Card Round at RingCentral Coliseum on September 30, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

2020 MLB Postseason: rookie sensation Jake Cronenworth runs too wild.

The Padres are awash with young talent – no news there – among whom infielder Jake Cronenworth is the newest and one of the brightest. Jake Cronenworth produced a .831 OPS this season, easily good enough to earn a regular spot at second base, with occasional forays to shortstop or third.

But Cronenworth is inexperienced enough to still make rookie mistakes. He made two of them Wednesday, both on the bases, and those flubs contributed mightily to the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 victory over Cronenworth’s Padres.

The Cards led 6-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Cronenworth was hit by a pitch, joining Tommy Pham, who had doubled, on the bases. Soon thereafter, Pham reached third and Cronenworth second on a Cardinal error as Pham attempted to steal the base.

The next batter, Austin Nola, lifted a fly ball to Dexter Fowler in right that scored Pham without a play. But when Cronenworth decided late to try for third, Paul Goldschmidt cut the throw home and turned the play on Cronenworth, who was caught in a rundown.

That blunder denied the Padres a chance to score Cronenworth when the next two batters reached base on an infield hit and a walk.

Two innings later, Conenworth’s baserunning inexperience again undermined Padre hopes. With Cronenworth at third and Jurickson Profar at first in a 6-4 game, Trent Grisham grounded weakly to first baseman Goldschmidt, who had no play on the batter.

But Cronenworth had allowed himself to get caught halfway between third base and home. Goldschmidt ran him back to third, forcing Profar, who had taken third on the assumption that Cronenworth was attempting to score.

It was the inning’s second out, and the third followed seconds later.  Again Cronenworth’s baserunning killed a potential San Diego rally. One inning later the Cards had a 7-4 victory.