Here we are. One round from the World Series, and we’re now down to two teams left standing in the National League.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ St. Louis Cardinals
- Joe Kelly (0-0, 3.38 ERA) vs Zach Greinke (15-8, 3.75 ERA)
I had the Dodgers beating the Braves in four, and that’s exactly what happened. It wasn’t even that close. LA scored 23 runs in their 3 wins. They gambled bringing their Ace Clayton Kershaw back on three-days rest for the first time in his career, but it paid off. Kershaw gave the 6 innings strong of, 3-hit, 2-run ball. But now they don’t have their Cy Young starter until game 2.
It’s the first time the Dodgers have reached the NLCS since 2009, when they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in 5 games. They also fell in 5 games to Philly in 2008. And if they should win, it will be the first time the reach the Fall Classic since 1988, when they beat the Oakland A’s.
As for the Cardinals, it took 5 games for them to get here. Again, that’s how long I figured their NLDS match-up against Pirates would go, It was a fun, close series, with the clincher the biggest margin of victory. Not counting the 6-1 clincher, St. Louis outscored Pittsburgh 15-14 in the first 4 games.
The question is always is it better to play everyday and get in on a high, or clinch early? Well, it’s another case of that in this years NLCS.
Without Ace Adam Wainwright because he went the distance last night, possible game 1 candidates included Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly. Kelly ended up getting the nod, after just 1 start during the regular season.
Clinching Monday meant LA could set up their Dodgers send their Ace 1A to the hill in Zach Greinke. Greinke took the game 2 loss to Atlanta, but pitched well enough for the win, going 6 innings of 2-run ball.
The LA Dodgers took the West, the St Louis Cardinals the central. Now one will take the NL.
And it all gets started with Game 1 Friday night at Busch Stadium- first pitch set for 8:30.
It’s going to be a hard fought series. But I think the fact that the Dodgers were able to set up their pitching much better than St. Louis will ultimately mean a win. Getting 2 from Greinke and 2 from Kershaw is huge. Wainwright won’t pitch until game 3, and it might be too late by then.
DODGERS IN 6
- The Red Sox have already clinched their spot in the next round.
- The Detroit Tigers are in Oakland tonight for a winner-take-all Game 5.
- No matter what happens tonight, the ALCS kicks off in Boston on Saturday.