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Holliday, Cards push Dodgers to brink

Cardinals Push Dodgers To The Brink

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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.

Recreation notes

Cardinals 3B

David Freese

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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MLB NLCS Game 3 Preview- Dodgers In A Hole 0-2

dodgers

MLB NLCS Game 3 Preview- Dodgers In A Hole 0-2

 

NLCS Picks Game 3- St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Best-of-Seven- Cardinals lead series 2-0

 

As the Los Angeles Dodgers set to begin play in Game 3 Monday night at home and get back into the series, they may have the uphill challenge of doing so facing St. Louis Cardinals aceAdam Wainwright and without their best and hottest hitter Hanley Ramirez.

 

Adam Wainwright (2-0, 1.13 ERA) has been nothing short of spectacular in this year’s postseason and will looking to all but finish off the Dodgers Monday night who will try to avoid going down 0-3 in the National League Championship Series.

 

Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-0, 12.00 ERA) will take to the hill to battle Wainwright. Ryu has struggled throughout the postseason so far, and the Dodgers will be looking for him to pitch the game of his life if they have any chance of making a series of it. Although, Ryu is a rookie to Major League standards, he does have years of experience pitching in the Korean Major Leagues and also the pressure of pitching in the World Baseball Classic.

 

One major problem Ryu must avoid is giving up runs in the first inning, a common occurrence that has plagued him all season long.

 

I feel really strong,” Ryu said. There is no reason my arm isn’t in good, tip top shape right now.”

 

However, a more bigger problem is a struggling Dodgers’ offense who were stymied by Cardinal pitching in Game 2 without shortstop Hanley Ramirez (ribs), and may be a game-time decision for Game 3. The Dodgers already have lost Matt Kemp for the year, and have a limited Andre Ethier (ankle) who didn’t start Game 2.

 

Ramirez had a CT scan on his painful left ribs on Sunday, but no results yet. Ramirez was injured in Game 1 when he was drilled by Joe Kelly. He stayed in the game, but was unable to answer the call in Game 2.

 

We’re just working on that, taking the pain away so I can go,” Ramirez said. “Even if it’s cracked or something, I’m going to be able to get out there if we can take the pain away. It feels the same, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to remain positive for tomorrow.”

 

If Ramirez is unable to go, they all must step up in his absence where they are hitting just .184 in the first two games, including 1 for 16 (.063) with runners in scoring position.

 

We’ve talked about it. It always comes back to, can you get that key out and get the key hit?” manager Don Mattingly said. “It doesn’t get any easier for us with Wainwright. He seems like he’s always coming up big.”

 

It’s definitely a thing where we need all the hands we can to find a way to get back in the series,” Ethier said.

 

The Dodgers still have the bats and power to get back in the series, and if Dodger rookie sensation Yasiel Puig can get his confidence back where he is 0-10 with six strikeouts in the first two-games, I like their chances of extending the NLCS past four games.

 

He is a positive kid and he told me, ‘I’m going to get it tomorrow,” Ramirez said. “Tomorrow he’s going to come and get ready to play and he’s going to do some damage.”

 

The Dodgers have Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) at home. They have squandered great pitching performances by Greinke and Kershaw in Games 1 and 2, but if they scratch and claw their way back in it, their two top pitchers will be waiting in the wings.

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MLB NLCS Preview/Pick- Dodgers vs. Cardinals

Los-Angeles-Dodgers-vs-St-Louis-Cardinals

MLB Picks NLCS: Best-of-Seven- Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

 

Game 1: Dodgers @ Cardinals 10/11 8:37PM EST

 

Starting Pitchers: Dodgers- Zach Greinke (0-0, 15-4) vs. Cardinals- (0-0, 15-10)

 

The St. Louis Cardinals didn’t have much time to savor their NLDS win from Wednesday night as on Friday night they will open the National League Championship Series against a well rested Los Angeles Dodgers ball club looking to claim it’s first World Series Championship since 1988.

 

Obviously, it was a great celebration and a lot of fun,” reliever John Axford said Thursday. “The clubhouse guys, I don’t know if they even went home.”

 

The Dodgers, who wrapped up their NLDS win on Monday night reset their pitching rotation and are ready to go.

 

Once we won it, it was just kind of make the best adjustments possible,” Greinke said. “I mean, there’s not much you can really do.”

 

Zach Greinke was the scheduled starter for a possible Game 5 against the Braves, however, Clayton Kershaw was cast into the starting role in Game 4 on just three-days rest and with the Dodgers winning, it now meant resetting the pitching rotation for the NLCS.

 

Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw will now pitch Game 2 on Saturday evening against rookie sensation Michael Wacha.

 

Cardinal ace Adam Wainwright who won Game 5 against the Pirates, will now pitch Game 3 back in Los Angeles on Monday night.

 

Cardinal pitcher Joe Kelly, who is also well rested will square off against Greinke in Game 1.

