WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Maybe this is how the St. Louis Cardinals' luck turns in the National League Championship Series: Pitching coach Mike Maddux hit two holes-in-one before Monday's Game 3 at Nationals Stadium, holing out the 155-yard third hole and the 142-yard 13th hole at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington -- the fifth and sixth aces of his career.
As Maddux left the field after pregame warm-ups and headed to the clubhouse, he was asked what clubs he used. He laughed and said, "Apparently the right ones."
ESPN play-by-play announcer Jon Sciambi tweeted Maddux's scorecard, which showed he shot a 36 on the front nine and another 36 on the back nine.
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt reported Maddux's big day during his pregame news conference. Asked whether Maddux was then allowed to fill out the lineup card, Shildt joked, "How do you know he didn't?"
Team president of baseball operations John Mozeliak was in the foursome and called it "unbelievable." Asked about his own golf, he said, "Ask me how many hole-in-ones I had today? Zero. Ask me how many I've had this year? Zero. Ask me how many I've had in my life? Zero."
Shildt made sure to add that Maddux has done a great job with the Cardinals' pitching staff. They sent their own ace to the mound in Game 3 in 23-year-old Jack Flaherty, who had a 0.91 ERA in the second half and had allowed four runs in 13 innings in the postseason with 16 strikeouts. But he was roughed up by the Nationals Monday to the tune of four runs, all in the third inning, as the Cardinals fell into a 3-0 series hole; he hadn't allowed that many in a game since July 2, a span of 18 appearances.
"Mad Dog's done a great job outside of his sixth hole-in-one today," Shildt said. "Making sure spring training looked well, spacing guys out, and [he] did a nice job of appropriately skipping guys or giving the guys an extra day during the course of the season. We picked our spots where we would give Jack that extra day, but also, in competition, if we felt like -- clearly, we want to win every game, but if we could take an inning off [with] Jack here and there, we took it off him."
Flaherty worked on his regular four days of rest after pitching six innings and throwing 104 pitches in winning Game 5 of the NL Division Series. He threw 117 pitches in his first start in the postseason.