With the only LDS series tied at 1 , this ongoing feud between the Dodgers and Cardinals shifts to The Show-Me State for games 3 and 4. Hyun-Jin Ryu will take the mound for The Blue for the first time in 3 weeks against former Angel John Lackey with the first pitch scheduled just past 6.
No Shortage of Drama
By now, we all know there is no love lost between these two storied franchises. If the first two games are any indication, this series should be primed for another dramatic finish. So far…
*Benches clearing after a hit by pitch to Puig from Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright
*An unforeseen offensive output from both teams with Kershaw and Wainwright toeing the hill in Game 1
*Kershaw surrendering 8 runs in the fateful 7th inning . Yup, I also thought Friday was money in the bag.
*Matt Carpenter continues to be a thorn to the Dodgers side in the post-season
*Matt Kemp showing he’s still clutch
*Mattingly’s moves being scrutinized once again
All this adds up to this series being tied at one. The biggest surprise so far , without a doubt Kershaw’s meltdown in the 7th inning of Game 1. With a 6-2 lead and already 8 strikeouts to that point, you just had to think the game was in the bag. But even a sure bet can come up snake eyes, as the Cardinals would score 8 times in that fateful 7th, capped off by Matt Carpenter’s bases clearing double and Matt Holliday’s 3 run shot off Pedro Baez giving the Cardinals a 10-6 lead.
The Dodgers would not go away quietly though as they would rally themselves thanks in large part to a 2 run shot by Adrian Gonzalez and a ninth inning rally that would come up 1 run short, with Puig striking out to end the game.
Game 2 would see the Dodgers take a 2-0 lead into the 8th inning when starter Zack Greinke, after going 7 strong would be pulled for lefty JP Howell. However, as they say , ” The best laid plans…” , and Matt Carpenter, once again, would show why he has been a thorn to our sides in post-season play…
A huge inning ending 6-4-3 induced by Brandon League would prevent further damage, setting up what could be the biggest moment yet in 2014 for The Blue…
What are the keys for a Dodger win in Game 3 ? Will Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford break out of their post-season slump ? Does Hyun-Jin Ryu fell no effects of his recent injury and pitch deep into the game through at least 7 ? How much confidence does Mattingly have in his bullpen ? These are just some of the upcoming story lines as The Blue attempts to salvage at least one in St Louis, where historically, they have had a miserable time in the playoffs…
Dodger Blues in Mizzou…
1985 NLCS 0-3, Lost in 6 games
2004 NLDS 0-2, Lost in 4
2009 NLDS 1-0, Won in 3
2013 NLCS 0-3, Lost in 6
That, my friends, adds up to an overall mark of 1-8 in the post-season in The Show Me State. Now on the positive side. The Dodgers had MLB’s best road record this season at 49-32, so being in a hostile environment will should not phase them. One of these stats has to give. Let’s all hope for the latter. Are you all enjoying your Blue October yet ?