2009 National League Division Series 1
From BR Bullpen
|2009 National League Division Series|
|Los Angeles Dodgers
95 - 67 in the NL
|3 - 0
|St. Louis Cardinals|
91 - 71 in the NL
|2009 MLB Postseason|
|AL||NYY - MIN||LAA - NYY||NYY - PHI|
|LAA - BOS|
|NL||LAD - STL||LAD - PHI|
|PHI - COL|
|<< 2008||2010 >>|
The first National League Division Series of 2009 matched the Dodgers, owners of the best record in the National League, having led the NL West almost from start to finish until the Colorado Rockies came close to catching them in the season's last week, and the Cardinals, who won the NL Central after starting the season slowly, sputtering around .500 until pulling away from the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers in early August.
 The Teams
 Series results
|1||Los Angeles Dodgers 5 St. Louis Cardinals 3||October 7||Randy Wolf (0-0) Chris Carpenter (0-1)||10:07 p.m.|
|2||Los Angeles Dodgers 3 St. Louis Cardinals 2||October 8||Clayton Kershaw (0-0) Adam Wainwright (0-0)||6:07 p.m.|
|3||St. Louis Cardinals 1 Los Angeles Dodgers 5||October 10||Joel Pineiro (0-1) Vicente Padilla (1-0)||6:07 p.m.|
 Game 1 @ Dodger Stadium
|WP: Jeff Weaver (1-0), LP: Chris Carpenter (0-1), SV: Jonathan Broxton (1)|
|Home Run: LAD - Matt Kemp (1)|
- Attendance: 56,000
Opening the Series at home, the Dodgers overcame a mediocre start by Randy Wolf to register a 5-3 win over the Cardinals and National League Comeback Player of the Year Chris Carpenter. The Cards got to Wolf early, as Skip Schumaker led off the game with a walk, then Brendan Ryan hit a ball to left field that was touched by a fan; umpire Ed Rapuano ruled fan interference, and the Cards had runners on 2nd and 3rd with none out. Wolf then walked Albert Pujols intentionally to load the bases, taking his chances against Matt Holliday. He struck out Holliday, but Ryan Ludwick hit a weak single blooper to second to drive in the game's first run. With the bases still loaded, catcher Yadier Molina hit a ball through the mound, which Wolf deflected to 2B Ronnie Belliard, who started a 1-4-6-3 double play to escape further damage. The Dodgers replied before Carpenter could even record an out: Rafael Furcal led off the bottom of the 1st with a single, and Matt Kemp followed with a two-run home run. The Dodgers then added a third run in the 3rd, when Andre Ethier scored from third base on a single by Casey Blake.
The Cardinals chased Wolf in the 4th when Colby Rasmus led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Carpenter and scored on Schumaker's double. After Ryan popped out, Wolf loaded the bases by walking Pujols intentionally once again, then hitting Holliday with a pitch - unintentionally. Manager Joe Torre took him out of the game at that point, bringing in veteran Jeff Weaver, who had revived his career in returning to Los Angeles this year. He got Ludwick to hit a ball back to him to escape the jam. In the 5th, the Dodgers got a little more breathing room when Belliard singled and Russell Martin walked to start the inning. Torre replaced Weaver with Juan Pierre, who bunted the two runners one base further. Furcal followed with a sacrifice fly, and it was 4-2, Dodgers. Ronald Belisario then pitched a scoreless inning, which was followed by another Dodger score in the 6th, when Martin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Pinch hitter Jim Thome followed him with a chance to blow the game wide open, but struck out.
The Dodger bullpen kept on putting up zeroes, with Hong-Chih Kuo, George Sherrill and Jonathan Broxton keeping the Cards off the scoreboard over the 7th and 8th innings. Broxton stayed on to pitch the 9th, but found a spot of trouble when, with two outs and Ludwick on first base, Mark DeRosa doubled to make the score 5-3. Tony LaRussa then sent in power-hitting pitcher-turned-outfielder Rick Ankiel to pinch hit for pitcher Mitchell Boggs, but Broxton struck him out on three pitches to end the game.
The game was not the type of crisply-played pitchers' duel expected in the postseason. The two teams tied an all-time postseason record by stranding 30 runners between them, the game took almost four hours to play although not particularly high-scoring, and four batters were hit by pitches. It was a plodding affair highlighted by numerous pitching changes that ended after 2:00 a.m. in the East.
