2013 National League Championship Series
From BR Bullpen
|2013 National League Championship Series|
|St. Louis Cardinals
97 - 65 in the NL
|4 - 2
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
92 - 70 in the NL
 The Teams
Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals
 Series results
|1||Los Angeles Dodgers 2 St. Louis Cardinals 3||October 11||Zack Greinke (0-0) Joe Kelly (0-0)||8:37 pm|
|2||Los Angeles Dodgers 0 St. Louis Cardinals 1||October 12||Clayton Kershaw (0-1) Michael Wacha (1-0)||4:07 pm|
|3||St. Louis Cardinals 0 Los Angeles Dodgers 3||October 14||Adam Wainwright (0-1) Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-0)||8:07 pm|
|4||St. Louis Cardinals 4 Los Angeles Dodgers 2||October 15||Lance Lynn (2-0) Ricky Nolasco (0-1)||8:07 pm|
|5||St. Louis Cardinals 4 Los Angeles Dodgers 6||October 16||Joe Kelly (0-1) Zack Greinke (1-0)||4:07 pm|
|6||Los Angeles Dodgers 0 St. Louis Cardinals 9||October 18||Clayton Kershaw (0-2) Michael Wacha (2-0)||8:37 pm|
 Game 1 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: Lance Lynn (1-0), LP: Chris Withrow (0-1)|
|Home Runs: - none|
- Attendance: 46,691
It took a marathon 13 innings for the Cardinals to take Game 1 at home. Carlos Beltran was the undisputed hero for the Redbirds, as he drove in the team's first two runs in the 3rd, nailed Mark Ellis at home with a strong throw in the 10th, then drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 13th.
The game featured starters Zack Greinke for the Dodgers and Joe Kelly for the Cardinals. The Dodgers threatened in the 1st, as, after one out, Mark Ellis singled and Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch, which cracked a rib, an injury that would bother him the rest of the series; however, Kelly then struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig to scotch the threat. The Dodgers broke through in the 3rd however, as Carl Crawford led off with a double, Mark Ellis moved him to third on a grounder and Ramirez and Gonzalez walked to load the bases. Puig hit a grounder back to Kelly, who forced Crawford at home but Uribe followed with a single, driving in two runs. But the lead was short-lived as the Cards scored two runs as well in the bottom of the inning. It had started well for Greinke, who struck out David Freese and Pete Kozma, but Kelly singled, Matt Carpenter drew a walk, and Beltran followed with a double which tied the game. That tie would not be broken until the 13th inning.
Kely left the game after pitching 6 innings and Greinke after 8, with neither team having seriously threatened after scoring in the 3rd. Five relievers would be used by the Cardinals until starter Lance Lynn took over in the top of the 12th. For the Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly was less profligate with his bullpen corps, using only three more pitchers until the top of the 12th. The Cards put two men on with two out in the bottom of the 9th, but did not score, then in the 10th, Mark Ellis tripled with one out, for the best scoring chance since the 3rd. Cards manager Mike Matheny decided to give an intentional walk to the supremely dangerous Ramirez, and Michael Young was unable to capitalize on the opportunity, flying out to Beltran in right, who completed a double play by gunning down Ellis at the plate. It should normally have been the much more dangerous Adrian Gonzalez at bat at that point, but he had given way to a pinch-runner in the 8th. Young would ground out into a double play with two on in the 12th, ending another Dodgers scoring chance. In the 13th, the Cardinals finally put some men on. With Chris Withrow beginning his second inning of work, Daniel Descalso, pinch-hitting for Lynn, singled with one out; Carpenter then walked and Mattingly called on his closer, the normally overpowering Kenley Jansen. However, Beltran lined one of his pitches into right field, and Descalso crossed the plate to end the game.
