Now that I have somewhat fully recovered from my post-season hangover, let’s now reflect….
“One of the key’s to the Dodgers beating the Braves was their clutch 2 out hitting. Both the Cards and Dodgers have outstanding pitching staff’s. The Dodgers, having disposed of the Braves in 4 games, should be well rested and confident with Greinke and Kershaw lined up to go in Games 1 and 2 in Missouri. The Cardinals bring a ton of post-season experience to the plate, having made it to the NLCS 3 years in a row….”
My words prior to this NLCS Showdown. The clutch hitting from the LDS ? Not much of it from either side during the first 5 games, which we’re close enough either team could have been ahead 3-3 or perhaps had the series knotted at 2. Or heck, that could have been the Dodgers up 3 games to 1 ? Well, in a series of what , again, many felt was a matchup between 2 evenly matched teams, it’s usually the team that get’s that one key hit that ends up winning….
Key Moments In the Series….
Don Mattingly’s decision to pull Adrian Gonzalez out of the game for pinch runner Dee Gordon in the 8th inning of a tied game had critics coming out once again, and Gonzalez’s presence would be sorely missed in extra innings as twice, with a runner in scoring position, Hanley Ramierez would be walked intetionally to pitch instead to Michael Young, playing at 1st base for Gonzalez and occupying what would have normally been his spot. In both trips, Young fails to deliver, each time, his at bats ending in inning ending double plays,and Mattingly’s decision making would come into question once again…. In what would be a tight pitched ballgame from both sides into the home 13th, Carlos Beltran’s one out double would give the Red Birds the early lead in the series….
Beltran may have single-handedly beat us in Game 1, but Mattingly’s late game decision making sure didn’t help matters any…
With runners on 2nd and 3rd and no out in the top of the 6th facing Cards rookie phenom Michael Wacha, the Dodgers best scoring opportunity goes all for naught as Mark Ellis would pop out, and after an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez , Yasiel Puig would go down swinging as well as NLDS Game 4 hero Juan Uribe, and Clayton Kershaw would be the tough luck loser despite allowing only 2 hits in a 1-0 decision, sending the Blue back to L.A. in a 2-0 hole….
Personally, I had no problem with this display of emotion even though certain Cardinals would have a problem with some of our players emotional outbursts later in the series. After all, it’s the playoffs !!!!! Everything’s big in October !!!!…..
After taking Game 3 off Cards ace Adam Wainwright, the lumber would finally show up in the series. Unfortunately, it was the Cards who supplied the lumber, keyed by Matt Holliday’s 2 out 2 run blast to the Dodger bullpen. Cards pinch hitter Shane Robinson would hit a solo shot himself, and the Cards, with their clutch hitting, coupled with the Dodgers hitting into 3 DP’s, including a possible momentum breaking one by Yasiel Puig on a 2-0 count in the home 9th, it would be the Cardinals putting themselves in prime position for a return to the fall classic…. Holliday with the big 2 run homer in the 3rd… The Cards are one game away from The Fall Classic…
Facing elimination, it would be the Dodgers who would bring the bats and the Cards who would fail to come up with the clutch hit as Zack Greinke, while not having his best stuff early one, would pitch a clutch 7 innings , pitching himself out of a early bases loaded jam in the first and also out of trouble in the 3rd as well, both times getting Yadier Molina to ground into inning ending double plays. This time, it would be the Dodgers who would bring the lumber, hitting a team post-season record 4 home runs, 2 by Adrian Gonzalez and one each by Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis as they would stave off elimination and beat the Cards 6-4, sending the series back to St Louis trailing 3 games to 2…. Gonzalez rounding 3rd after belting the second of his two homers in Game 5 Not over yet indeed !!!! Back to Missouri we go !!!!
Greinke pitching out of trouble in the 1st….
Dodgers slug 4 solo shots, back to Missouri we go !!!! Gotta like our chances in Game 6 with Kershaw up next, right ?
Well, is it really necessary ? I didn’t think so. But if it comes down to this again next year, I want Kershaw on the hill !!!! Unfortunately he and the boys just had one of those days, and, unfortunately, it was just a bad time to have it. It happens. So it’s the Cardinals who will be representing the National League in the World Series. Does this hurt, yes. Do the emotions run deep ? You bet they do, and if certain St. Louis beat writers don’t think otherwise, well, then they’re just full of it…But as I said in my last post, we win with class, we lose with class….
Aside from Game 6, this was really a close series. A hit here, a hit there, a healthy Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp in the lineup, who knows. But injuries are part of the game and to this point they did a valiant job of playing right through it. It just wasn’t enough….
Yasiel Puig brought a level of excitement that Dodger fans will be privledged to enjoy for years to come. Yes, he did look like a rookie at various times throughout the playoffs ( 4 k’s in Game 2 and his 9th inning double play in the 9th inning of Game 4), and yes, growing pains do come with them ( Yes, even the home run bat flip in Game 3 that went for a double and his stare down of the HP ump in Game 5), but let’s not forget, his presence from the day he went to the big show back in June gave the Dodgers and the fans a much needed boost in energy, some of which may have rubbed off to Adrian Gonzalez as well. And for the last time, for those who did not care for their so-called Mickey Mouse ways of enjoying their feats, oh well, that’s just the way we do it here in our Magic Kingdom we know as Dodger Stadium….