 

You could be laid off for eight days and come out and play absolutely the best baseball you’ve ever done,” Kelly said. “You could come out and play the next day and not have a good game. This is all about execution.”

 

With being thrust into a Game 1 start, Kelly also says.. “It’s Game 1 of the NLCS, but me being me, I’m going to go out there and just pitch like it’s another game,” he said.

 

Expectations were high for the Dodgers coming into the season under a new ownership group who went on a spending spree of well over $200 million to assembly what many consider the best team in baseball.

 

I think the payroll gets thrown out there in general, and then it becomes an expectation,” Mattingly said. “You’ve got these high-profile guys, you’ve got big names, guys making big money, you’re supposed to win.”

 

For the Dodgers, it’s been a tale of two seasons. Hindered by various injuries early in the season and playing well below expectations, they found themselves in last place in late June and Don Mattingly’s job was on the line.

 

Needing a spark, they called up rookie sensation Yasiel Puig and responded by going on a 42-8 run over the next 50 games to runaway with the NL West title. Their first pennant in four years.

 

The Dodgers will be without All-Star Matt Kemp, lost for the year (ankle) and a limited Andre Ethier (ankle).

 

Honestly, for me, it didn’t look that great out in the center field,” Mattingly said. “This is the playoffs and you’ve got to be able to play 100 percent or pretty much full speed.”

 

For the Cardinals, their clean-up man Allen Craig is still out with a left mid-foot sprain.

 

It’s a tough injury and one you can’t be aggressive with,” Cardinal GM John Mozeliak said.

 

The Dodgers won four of seven against the Cardinals in the regular season.

 

This is the third straight NLCS appearance for the Cardinals who won it all in 2011 against the Texas Rangers.

 

With the Dodgers two best pitchers (Greinke, Kershaw) going back-to-back in Games 1 and 2, I like their chances of possibly sweeping the Cards on the road and winning the series in 6 games.

 

So it’s nice to start a series with a guy of his caliber,” Mattingly said. “In this environment, it’s nice to have those two right on top.”

 

PICK: Los Angeles Dodgers 

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Kershaw and the Dodgers win

Kershaw, Dodgers Win Game 1

ATLANTA – Give Clayton Kershaw a 5-zero lead by the fourth inning, and there’s not much probability he’ll mess things up.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are off to fairly a start within the National League Division Series.

Kershaw struck out 12 during seven dominant innings, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 in Recreation 1 on Thursday night.

The massive-cash Dodgers haven’t gained a World Series championship since 1988 – by far their longest dry spell since the franchise moved from Brooklyn to Southern California in 1958.

In an fascinating twist, Kershaw was born the same 12 months as that the majority recent title. If the ace left-hander keeps pitching the way in which he did in his first postseason win, the Dodgers may need a chance to go all the way in which once more.

“This one positively has particular which means to me,” Kershaw mentioned.

For the bumbling Braves, it was one other dose of October distress.

“When you’ve an opposing pitcher on the mound who’s nearly as good as Kershaw, there’s not a variety of room for error,” stated Atlanta starter Kris Medlen, knocked out within the fifth. “I had quite a lot of error tonight.”

Sport 2 in one of the best-of-5 collection is Friday night time in Atlanta, with Zack Greinke (15-4) beginning for the Dodgers against Mike Minor (thirteen-9).

Kershaw, who had a 1.83 PERIOD through the common season, limited the Braves to Chris Johnson’s run-scoring single with two outs within the fourth. That simply appeared to make the pitcher mad – he struck out Andrelton Simmons to end Atlanta’s only serious menace, and the following 5 Braves hitters for good measure.

Appropriately, Kershaw finished up by hanging out the side within the seventh, matching his season excessive for Ok’s. He allowed just three hits.

“He is the most effective pitcher in baseball,” Gonzalez stated, “and he confirmed it tonight.”

Atlanta struck out 15 times in all.

Even though slugger Matt Kemp is out for the playoffs and Andre Ethier is hobbling with an injured ankle, the Dodgers had no trouble piling up runs in opposition to Medlen, who came into the playoffs driving a five-sport profitable streak.

He gave up 9 hits and 5 runs in four-plus innings, lastly getting the hook when he plunked Yasiel Puig with a pitch right between the shoulder blades.

Of course, Medlen would have fared better if he had gotten any assist from the guys behind him.

The Braves played some really atrocious defense, though they were not charged with an error.

Within the second, rookie left fielder Evan Gattis flopped to the ground in an try to catch a sinking liner, only to look very very like the transformed catcher he’s. The ball, hit by A.J. Ellis, rolled all the way in which to the wall for an RBI double, putting the Dodgers ahead 2-zero on a play that an outfielder with even a modest quantity of experience probably would have grabbed fairly easily.

“I thought there was a pair plays that we might have made,” Braves supervisor Fredi Gonzalez stated. “I believe that the fellows were just a bit amped up.”