 Game 2 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: Michael Wacha (1-0), LP: Clayton Kershaw (0-1), SV: Trevor Rosenthal (1)|
|Home Runs: - none|
- Attendance: 46,872
The Cardinals took a 2-0 win with a 1-0 win over the Dodgers in Game 2 in spite of getting only 2 hits against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and a pair of relievers. It was another great game for the rookie Michael Wacha, who had flirted with a no-hitter in his last regular season start and again in Game 4 of the NLDS. This time, a no-hitter would not be in order: the second batter of the game - Mark Ellis - took care of that with a single, but putting together actual scoring chances was another story for Los Angeles. The closest they came was a 5th-inning two-out double by A.J. Ellis, who was stranded, and a single and intentional walk in the 6th, which ended with Wacha striking out Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe. He left after two outs in the 7th, when he allowed a single to Nick Punto, giving way to Kevin Siegrist. The reliever quickly allowed Punto to advance to third on a pair of wild pitches, but pinch-hitter Michael Young flew out to end the inning.
While this was going on, the Cardinals could only manage two hits off Kershaw, but both went for extra bases. Matt Carpenter led off the 1st with a triple, but the Cards were unable to make him advance the last 90 feet. In the 5th, David Freese led off with a double, then catcher A.J. Ellis allowed a passed ball that advanced Freese to third. Kershaw struck out Matt Adams for the first out, but Jon Jay lifted a fly ball to center deep enough to score Freese for the only run of the game. Ronald Belisario replaced Kershaw in the 7th and J.P. Howell pitched the 8th, neither giving up a hit, but the Dodgers were unable to tie the score. Randy Choate and Carlos Martinez took care of the 8th, then Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the 9th to preserve the win. The Dodgers had sent their best two pitchers to the mound in the first two games, and had nothing to show for it.
 Game 3 @ Dodger Stadium
|WP: Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-0), LP: Adam Wainwright (0-1), SV: Kenley Jansen (1)|
|Home Runs: - none|
- Attendance: 53,940
Game 3 was truly a must-win game for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and manager Don Mattingly felt he had no choice but to start two hobbled players, SS Hanley Ramirez, bothered by a fractured rib, and CF Andre Ethier, victim of a micro-fracture in his leg. Their presence in the line-up helped, but so did an outstanding start by Korean Hyun-Jin Ryu, who out-pitched Cardinals' ace Adam Wainwright. Ryu limited the Cards to 3 hits and a walk over 7 innings, turning over a 2-0 lead to his bullpen. Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen then each pitched a scoreless inning to preserve the win.
Neither team managed to do much during the first third of the game, until the Dodgers opened the scoring in the bottom of the 4th. Mark Ellis led off the inning with a double on a catchable ball that fell between CF Jon Jay and RF Carlos Beltran, then moved to third on a fly out by Ramirez. Adrian Gonzalez also doubled to drive in a first run, then moved to third on a ground out. Rookie Yasiel Puig then crushed a pitch to deep right field; he stood at the plate to admire what he thought was a sure home run, but the ball was lined too low and hit the bullpen wall, forcing Puig to turn on the burners. But he had plenty of speed to make it to third, and then cheered himself as he pulled into the bag, in another gesture that infuriated the Cards; his display of joy was understandable, though, as it was his first hit of the series after going 0 for 11 until then, and the Dodger Stadium crowd loved it. In any case, the Dodgers now led, 2-0, and that was all that Ryu needed. Both starters left after 7 innings, with no other scoring happening. The Cards' closest call came in the 5th, when David Freese got his team's first hit of the night with a lead-off single that Puig almost caught on a dive. However, Freese pulled up lame at second base when Matt Adams followed with another single, and had to give way to pinch-runner Daniel Descalso. Descalso made a mistake when the next hitter, Jay, flew out to left, getting caught away from the bag for a rally-killing double play.
The Dodgers added an insurance run in the 8th, with lefty Kevin Siegrist taking the mound after a host of defensive changes necessitated by the use of pinch-hitters in the top of the inning. Siegrist retired pinch-hitter Michael Young, but Carl Crawford followed with a single and manager Mike Matheny brought in Seth Maness who gave up back-to-back singles to Mark Ellis and Ramirez. The latter was hit just behind new second baseman Kolten Wong, who threw to second base instead of home, allowing Crawford to race in. Jansen then came in to pitch the 9th and retired the Cardinals in order, to close out the 3-0 win.
