Fewest assists, team, NL Division Series Game – 2, Los Angeles vs. St. Louis, October 7, 2004
After the Cardinals had taken Game 1 of its NL Division Series matchup 8-3, the Dodgers started Jeff Weaver in hope of getting the series even heading back to Los Angeles. Facing him for the Cardinals would be Jason Marquis.
Weaver had never been much of a groundball pitcher and in 2004, his ratio of groundouts to fly outs was just 1.07. His career ratio is 1.08. Weaver had given up just 19 home runs in 220 innings of work, so he was able to keep the ball in the park for the most part.
The Dodgers took a lead in the first inning when left fielder Jayson Werth homered off of Marquis. Weaver retired the Cardinals in the first on a pop up, line out, and strikeout, sandwiched around walks to Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen.
Pretty much everything went wrong for the Dodgers in the bottom of the second. Shortstop Edgar Renteria led off with a double. Left fielder Reggie Sanders bunted and reached safely putting runners on first and third. Catcher Mike Matheny popped out. Sanders then appeared to be picked off by Weaver, but the pitcher threw it away and Renteria scored the tying run and Sanders went to second. Marquis, a good-hitting pitcher, popped out to catcher David Ross. Tony Womack then tripled to right to score Sanders and put the Cardinals up 2-1. Larry Walker doubled home Womack to make it 3-1. After a wild pitch, Pujols grounded out to shortstop Cesar Izturis (Assist #1).
The Cardinals went down in order in the third on three lineouts to the outfield. The Dodgers tied the game in the fourth on back-to-back homers by Shawn Green and Milton Bradley.
In the bottom of the fourth, Sanders led off with an infield single to short. Matheny then laid down a sacrifice bunt and was out Weaver to second baseman Alex Cora (Assist #2). But Weaver worked out of the jam, striking out pinch hitter Marlon Anderson and then Womack.
The Cardinals broke the game open in the fifth. Walker was hit by a pitch and Pujols singled him to second. Rolen flied out to center and Edmonds was caught looking. But Renteria singled to score Walker. Then Sanders was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Matheny singled in two runs to make it 6-3 St. Louis and drive Weaver out of the game for Duaner Sanchez, who got the last out, getting reliever Dan Haren to fly out.
In the bottom of the sixth, Wilson Alvarez set down the Cardinals in order on two fly outs to the outfield and pop up to the catcher.
In the bottom of the seventh, Rolen and Edmonds both struck out to lead off the inning, but Renteria got his third hit, a single. Dodgers manager Jim Tracy took out one Venezuelan for another and Giovanni Carrara came in to pitch. Sanders greeted him with a single and Renteria went to third. Sanders stole second and Matheny singled to score two more runs to make it 8-3. Pinch hitter Roger Cedeno flied out to end the inning.
For the bottom of the eighth, Tracy opted for Eric Gagne and he got Womack to fly out and Walker and Rolen to strike out with Pujols drawing a walk. The Cardinals won 8-3 for the second straight game and would wrap up the series in four games.
Dodgers first baseman Shawn Green played the whole game and had just one putout. There were 10 putouts recorded by the outfield and 10 by the two Dodger catchers, Ross and Brent Mayne. Izturis, Cora, and third baseman Adrian Beltre each had one putout.
The record for the most assists recorded by one team in an NL Division Series game is either 20 or 21 by the Braves against the Rockies on October 3, 1995. Retrosheet says there are 20 and the Sporting News lists it as 21.
Sources: Retrosheet, MLB.com, Baseballreference.com, Sporting News Complete Baseball Record Book