The Dodgers eked out a win in St. Louis, but this series could mark a turning point in the health of the Dodgers lineup. If this sounds like a repeat from the 2013 NLCS, there's a reason for that.
Kershaw stepped down from godly to merely very good tonight, working with a 3-1 lead until giving up a two-run home run to Bourjos in the sixth. Kershaw left after seven innings with eight strikeouts. (He also stole a base for good measure.)
Offensively, the Dodgers didn't score a ton, but in a refreshing change of pace scored all their runs with two out. Uribe had an RBI jam shot in the second, Kemp and Ethier had back-to-back RBI singles in the third, and AGon, who had been taking a lot of unsuccessful first-pitch hacks up to that point, hit a second pitch for the game-winner. Patience pays!
Now the bad news: With Puig sidelined by Joe Kelly's plunking of his hand yesterday, the Dodgers watched as Carlos Martinez hit Hanley in the shoulder in the fourth...and AGAIN as Rosenthal drilled Hanley on the forearm/hand with a 99-mph heater in the ninth. Results are negative, but we'll see.
And, in a further demonstration of Kershaw's awesomeness, he plunked Mothballs in the ass with his first pitch in the bottom of the fourth, generating warnings all around. If you believe in karma, the next batter hit into a double play. Kershaw did it right: Message sent, nobody hurt. Unlike the Cards, who seem to like going high and tight, or in toward the hands — three times alone in this series.
In unrelated news, Steve Garvey favorited a Star Wars-themed tweet I made. The streams have crossed!
photo via @MLB