 Game 4 @ Dodger Stadium
|WP: Lance Lynn (2-0), LP: Ricky Nolasco (0-1), SV: Trevor Rosenthal (2)|
|Home Runs: STL - Matt Holliday (1), Shane Robinson (1)|
- Attendance: 53,992
The Cardinals moved to within one game of the 2013 World Series with a 4-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 4. Both teams decided to go with their fourth starters in this game, Lance Lynn, the winner of Game 1 in relief, starting for the Cards, and Ricky Nolasco, whop had been bumped from his scheduled start in the NLDS, for the Dodgers. Aces may not have been pitching, but the series kept its low-scoring character nonetheless, although this was due in large part to many wasted scoring chances. The Dodgers threatened first, when they loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 2nd, but Nolasco struck out to end the threat. The Cardinals then replied immediately in the top of the 3rd. Daniel Descalso singled and was sacrificed to second by Lynn. Matt Carpenter followed with a double for a first run, then after Carlos Beltran had grounded out, Matt Holliday came out of a series-long slump by driving a pitch to left field for a two-run homer. It was 3-0, Cardinals, but the game was still young.
The Dodgers cut down the lead to one run in the 4th when Adrian Gonzalez led off with a double and Andre Ethier followed with a walk. Yasiel Puig singled in a run and Ethier moved to third on a fly out. A.J. Ellis then singled too, scoring Ethier and advancing Puig to second. This time, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly did not let Nolasco hit in a key situation, sending in pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker instead. However, Schumaker grounded into a inning-ending double play, and once again, the Dodgers had come out with fewer runs than they should have. In spite of having had Lynn in the ropes, they were still trailing, 3-2. Chris Withrow took over on the mound in the 5th, and was not sharp; he walked Lynn, then with two outs, allowed him to move to third with a wild pitch and a balk, then walked Beltran; however, he got Holliday to hit a ground ball and escaped the inning. The Dodgers put men on board in both the 5th and the 6th, but were unable to capitalize, although they did manage to drive Lynn out of the game. He had by no means been dominant, allowing 6 hits and 3 walks in 5 1/3 innings, but he'd done enough to be in a position to win the game.
In the 7th, however, the Dodgers saw the game get further away from their grasp when Shane Robinson, pinch-hitting for reliever Seth Maness, hit a homer against J.P. Howell to make the score 4-2. Nick Punto doubled for the Dodgers in the bottom of the inning, but he was picked off by Carlos Martinez and the Dodgers had wasted yet another chance. The Dodgers were not the only ones failing to cash in their chances, though: the Cards left two men on in the 8th and one more in the 9th. Things were more critical for Los Angeles however, especially after Martinez set them down in order in the 8th. Trevor Rosenthal came to pitch the 9th and allowed a lead-off single to Ethier, but Puig grounded into his team's third double play of the game, and Rosenthal only had to strike out Juan Uribe to close out the win.
 Game 5 @ Dodger Stadium
|WP: Zack Greinke (1-0), LP: Joe Kelly (0-1)|
|Home Runs: LA - Adrian Gonzalez 2 (2), Carl Crawford (1), A.J. Ellis (1)|
- Attendance: 53,083
The Dodgers used a homer barrage to stay alive with a 6-4 win in Game 5, going deep four times against five Cardinals pitchers. For the first time, a mismatch on paper between starting pitchers translated into a mismatch in the game. With former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke for Los Angeles facing the unheralded Joe Kelly for St. Louis, the Dodgers had a clear advantage. They quickly got to Kelly in the 2nd, as Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig singled around an out by Andre Ethier; singles by Juan Uribe and Greinke cashed in both runners for an early 2-0 lead. However, Greinke was not at his best in the early going. He allowed the first two batters to reach in the 1st but, with the bases loaded, was saved by a double play grounder, then in the 3rd allowed four consecutive hits to squander his early lead: Matt Carpenter singled with one out, Carlos Beltran followed with a triple and Matt Holliday with a double; Matt Adams then added a single, but Holliday stopped at third base and Yadier Molina, who had hit into a twin killing in the 1st, did so again now to take Greinke out of the ropes.
