2014 National League Division Series 2
|2014 National League Division Series|
|St. Louis Cardinals
90 - 72 in the NL
|3 - 1
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
94 - 68 in the NL
|1||St. Louis Cardinals 10 Los Angeles Dodgers 9||October 3||Adam Wainwright (0-0) Clayton Kershaw (0-1)||6:37 pm|
|2||St. Louis Cardinals 3 Los Angeles Dodgers 2||October 4||Lance Lynn (0-0) Zack Greinke (0-0)||9:37 pm|
|3||Los Angeles Dodgers 1 St. Louis Cardinals 3||October 6||Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-0) John Lackey (1-0)||9:07 pm|
|4||Los Angeles Dodgers 2 St. Louis Cardinals 3||October 7||Clayton Kershaw (0-2) Shelby Miller (0-0)||5:07 pm|
Game 1 @ Dodger Stadium
|WP: Marco Gonzales (1-0), LP: Clayton Kershaw (0-1); SV: Trevor Rosenthal (1)|
|Home Runs: STL - Randal Grichuk (1), Matt Carpenter (1), Matt Holliday (1); LA - A.J. Ellis (1), Adrian Gonzalez (1)|
- Attendance: 54,265
With two of the best starting pitchers in the majors facing off, everyone expected Game 1 to be a low-scoring affair, but it turned out to be anything but. The Cardinals and Dodgers combined for 19 runs and 26 hits, and while the Dodgers amassed 16 of the hits and scored in five of their turns at bat, it was St. Louis who came out on top, thanks to an incredible eight-run 7th inning against Cy Young Award favorite Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw and his opponent, Adam Wainwright, were both twenty-game winners with minute ERAs, but no one could have guessed by simply watching the night's proceedings.
Kershaw gave a quick sign that not everything was right when he allowed a homer to the second batter of the game, rookie RF Randal Grichuk. However, he was the only batter to reach base against him through the first three innings, so it could just have been a blip. For his part, Wainwright put a couple of runners on base in each of the first two innings, but did not give up any runs. He started the 3rd by plunking CF Yasiel Puig with a pitch, which prompted both benches to empty and C Yadier Molina to accidentally bump umpire Jerry Meals while jawing with the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, although no punches were exchanged. Wainwright got the next two batters out, with Puig advancing to second, then SS Hanley Ramirez singled, tying the score. Ramirez then stole second and LF Carl Crawford followed with an automatic double down the right field line to make it 2-1. Wainwright then threw a wild pitch, putting Crawford on third base, but 3B Juan Uribe flied out to center to end the inning.
The Dodgers continued to pound in the 4th, as C A.J. Ellis led off with a single and was bunted to second by Kershaw. Ellis moved to third on a ground out and scored when Puig singled. Wainwright then walked 1B Gonzalez and RF Matt Kemp singled for a 4th run. It was now 4-1, and as Kershaw was again perfect in the 4th and 5th, it looked as though the Dodgers were cruising to an easy win, an impression made even stronger when they chased Wainwright in the bottom of the 5th and added a couple more runs. Crawford led of with a single and Ellis homered to left, ending Wainwright's night with 6 runs allowed on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Sam Freeman relieved him and walked the first two batters he faced, Kershaw and 2B Dee Gordon, giving way to Seth Maness. He managed to avoid ay further damage by getting Puig to ground out and striking out Gonzalez. It was now 6-1 for the Dodgers.
However, the second half of the game was completely wild. In the top of the 6th, 3B Matt Carpenter homered with two outs to make the score a bit closer. Rookie Marco Gonzales took over on the mound for the Cards; he gave up a lead-off single to Kemp, but was bailed out by an inning-ending double play grounder by Crawford. Kershaw opened the 7th with a 6-2 lead, but completely fell apart. LF Matt Holliday led off the frame with a single, only the Cards' third baserunner of the day, the other two having been the solo homers. However, the hits would now keep on coming relentlessly. SS Jhonny Peralta, Molina and 1B Matt Adams all singled in turn, scoring a third run. Kershaw struck out 2B Pete Kozma for the first out, but it was only a temporary reprieve. CF Jon Jay singled as well, cutting the lead to 6-4. With the pitcher's spot coming up, Cards manager Mike Matheny sent top prospect Oscar Taveras to bat, but he struck out with the bases loaded. Kershaw could not get the last out, however. Carpenter doubled to right on the 11th pitch of his at-bat, clearing the bases, and suddenly the Cardinals were in the lead, 7-6. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly finally changed pitchers, bringing in Pedro Baez in a double switch, but the rookie just made things worse by walking Grichuk and then coughing up a home run to Holliday for three more runs. The stunned Dodgers were now trailing, 10-6, following that nightmarish eight-run inning.
