|ST LOUIS ( KELLY )|
LA DODGERS ( GREINKE )
|NL Championship Series - Best of 7 - Game 5 - STL leads 3-1|
|915||ST LOUIS||+155||Ov 7,+110||+155||Ov 7,+110|
|916||LA DODGERS||-165||Un 7,-130||-165||Un 7,-130|
|vs Right-handed Starters||82-43||+26.1||64-56||5.1||0.272||0.332||3.6||0.247||0.303|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+3.4||2-5||2.7||0.170||0.245||2.0||0.212||0.273|
|vs Right-handed Starters||70-46||+14.6||52-59||4.2||0.265||0.323||3.4||0.234||0.290|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-2||3-4||3.9||0.274||0.330||3.0||0.184||0.259|
|10/6/2013||KELLY(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||LIRIANO(L)||3-5||L||150||7 un||O||7||6||1||8||6||0|
|10/7/2013||WACHA(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||MORTON(R)||2-1||W||-115||7.5 un||U||3||5||0||1||2||0|
|10/11/2013||KELLY(R)||LA DODGERS||GREINKE(R)||3-2||W||+115||7 ov||U||7||7||0||9||11||0|
|10/12/2013||WACHA(R)||LA DODGERS||KERSHAW(L)||1-0||W||+125||6 un||U||2||2||1||5||6||0|
|10/14/2013||WAINWRIGHT(R)||@ LA DODGERS||RYU(L)||0-3||L||-115||6.5 ov||U||4||4||0||9||5||0|
|10/15/2013||LYNN(R)||@ LA DODGERS||NOLASCO(R)||4-2||W||120||7 ov||U||6||9||0||8||5||1|
|10/16/2013||KELLY(R)||@ LA DODGERS||GREINKE(R)|| |
|10/3/2013||KERSHAW(L)||@ ATLANTA||MEDLEN(R)||6-1||W||-140||6 un||O||11||8||0||5||7||0|
|10/4/2013||GREINKE(R)||@ ATLANTA||MINOR(L)||3-4||L||-115||6.5 un||O||10||7||0||6||5||0|
|10/11/2013||GREINKE(R)||@ ST LOUIS||KELLY(R)||2-3||L||-125||7 ov||U||9||11||0||7||7||0|
|10/12/2013||KERSHAW(L)||@ ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)||0-1||L||-135||6 un||U||5||6||0||2||2||1|
|10/14/2013||RYU(L)||ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||3-0||W||+105||6.5 ov||U||9||5||0||4||4||0|
|10/15/2013||NOLASCO(R)||ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||2-4||L||-130||7 ov||U||8||5||1||6||9||0|
|10/16/2013||GREINKE(R)||ST LOUIS||KELLY(R)|| |
|ST LOUIS: HITTING: Alienate and trade your talented young centerfielder for bullpen scraps and a middling, impending free-agent starter. Justify your ludicrous pitching changes by blaming crowd noise and your innocent bullpen coach'and you too could win a World Series! This was Tony La Russa baseball. But he's gone now, as is the all-world Albert Pujols. SS RAFAEL FURCAL liked his short stint in the Show Me State enough to sign up for more. OF CARLOS BELTRAN will hit second after an impressive 2011 campaign during which he produced solid numbers in pitchers' parks amidst weak lineups. 2Bs TYLER GREENE and DANIEL DESCALSO are the latest plucky 'gamer' to play infield at Busch. Resuscitated slugger 1B LANCE BERKMAN shifts to a much more suitable defensive position. OF MATT HOLLIDAY's OPS remains as strong as ever. 3B DAVID FREESE will never have to buy a drink in Missouri again after his postseason heroics. C YADIER MOLINA is a defensive whiz behind the plate and an underrated hitter. OFs ALLEN CRAIG and JON JAY are more suited to platoon roles, but Jay will be starting in center on Opening Day. |
STARTING PITCHING: His stuff isn't nearly what it used to be, and he's more than earned his reputation within the game as a towering crybaby. But on the mound, CHRIS CARPENTER remains ruthlessly effective when he's healthy. But he'll miss the first couple of months of the 2012 campaign due to shoulder problems. ADAM WAINWRIGHT should be ready to go on Opening Day, and has shown every reason to think he'll be his old brilliant self. JAIME GARCIA cannot sustain a sub-2.00 ERA for a full season. He's a mid-rotation starter, but one of the better ones in all of baseball. Did KYLE LOHSE really register a 1.17 WHIP over an entire season? Really? He just doesn't miss enough bats to keep that going. JAKE WESTBROOK stayed healthy for a full season again, which is a relief given his past dalliances with the DL. He's an innings eater who's capable of another dozen wins. LANCE LYNN gives the Cardinals enviable depth in the rotation. He'll probably slide back to the bullpen once Carpenter returns. Uber-prospect SHELBY MILLER could be a second-half call-up.