Los Angeles was able to answer right back, however, as Gonzalez took Kelly deep to right with two out in the bottom of the 3rd. The Dodgers would not surrender that lead. They padded it a bit in the 5th when Carl Crawford homered with one out, and by now Greinke had settled down, retiring 13 consecutive batters between Molina's double play grounder that ended the 3rd and the end of the 7th, when he was removed from the game. Kelly left after 5 innings, but with a 4-2 deficit, and in the 7th it was A.J. Ellis' turn to homer, against displaced closer Edward Mujica. Brian Wilson pitched the top of the 8th for Los Angeles and retired all three men he faced. In the bottom of the 8th, Gonzalez hit his second long ball of the game, off John Axford, to increase the lead to 6-2. Thus, when closer Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the 9th, it was no longer a save situation. The Cards finally woke up from their long torpor, as Holliday doubled on a ball which RF Puig lost in the sun and Adams singled him in to start off the inning. Molina continued his awful day by striking out, but Jon Jay singled, advancing Adams to second. Jansen then struck out David Freese for the second out, but Pete Kozma singled, scoring Adams, to cut the lead to 6-4. With the tying run on first base, Adron Chambers pinch-hit for Axford, but he was called out on strikes to end the game and send the series back to St. Louis.
 Game 6 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: Michael Wacha (2-0), LP: Clayton Kershaw (0-2)|
|Home Runs: - none|
- Attendance: 46,899
The St. Louis Cardinals punched their ticket into the 2013 World Series by routing the Dodgers, 9-0 in Game 6. In doing so, they defeated Cy Young Award favorite Clayton Kershaw for the second time, and this time the decision was no contest. For his part, young Michael Wacha continued his fairytale month, winning his third straight postseason start after nearly pitching a no-hitter in his last start of the season. Even better, in his two NLCS starts, he gave up no earned runs, tonight adding 7 innings of two-hit ball to his win in Game 2 to earn the Series' Most Valuable Player Award.
The outcome of the game was decided in the 3rd inning. The game was still scoreless when the Cardinals went to bat, then after one out, Matt Carpenter doubled at the end of an 11-pitch at-bat. Carlos Beltran followed with a sharp grounder that deflected off the glove of 2B Mark Ellis and allowed Carpenter to score, with Beltran taking second base on the throw home. Matt Holliday struck out, but Yadier Molina followed with another single that made it 2-0. Kershaw then couldn't get the third out: David Freese singled and Matt Adams walked to load the sacks, and Shane Robinson, starting in CF in place of Jon Jay delivered the killer blow, a single to right that scored two more runs for a 4-0 lead. With Wacha almost unhittable, that hole would prove too deep for the Dodgers. But it would soon get deeper.
The Cardinals were back at it in the 5th, putting the game definitely out of reach. Molina and Freese opened the inning with singles off Kershaw, then Adams doubled for a first run. Ronald Belisario replaced Kershaw, but the scoring continued. Robinson hit a grounder to short, on which SS Hanley Ramirez managed to cut down Freese at the plate for the first out, but Robinson was able to take second base on the play. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly decided to issue an intentional pass to Pete Kozma to load the bases, but on Wacha's grounder, 2B Ellis was unable to retire Adams at home, allowing a 6th run to score. J.P. Howell came in for Belisario, but the debacle continued. Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Robinson, then Howell threw a wild pitch and Kozma crossed the plate with the 8th run. Beltran then singled, Wacha scored and it was 9-0. The rest of the game was academic. Wacha departed after seven outstanding innings, Carlos Martinez pitched a perfect 8th and Trevor Rosenthal did the same in the 9th, striking out Mark Ellis for the final out and triggering a massive celebration.
 Related Sites
|Major League Baseball National League Championship Series