Gonzalez began to put it out of attain in the third, driving a pitch over the center-subject wall for his first postseason homer, a two-run shot that made it 4-zero as a sense of doom fell over a Turner Discipline crowd that had been so raucous within the first when Medlen struck out the aspect.

Not that Atlanta followers haven’t seen this all before.

The Braves are maybe best identified for profitable just one World Sequence ring throughout a historic run of 14 straight division titles. Now, they’re already in the gap as they attempt to snap a streak of dropping seven straight postseason sequence since 2001.

At the very least they’re not finished yet.

After dropping to St. Louis in a one-and-done wild-card recreation final season, which was marred by a disputed infield-fly call, the Braves have an opportunity to bounce back this time.

Along with Gattis’ stumbling try at a catch, second baseman Elliot Johnson bobbled Carl Crawford’s grounder main off the third, a play that was generously ruled a success by the official scorer. Medlen retired the next two hitters, but Gonzalez drove the following pitch over the wall, with Jason Heyward making a futile leap that left him hanging from the top.

Heyward, who was moved from proper discipline to middle as part of an outfield reshuffling, had his personal problems. Twice, he overthrew the cutoff man on throws to the plate, allowing runners to advance. Simply to add to Atlanta’s outfield woes, Justin Upton wasn’t even shut on a sliding try when Ellis doubled down the right-subject line in the fourth.

He wound up scoring on Mark Ellis’ two-out single, stretching the lead to 5-0.

Kershaw struggled with command of his fastball but worked extra off his breaking pitches and made it look simple towards the free-swinging Braves.

“Strikeouts just form of happen,” he said. “It isn’t something I am making an attempt to do. I am simply trying to get outs as quick as attainable.”

Gattis, one among Atlanta’s most pleasant surprises through the common season, had a miserable night time in his postseason debut. He ended the second by one way or the other getting doubled off first on a lazy fly to short right subject.

Dan Uggla watched all of it from the dugout. The three-time All-Star was left off the Braves’ playoff roster after a dismal season through which he batted just179 with a franchise-record 171 strikeouts.

Uggla wasn’t the one big-money flop for the Braves, who had to juggle their outfield because of B.J. Upton’s season-long stoop. After signing a 5-12 months, $seventy five.25 million deal during the offseason, he batted just184 and was finally benched late within the year. Merely a backup within the playoffs, he took a referred to as third strike as a pinch hitter within the fifth and walked slowly toward the dugout to a refrain of boos.

“It just obtained away from us,” Braves catcher Brian McCann stated.

Game notes

The Dodgers put Ethier on their 25-man roster though he probably can be utilized only as a pinch hitter due to an ankle injury. He got here up in that position within the eighth, batting for Kershaw and grounding out to first base… After Medlen struck out the first three hitters of the game, Los Angeles didn’t have another 1-2-3 inning till the seventh towards Braves rookie

Alex Wooden

Skip Schumaker

began in center area for the Dodgers and drove within the first run with a sacrifice fly in the second…

Brian Wilson

and

Kenley Jansen

completed up with one scoreless inning apiece. Jansen struck out the side in the ninth.

 

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LaTroy Hawkins hit by ball in groin while not wearing protective cup

Major League Baseball gamers who don’t put on protecting cups, guys like New York Mets right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, should know they’re taking a calculated risk. They do it for bodily consolation because, even these days of advanced engineering, cups can really feel cumbersome *down there*.

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Well, Hawkins won the lottery within the worst potential means Wednesday evening. Pitching in opposition to Jerry Hairston of the Los Angeles Dodgers within the ninth inning, Hawkins fielded a pointy grounder again to the mound along with his unprotected groin.

And it damage. Rather a lot.

Hawkins managed to choose up the ball and throw out Hairston at first. With Andre Ethier coming to bat as a pinch hitter, Dodgers workers went to check on Hawkins. Later in the New York Every day News, he said:

“I assumed I might get by way of it,” said Hawkins, who took two warm-up pitches with trainer Ray Ramirez, manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen all watching earlier than going through Ethier.

Regardless, Ethier hit a tying two-run dwelling run, and Mets would fall 4-2 in 12 innings. Afterward, Hawkins supplied this PG-rated quote about how it felt:

The New York Publish published a extra detailed (NSFW) model:

(Getty) “It was a direct hit — no cup,” stated Hawkins, who remained in agony after the game. “Once I lifted my leg, I may feel my balls in my throat, but I believed I could get through it. I feel like I got kicked by a mule, and it hurts.”

As Deadspin mentioned, it’s one of many nice quotes in baseball historical past.

Reporter Marc Carig called the session with Hawkins, “Possibly probably the most excruciating postgame interview I’ve ever been concerned with.”

He wasn’t even the man who took a shot to the groin. And yet, there’s a one thing of a psychic bond that types amongst beings with testicles. It is almost like we may feel Hawkins’ pain. Virtually.

No bueno indeed.