Carlos Martinez took over on the mound in the bottom of the 7th and retired the Dodgers in order. The Cardinals also went down in order in the top of the 8th, but the Dodgers stirred in the bottom of the inning. Puig was walked by Martinez with one out, prompting Matheny to call on LOOGY Randy Choate to face Gonzalez. The strategy did not work, as Gonzalez homered to right, cutting the lead to 10-8. Pat Neshek took over for Choate, part of a double switch, and he got the last two outs around a Ramirez single. Mattingly used two more pitchers to get through the top of the 9th, J.P. Howell and Brandon League, but kept the Cardinals from scoring. With a two-run lead, Trevor Rosenthal was tasked to close out the win and struck out Uribe for the first out but Ellis singled and RF Andre Ethier followed with a double, putting the tying run in scoring position with one out. Next up, Dee Gordon grounded to second, scoring Ellis and putting Ethier on third. Up came the extremely dangerous Yasiel Puig with a chance to tie or win the game, but Rosenthal struck him out swinging, ending the wild contest, 10-9.
Game 2 @ Dodger Stadium
|WP: Brandon League (1-0), LP: Pat Neshek (0-1), SV: Kenley Jansen (1)|
|Home Runs: STL - Matt Carpenter (2); LA - Matt Kemp (1)|
- Attendance: 54,599
The Dodgers evened the series with a 3-2 win in Game 2, although they almost wasted an excellent two-way performance by starter Zack Greinke in the process. He was facing Lance Lynn, a consistent winner for the Cardinals since becoming a starter in 2012. This time, the game was the pitching-dominated, low-scoring affair that had been expected but did not happen in Game 1. 1960s Dodger great Maury Wills threw out the ceremonial first pitch, accompanied by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whose own baseball career ended when he outgrew his little league uniform.
The first couple of innings were quiet, until Dodgers C A.J. Ellis, coming off a four-hit game in Game 1, extended his postseason hitting streak to 8 games with a lead-off double. Greinke, one of the best-hitting pitchers in the majors, squared off to bunt, but then pulled back at the last second and blooped a single over the charging infield to put runners on the corners with no one out. 2B Dee Gordon then grounded out to his opposite number, Kolten Wong, who seemed to start a double play by tagging Greinke and throwing to first. However, Greinke pointed out that Wong had tagged him with his glove while the ball was in his throwing hand, prompting manager Don Mattingly to call for a video review which confirmed the pitcher's version. He was safe on second, and Ellis had scored, a run that would have stood even if the call had been upheld. CF Yasiel Puig struck out for the second out - he would get to wear the dreaded "golden sombrero" on the night by whiffing four times - but 1B Adrian Gonzalez, the National League RBI leader, followed with one of his patented clutch hits, a single to center that drove in Greinke for a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Greinke was having one of his better days. In seven innings, he gave up only 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7, and matched his opponents' hit total all on his own when he added a single in the 5th. Lynn did not do badly either, as apart from the 3rd inning, he kept the Dodgers from scoring in his other 5 innings, picking up 8 strikeouts. It was thus still 2-0 when Cardinals manager Mike Matheny called on pinch-hitter Oscar Taveras to bat for pitcher Marco Gonzales to start the 8th. Greinke had been warming up to start the inning, but Mattingly asked J.P. Howell to come in to pitch instead. He was immediately victimized by Taveras' single to right and a home run by 3B Matt Carpenter to the right field bleachers on the next pitch. Just like that, the game was tied. And the Cards weren't done as the next batter, CF Jon Jay, also singled. Mattingly replaced Howell with Brandon League and the former closer extinguished the fire with a ground ball, an intentional walk and a double play grounder by SS Jhonny Peralta started by defensive replacement Miguel Rojas.
It was now the Dodgers' time to reply, against reliever Pat Neshek. The first man up in the bottom of the 8th was RF Matt Kemp and he put the Dodgers back in the lead with a homer to left. Neshek then misplayed Rojas's nibbler for an error, but he recovered to get out of the inning with no additional damage. Closer Kenley Jansen came in to nail down the win, doing so with a ground ball by C Yadier Molina, a strikeout of Wong after a nine-pitch battle, and another strikeout of RF Randal Grichuk.