RELIEF PITCHING: It doesn't look pretty when JASON MOTTE winds up and delivers a pitch, but in the end, results are results. The converted catcher has finally nailed down the closer role that many predicted would be his a few years ago. The only way he loses it this time is if he hurts himself with that painful delivery. FERNANDO SALAS can more than hold his own if that happens. He'll slot into the eighth-inning role, but he provides more of the pitching depth that is a hallmark of this Cardinals team. KYLE McCLELLAN, like Lynn, is serviceable both in relief or in the rotation. But he's better in the former role.
|LA DODGERS: HITTING: The Dodgers were ravaged with injuries in 2010 and finished in the bottom third in the majors in runs (4.00 per game), homers (117) and OPS (.697). None of these poor numbers were the fault of OF MATT KEMP, who finished second in MVP voting with a .324 BA, 39 HR, 126 RBI and 40 steals. He says he wants a 50-50 season in 2012. 1B JAMES LONEY had the second-most homers (12) of any returning player, and batted .357 with a .608 SLG after August 1. If speedy SS DEE GORDON learns to be more patient at the plate (7 BB in 224 AB), he could score 90 runs from the top of the order. OF ANDRE ETHIER made headlines with a 30-game hit streak, but was once again dominated by lefties (.563 OPS). The team is counting on two veterans to drive in runs. 3B JUAN URIBE has been a walking infirmary lately, but still has 15-HR power, and OF JUAN RIVERA had 46 RBI in 219 AB after coming to the Dodgers. Two guys named Ellis, 2B MARK ELLIS and C A.J. ELLIS, will bat at the bottom of the order. |
STARTING PITCHING: The Dodgers remain one of the better rotations in baseball, placing third in the majors in ERA (3.41) and fourth in opponents' BA (.242). The biggest reason for the success was the NL Cy Young and Triple Crown-winning performance of CLAYTON KERSHAW, who tied for the NL lead in wins (21) and topped all NL pitchers in ERA (2.28) and strikeouts (248). Fellow southpaw TED LILLY had a down year overall (12-14, 3.97 ERA), but had a fantastic final two months of the season (2.09 ERA, 0.93 WHIP). CHAD BILLINGSLEY notched his fifth straight season of double-digit wins, despite sporting a mediocre 4.21 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. AARON HARANG signed a two-year, $12M deal to join the Dodgers rotation. He won 14 games for the lowly Padres last year and finished with a career-best 3.64 ERA. CHRIS CAPUANO left the Mets for richer pastures (2-yr, $10M) of Los Angeles. Although he pitched well at spacious Citi Field (3.82 ERA, 1.21 WHIP), he was terrible on the road (5.42 ERA, 1.51 WHIP).
