It all came out in the wash, though, as Rolen's replacement, Scott Spiezio, tripled home two tying runs in the seventh and then doubled home a run in the three-run ninth as the Cardinals rallied to even the series with a 9-6 win over the New York Mets.
The ninth started with So Taguchi hitting a solo homer off New York closer Billy Wagner. Taguchi has batted twice this postseason and has homered twice, matching his production for 316 regular-season at-bats.
The Cardinals' bullpen finally was scored on when right-hander Josh Hancock allowed a run in the sixth, but five Cardinals relievers shut down the Mets with just that one run over the last four innings.
Through 17 1/3 postseason innings, the bullpen has given up only one run.
REPLAY: Chris Carpenter wasn't himself as he gave up five runs in five innings Friday night to the New York Mets. But Carpenter still is unbeaten (4-0) in six postseason starts -- three each in the last three years -- because the Cardinals rallied for a 9-6 win over the New York Mets.
So Taguchi, who had just been put into the game, hit a homer to break a 6-6 tie, and then Scott Spiezio doubled in a run and scored the third run in the inning.
--Counting his service with the 2002 world champion Anaheim Angels, 3B Scott Spiezio has 22 runs batted in for 20 postseason games.
--C Yadier Molina, a .216 hitter in the regular season, is 4-for-6 in two postseason games after a 3-for-5 night Friday.
--Rookie RHP Josh Kinney made his first NLCS appearance a memorable one when he got Mets CF Carlos Beltran to ground into a double play to end the eighth inning. He had done the same thing to San Diego's Mike Piazza in a key spot in the Division Series.
--SS David Eckstein is just 2-for-22 in the postseason.
--1B Albert Pujols ended a three-game postseason hitless string by singling and doubling in the rallies in the seventh and ninth.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- OF So Taguchi's home run total this year ... in 316 at-bats.
2 -- OF So Taguchi's home run total in the postseason thus far ... in two at-bats.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's a little guy, but he's got a lot of power." -- 3B Scott Spiezio, on OF So Taguchi.