Cardinals Push Dodgers To The Brink
L. A. – Thanks to two big swings and some excellent defense, the St. Louis Cardinals are one win from the World Collection.
Identical to last yr.
Matt Holliday and pinch hitter Shane Robinson linked for the primary dwelling runs of the Nationwide League Championship Sequence, sending St. Louis previous the Los Angeles Dodgers four-2 on Tuesday night for a 3-1 lead of their greatest-of-seven playoff.
“We can’t get forward of ourselves,” Holliday mentioned.
In a sequence starved for offense, the Cardinals scored as many runs as they did in the first three games combined, during which the groups totaled nine.
Sport 5 is Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, with the Cardinals trying to clinch their 19th pennant. Zack Greinke is ready to start out for Los Angeles in opposition to Joe Kelly.
After all, St. Louis had a three-1 lead in last 12 months’s NLCS before dropping three straight to San Francisco, the eventual World Collection champion.
“We do not feel that is over by any means,” infielder Daniel Descalso said. “You do not want to have that feeling again, losing three video games in a row while you’re so close to getting there. Simply since you’re up 3-1, it does not imply anything. No one’s going to roll over for you. We’ve got to maintain pushing and hold grinding.”
It was a painful defeat for the Dodgers – in additional methods than one. Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, playing with a damaged left rib, was replaced within the high of the seventh inning after putting out 3 times.
“It felt worse than yesterday,” Ramirez stated. “It makes me offended.”
Hitless in his previous 22 at-bats at Dodger Stadium, Holliday drove a two-run shot off Ricky Nolasco an estimated 426 ft to left discipline, capping a 3-run third inning that gave the Cardinals a three-0 lead.
“That is about pretty much as good as I can hit one,” stated Holliday, who was 0-for-13 within the collection earlier than connecting.
“I wasn’t really doubting my swing at all. I felt truly really good with my at-bats. Sometimes in this game you do not at all times get the outcomes that you really want even if you happen to feel like you’re having good at-bats, so I simply wanted to stick with it,” he stated.
Looking for a second World Series title in three years, St. Louis turned three important double performs and picked off a runner at second base within the seventh. Defensive standout Pete Kozma, inserted at shortstop in the sixth, started a tough double play and darted in to complete the pickoff.
“A fantastic heads-up play by him,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny mentioned. “Then it needs to be natural instincts and athleticism by (reliever) Carlos Martinez, and I don’t know many guys pull that off. He has such athletic moves. He is fast in the whole lot he does. Then to have the center to wheel and let it fly like that in a sport like we’ve proper now, it’s off the charts.”
Second baseman Matt Carpenter also keyed St. Louis’ sharp work with the gloves, one night time after some sloppy play was costly in a 3-zero defeat.
Carpenter had an RBI double in the third that scored Descalso, who hit a leadoff single. Carpenter got here around on Holliday’s homer after there have been none within the first three games for the first time in NLCS historical past.
Martinez pitched two scoreless innings to assist nail down the win for starter Lance Lynn. Trevor Rosenthal got three outs for his second save within the collection.
After a leadoff single by Andre Ethier in the ninth, Yasiel Puig grounded into a double play. Juan Uribe struck out to end it, leaving the Dodgers on the point of elimination.
Now, they’ll rely on Greinke and ace Clayton Kershaw to pitch them back into the collection.
“Type of the most effective thought I’ve is, I’ve obtained the most effective pitchers in baseball pitching tomorrow,” Mattingly said. “If we come out right here and play well tomorrow and get a win, I’ve most likely acquired the perfect pitcher in baseball pitching the next day.”
Robinson’s residence run bounced off the top of the wall in left discipline on a 1-0 pitch from J.P. Howell with one out in the seventh, extending the Cardinals’ result in four-2.
“For a bit guy, he’s bought surprising energy,” Holliday mentioned. “I imply, honestly, he is received some thump.”
Lynn allowed two runs and 6 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out 5 and walked three.
The right-hander misplaced his only other begin this postseason, giving up five runs over four 1/three innings in Recreation 2 of the division series towards Pittsburgh.
The Dodgers were down 4-2 within the seventh when Nick Punto doubled with one out. Martinez, nonetheless, picked off Punto earlier than throwing another pitch after which retired Carl Crawford on an inning-ending groundout.
“It was a lonely place to be,” Punto said.
Trailing 3-2, the Dodgers put the potential tying run on base in the sixth when Puig singled to chase Lynn. Uribe grounded into a double play against Seth Maness to finish the inning.
The Dodgers caught with Nolasco as their starter even though he hadn’t pitched since Sept. 29. He struggled in his final three begins in September, giving up no less than 5 earned runs in every.
Nolasco was passed over for his scheduled assignment in Recreation 4 of the division collection, when the Dodgers used Kershaw on three days’ rest for the first time in his career. Kershaw pitched nicely and took a no-decision in a 4-three victory over Atlanta that clinched the sequence.
Earlier than this one, Mattingly had said Nolasco was being put in a tough place after not pitching for so long. Mattingly stated Kershaw and Greinke both supplied to begin on brief relaxation at Dodger Stadium.
Nolasco allowed three runs and three hits in 4 innings. He struck out four and walked one.
“I felt my stuff was good for probably the most part,” he mentioned. “Just that one pitch was the distinction within the recreation.”
Los Angeles scored twice within the fourth to cut it to three-2. Adrian Gonzalez hit a leadoff double and scored on Puig’s single. A.J. Ellis singled to drive in Ethier, who walked.
However simply when it appeared the Dodgers had grabbed the momentum, pinch hitter Skip Schumaker bounced into an inning-ending double play.
got here out after six innings for protection. He left Monday’s game with a cramp in his right calf, however Matheny said Freese was nice… St. Louis won a Recreation 4 on the street for the primary time in NLCS play… The Cardinals also squandered a three-1 lead within the 1996 NLCS in opposition to Atlanta… Nolasco, who is from close by Corona and grew up a Dodgers fan, made the primary postseason start of his career… Schumaker was three-for-21 with no RBIs as a pinch hitter during the common season and struck out in his solely different at-bat as a pinch hitter in the postseason… There was a pregame second of silence for MLB umpire Wally Bell, who died Monday at forty eight… Tuesday marked the twenty fifth anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s well-known pinch-hit home run in the backside of the ninth at Dodger Stadium, giving Los Angeles a 5-4 win over Oakland in Recreation 1 of the 1988 World Collection… Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, who at 86 is particular adviser to the team chairman, tossed out a primary pitch from halfway between the mound and residential plate that missed the target. Mattingly, who was catching, gave him a mulligan. Lasorda managed that 1988 workforce, the Dodgers’ final appearance within the World Sequence… With the federal government partially shut down, there was a pregame flyover of vintage aircraft by a nonprofit organization based by a bunch of World Warfare II fighter pilots… Among the many famous faces within the crowd were Tom Cruise and Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Dangerous.”
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