For the fifth straight season the National League representative to the World Series will be either the San Francisco Giants or the St. Louis Cardinals, that is guaranteed. The team has been swapping the pennant around with the Giants making the trip and winning the World Series in 2010 and 2012, while the Cardinals won it in 2011 and lost to the Red Sox in 2013. If you want to go by patterns, it is the Giants’ turn.
I can admit when I’m wrong. Happily, sometimes. I had the Cardinals losing their National League Divisional Series in four games, but rather it is them who is on top. In fact, the results of each game were the opposite of what I figured while I considered the series last week. I had the Cardinals beating Greinke and losing the other three. But Greinke beat the Cardinals and it didn’t matter.
Last night we found out we were wrong about Hyun-Jin Ryu as he pitched six innings, allowing just a solo shot by Matt Carpenter in his second at bat. The Dodgers battled back in the sixth inning after Yasiel Puig led it off by breaking his strikeout streak with a ball in the corner that Randal Grichuk misplayed into a triple for Puig. Two batters later, Hanley Ramirez doubled him home to tie up the game.
Saturday night Zack Greinke quieted the St. Louis Cardinals bats, but the Cardinals weren’t asleep just yet. Matt Carpenter, who has been the team’s offensive spark plug so far this season, put a game-tying two-run home run over the right center field fence to tie up the game. The fact that Greinke had been near flawless all night didn’t matter anymore. The Cardinals were back in the game and Pat Neshek was coming in to pitch the bottom of the 8th. Unfortunately, Matt Kemp took the fourth pitch he saw from Neshek and put it over the left field fence to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. A lead they would keep the rest of the way to even up the series at one game a piece.
Last night saw the Cardinals pull off yet another incredible postseason comeback to win a game they really had no business winning. At the end of the night they’d tagged Clayton Kershaw, a consensus pick for best pitcher in baseball, for 8 earned runs. That’s the most he’d allowed in a start since July 24, 2012. Also against the Cardinals. The two home runs he allowed tied a season high. Though he did on two occasions this season allow more than 8 hits.