 Game 2 @ Dodger Stadium
|WP: George Sherrill (1-0), LP: Ryan Franklin (0-1)|
|Home Runs: - STL: Matt Holliday (1); LAD: Andre Ethier (1)|
- Attendance: 51,819
The Cardinals were certain they had beaten the Dodgers in Game 2 to tie the Series at one game apiece, but they both litterally and figuratively dropped the ball. Carrying a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the 9th, LOOGY Trever Miller and closer Ryan Franklin retired the first two Dodger batters, then James Loney hit a sinking line drive to left. Matt Holliday lost the ball and let it him in in the gut; it fell to the ground for an error, putting Loney on second and giving Los Angeles a new lease on life.
Holliday had until then been one of the day's heroes for the Cards, having hit a 2nd-inning home run that had put the Cardinals ahead. The other hero had been pitcher Adam Wainwright, who pitched 8 strong innings, displaying a great curve ball, only giving up a game-tying home run to Andre Ethier in the 4th. The Cardinals were ahead, 2-1 when he left, thanks to a 7th-inning run. His opponent, 21-year-old Clayton Kershaw, was not as dominant, but he also only gave up one run in the first 6 innings. Mark DeRosa led off the 7th against him with a single and came in to score on Colby Rasmus' two-out double. That's how things stood in the bottom of the 9th.
After Holliday's fateful drop, the Dodgers did not waste time to make their opponents pay. Juan Pierre pinch ran for Loney at second, and Casey Blake drew a walk off Franklin. Ronnie Belliard singled to tie the game, then Yadier Molina allowed a passed ball. Runners were on second and third with Russell Martin batting. Martin walked on four pitches, and veteran Mark Loretta came in as a pinch hitter for reliever George Sherrill. He hit a soft single to center, giving Los Angeles a come-from-behind 3-2 win and a two games to none lead as the Series headed to St. Louis.
 Game 3 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: Vicente Padilla (1-0), LP: Joel Pineiro (0-1)|
|Home Runs: - LAD: Andre Ethier (2)|
- Attendance: 47,296
The Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the Cardinals with a 5-1 win at Busch Stadium. They took an early lead, and never looked back, as Vicente Padilla easily outpitched Joel Pineiro. In the 1st inning, Matt Kemp singled after one out and Manny Ramirez, who had been rather invisible thus far in the Series, doubled him in for the game's first run. It was the start of an excellent night's work for Manny, as he would collect three hits, including two doubles, and 2 RBI. St. Louis loaded the bases on two singles and a walk in its half of the 1st inning, but Yadier Molina hit a weak grounder to shortstop to end the threat. It would be the last serious Cardinals' menace until the 7th, as Padilla settled down and dominated Cardinals hitters by painting the corners of the strike zone seemingly at will.
For his part, Pineiro was not particularly sharp. In the 3rd, the Dodgers got to him again, with a single by Rafael Furcal and Andre Ethier's second home run of the Series. Ethier would also have an excellent game, collecting a double and triple in addition to his long ball. In the 4th, the Dodgers made it 4-0 when Ronnie Belliard led off with a single and scored on a two-out base hit by Furcal. The red-clad crowd at Busch Stadium had now fallen eerily quiet, as spectators sensed that things were going very badly indeed for the Cards. Pineiro gave way to Dennys Reyes in the 5th, to be followed by veteran John Smoltz, making what would be the last appearance of his illustrious career. The two pitched well, and Smoltz even struck out five consecutive batters until trouble struck again with two outs in the 7th. Ethier hit a long triple over CF Colby Rasmus' head and Ramirez drove him in with a single for a 5 - 0 lead. The Cardinals had a chance to get on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning when Molina hit a one-out double. The next batter, Mark DeRosa, grounded to shortstop but Molina made a baserunning blunder, breaking for third base where he was easily preceded by Furcal's toss to Casey Blake.
George Sherrill came in to pitch the 8th for the Dodgers, Padilla departing after 7 scoreless innings in which he had given up only 4 hits and a walk. Pinch hitter Julio Lugo walked. After a second out, closer Jonathan Broxton came in to face slugging 1B and MVP candidate Albert Pujols, who had been a non-factor so far in the Series. Lugo stole second base uncontested and Pujols hit a run-scoring single for the Cardinals' first and only run. "El Hombre" had been limited to a few singles and intentional walks in the Series, never really getting a chance to hurt the Dodgers. Broxton came back to pitch the 9th. Molina managed a single, but that was it; Broxton struck out pinch hitter Rick Ankiel to end the game and the Series, sending the Dodgers to the NLCS for the second consecutive year.
 Related Sites
|Major League Baseball National League Division Series