Game 3 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: John Lackey (1-0), LP: Scott Elbert (0-1), SV: Trevor Rosenthal (2)|
|Home Runs: STL - Matt Carpenter (3), Kolten Wong (1)|
- Attendance: 47,754
The Cardinals won Game 3 at home thanks to an uncharacteristic display of home run power, after finishing last in the National League in the category. The Dodgers sent Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound, while the Cardinals replied with John Lackey, a veteran of postseason action acquired for precisely this purpose at the trading deadline. Both starters were solid and the game was a low-scoring affair.
The Cardinals struck first when 3B Matt Carpenter connected for a home run off Ryu to lead off the bottom of the 3rd. It was already Carpenter's third homer of the series, after hitting only 8 during the season. It was however the only blemish on Ryu's game sheet, as the Korean hurler pitched 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and a walk, but no other runs. In the top of the 6th, CF Yasiel Puig hit a lead-off triple against Lackey, ending a string of seven consecutive strikeouts, but he was almost stranded 90 feet from home when 1B Adrian Gonzalez flied out to shallow left and RF Matt Kemp went down on strikes. However, SS Hanley Ramirez came through with a single to tie the score. In the 7th, Ryu gave way to pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke, but the Dodgers went down in order against Lackey.
The Cardinals won the game in the bottom of the 7th against reliever Scott Elbert. C Yadier Molina led off with a double and, playing for one run, Cards manager Mike Matheny asked CF Jon Jay to lay down a sacrifice bunt. The strategy worked, putting Molina on third base. 2B Kolten Wong was just looking to hit a ball deep in order to allow Molina to score, but he managed to park it over the right centerfield wall for a two-run homer. St. Louis then put two more men on base, with a double by Carpenter and a single by RF Randal Grichuk, but Brandon League ended the inning by forcing LF Matt Holliday to ground out.
Protecting the 3-1 lead, Pat Neshek pitched a perfect 8th inning, bringing up closer Trevor Rosenthal for the 9th. After striking out Kemp, he allowed a single to Ramirez and another to LF Carl Crawford, who hit a pop-up just beyond Wong's reach. However, Rosenthal then got 3B Juan Uribe and C A.J. Ellis to hit consecutive fly balls to right field, and while Ramirez was able to advance to third base on the first of these, the Dodgers could not score. The Cardinals were now up, two games to one.
Game 4 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: Marco Gonzales (2-0), LP: Clayton Kershaw (0-2), SV: Trevor Rosenthal (3)|
|Home Runs: STL - Matt Adams (1)|
- Attendance: 46,906
The Cardinals used a well-timed home run to win Game 4, handing Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw his second defeat of the series. They only managed four hits all games, but three of them came in the same inning - the 7th - and in the right order, with Matt Adams' blast to right field ending the mini-spree. Until then, the Dodgers were cruising with a 2-0 lead, and Kershaw was seemingly on top of things.
A game up, the Cardinals turned to fourth starter Shelby Miller, the forgotten man of their 2013 run to the World Series, to start the game. He and Kershaw matched zeros through the first five innings, before the Dodgers struck in the top of the 6th. LF Carl Crawford and 1B Adrian Gonzalez opened the inning with back-to-back singles, Crawford moving to third. RF Matt Kemp grounded into a double play as Crawford scored the first run. Miller then lost his control, hitting SS Hanley Ramirez with a pitch and issuing a walk to CF Andre Ethier. 3B Juan Uribe then greeted reliever Seth Maness with a single to right, for a second run, before Cards C Yadier Molina ended the inning by picking off Ethier at third base.
Kershaw struck out the side in the bottom of the 6th and young Marco Gonzales came on to pitch for St. Louis, allowing a pair of two-out baserunners before completing the 7th. But things suddenly unraveled for Los Angeles in the bottom of the 7th. LF Matt Holliday and SS Jhonny Peralta both singled on balls barely out of the Dodgers' infielders grasp. The Cardinals had been held to one hit until then, a single by RF Randal Grichuk in the 4th. 1B Adams was next up, and he unloaded on a 0-1 curveball, sending it into the right field seats for a 3-2 lead. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly replaced Kershaw with reliever Pedro Baez, but the damage was done. Pat Neshek retired the Dodgers in order in the 8th, and Trevor Rosenthal came in to record his third save of the series in the 9th. He put a couple of men on, A.J. Ellis on a walk and 2B Dee Gordon who singled with two outs, but Crawford grounded out to 2B Kolten Wong to end the game. The Cardinals were returning to the NLCS for the fourth straight year.
|Major League Baseball National League Division Series