Los Angeles Dodgers pitches woes continued in games three and four of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The series started out rough and never got salvaged as the Cardinals took game four to end the best of five series.
In game one the Dodgers had a 6-2 lead heading into the seventh inning of the game. All star pitcher, Cy Young favorite, and Most Valuable Player candidate Clayton Kershaw started the game and pitched solid for the first six Innings racking up ten-strike outs. Enter Cardinals hitter Matt Carpenter who started the comeback with a solo home run in the sixth inning, and then spearheaded the comeback in the seventh with three run double in the seventh. The Dodgers fell 10-9 in that game.
The Dodgers pulled out the 3-2 victory to even the series up in-game two behind Zack Greinke’s seven innings of shutout baseball. J.P. Howell quickly gave up two earned runs in relief which tied the game up. Matt Kemp was able to seal the Cardinals fate in the 8th inning with a solo home run.
In game three the Dodgers pitching staff was bad from the beginning. Starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu gave up five hits and a run in his six inning of play. Scott Elbert gave up two runs in less than a full inning of play, and each of the next three pitcher gave up a hit as the Cardinals were able to get a comfortable 3-1 win off 11 hits.
Game 4 saw Clayton Kershaw step back up to the plate even after a short rest. With the series on the line the Dodgers wanted to put their ace out on the mound to give them the best chance to win. Even with Kershaw on the mound things did not go according to plan for the former Brooklyn Dodgers. Kershaw lasted only six innings, giving up four hits and three earned runs. He managed to show signs of greatness as he was able to strike out nine Cardinal batters.
When the ninth inning came around the Dodgers were down 3-2 with the bottom three of their line up on deck. The first batter grounded out to second base for the first out. Trevor Rosenthal walked the next batter. The Dodgers brought in All Star Yasiel Pug to pinch run from first base. Rosenthal struck out batter number three. With the Dodgers season on the line, Dee Gordon took the first pitch to left field for a single putting the tying run on second base. Veteran Carl Crawford stepped up to the plate and grounded out to second.
The St. Louis Cardinals are going to their fourth straight National League Championship series, where they will face either the Washington Nationals, or the San Francisco Giants, pending the outcome of that series. Currently the Giants lead two games to one with the game being played in San Francisco later tonight.
Last year the Cardinals lost in the World Series to the Boston Redsox in just five games. The Redsox failed to make the post season this year, and the Cardinals are looking to get a little redemption following the blowout loss last year.
Commentary by Andy Lapic