RELIEF PITCHING: Jonathan Broxton is gone, ending any kind of closer controversy the Dodgers may have been trying to avoid. JAVY GUERRA is the closer, and for good reason. He converted 21-of-23 save chances while posting a 2.31 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and allowing just two homers in 46.2 innings. If Guerra falters, manager Don Mattingly can afford to have a short leash with KENLEY JANSEN as his set-up man. Jansen led the majors with an insane 16.1 K-per-9 ratio and limited opponents to a .159 BA and .228 slugging percentage. At age 24, his upside is extremely high. MATT GUERRIER is a usually reliable reliever, but he is coming off a subpar 2011 campaign (4.07 ERA, 1.27 WHIP).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (ST LOUIS-LA DODGERS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(CORRECTS spelling of rib, EDITS 11th graf)
*Cardinals-Dodgers Preview* ===========================
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer
St. Louis (97-65) at Los Angeles (92-70), 4:07 p.m. EDT
Although the St. Louis Cardinals are one victory away from winning the NL pennant, they don't want to get caught up with World Series talk after what transpired last October.
A year after a devastating postseason collapse, the Cardinals will try to close out the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the NL championship series on Wednesday.
St. Louis is seeking a second World Series in three years, and its 4-2 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday has given it a 3-1 series lead.
"We can't get ahead of ourselves," left fielder Matt Holliday said.
He certainly speaks from experience after the Cardinals squandered such a lead in the 2012 NLCS, losing the last three games to San Francisco - the eventual World Series champion. The offense was a major culprit of that collapse, mustering one run while hitting .190.
It could become a problem again since St. Louis owns a .148 average while totaling eight runs in this series.
The Dodgers, however, are having their own problems at the plate, producing seven runs and going 6 for 33 (.182) with runners in scoring position.
Holliday gave the Cardinals a jolt offensively in Game 4, hitting the first homer of the series - a two-run shot in the third inning. He finished with two hits after going hitless in his previous 22 at-bats at Chavez Ravine.
"Hopefully, we can throw some offense together like we were (Tuesday) a little bit and keep some positive thoughts going," manager Mike Matheny said. "When we start talking about where the series is, I think it's a distraction. What we've got to do is play a game."
Offense may be at a premium again since the Dodgers are scheduled to send Zack Greinke (0-1, 2.57 ERA) to the mound.
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA over his last four starts against the Cardinals, but could've used some help from his teammates in Game 1. Greinke struck out 10 and allowed two runs in eight innings of a 3-2 loss in 13 on Friday.
Holliday is 9 for 29 (.310) with two homers all-time against Greinke, including the playoffs.
This time, Greinke is wary of a breakout performance from the Cardinals.
"If you make really good pitches it's not much the offense can do," he said, "but they haven't had many like lucky hits so they're probably due for a couple like flairs and groundballs that just no one can get to."
The Dodgers are certainly more concerned with their own offensive issues, and Hanley Ramirez's availability due to a broken rib. The star shortstop exited in the middle of the sixth inning Tuesday after striking out three times.
"It got worse as we went along," manager Don Mattingly said.
Mattingly may need Ramirez to get better if Los Angeles is going to overturn a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in its lengthy postseason history.
"We realize we've been through a lot in the regular season, but it pales in comparison to what we're doing now," said second baseman Mark Ellis, who went 0 for 4 Tuesday. "We realize we have it in us to do this. It's a three-game win streak. That's all it is."
The Dodgers haven't reeled off three straight postseason wins since sweeping the Cardinals in the 2009 division series.
Joe Kelly (0-0, 3.18), a native of nearby Anaheim, will try to keep it that way, and help the Cardinals wrap up this series.
The right-hander started opposite Greinke in Game 1, yielding two runs in six innings.
"Obviously they know what I've got, and I know what they've got," Kelly said. "It's just going to be about executing pitches, ultimately."
Kelly did that versus Yasiel Puig in Game 1, holding the rookie sensation hitless in three at-bats, striking him out once.
A meeting at Dodger Stadium could prove different since Puig is 9 for 15 (.600) with four RBIs in four playoff games there after getting four hits over the last two against St. Louis.
He hit .360 at home during the regular season compared to .284 on the road.
|Last Updated: 9/22/2014 7:10:45 AM EST|