Trailing 2-0 in the NLCS, the Dodgers returned home in hopes of turning around the momentum and got a huge lift when it was announced that Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier would both play tonight.
The Dodgers sent rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound while the Cardinals countered with ace Adam Wainwright as many weren’t giving the Dodgers much of a chance tonight. In 19 of his 31 starts, Ryu allowed at least one run in the first inning and after a poor start in the NLDS, he needed a strong first inning.
A one-out walk to Carlos Beltran was a bit worrisome, but he got Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina out and looked good through half an inning. For the Dodgers, Carl Crawford grounded out and Mark Ellis struck out, which brought up Hanley with two outs. In severe pain, Ramirez had a bloop single to center as the Dodgers had their first base runner of the night.
However, Adrian Gonzalez would end any rally that could’ve been started with a broken bat liner to end the first inning. Ryu and Wainwright would toss scoreless inning until the bottom of the fourth inning as Mark Ellis was given a gift double to start the inning.
With a scoreless streak at 22 innings, Adrian Gonzalez doubled home Ellis, who moved over to third on a fly ball from Ramirez. In an 0-11 NLCS slump, Yasiel Puig missed a home run by a mere feet and tripled in Gonzalez to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Puig also thought he hit a home run and had one of the best bat flips he’s had all season.
In the fifth inning, Ryu lost his no-hitter as David Freese and Matt Adams started the inning off with back-to-back base knocks. However, Freese injured himself and was pulled in favor of Daniel Descalso.
Jon Jay hit a fly ball to shallow left and Descalso had a brain cramp, which led to Crawford throwing him out for the double play. In the bottom of the inning, the strategy of hitting it to Jay worked again as A.J. Ellis tripled off his glove to lead off the inning.
Ryu, Crawford and Mark Ellis failed to get the run in and heading to the top of the sixth, the Dodgers led 2-0. With the lead, Ryu went back to doing his thing on the mound as he got the 9-1-2 hitters in the Cardinals out in order with the heart of the Dodger lineup due up.
Not to be outdone, Wainwright retired the Dodgers in order as Ryu came out for the top of the seventh. After Holliday grounded out, Molina hit a sinking liner into center as Ethier’s mobility was really put to the test and he singled with one out.
Descalso grounded into a fielder’s choice and with Ryu over 100 pitches, Mattingly had a conversation with him about whether he wanted to stay in against Adams. Ryu nodded yes to every question Mattingly asked and he promptly struck out Adams as the Dodger Stadium crowd rose to their feet for the seventh inning stretch.
To lead off the bottom of the 7th, Puig laced a single to left, but was quickly erased as Uribe hit into a first-pitch double play. AJ Ellis grounded out to third as the Dodgers turned things over to the bullpen with Brian Wilson coming in for the eighth inning.
Wilson was greeted immediately by a single from Jay, but got pinch hitter Kolten Wong looking for the first out in the eighth inning. Wainwright’s night was done after seven innings as Adron Chambers grounded into a fielder’s choice and Carpenter was caught looking to end the top of the eighth.
Pinch hitting for Wilson, Michael Young continued to struggle grounding out to shortstop for the first out in the bottom of the eight. Crawford continued the trend of hitting the ball to Jay as he couldn’t come up with his fly ball. Mark Ellis would then move him over to second with a single to left, bringing Hanley to the dish.
Against hard-throwing Seth Maness, Hanley broke his bat and Crawford made it all the way home from second to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Ethier struck out against lefty Randy Choate and heading to the top of the ninth, the Dodgers called on closer Kenley Jansen to cut the Cardinals NLCS lead to 2-1.
Facing the heart of the Cardinals order, Jansen got Beltran, Holliday and Molina to make outs as the Dodgers held on for the 3-0 victory and cut the Cardinals lead in the series to 2-1.
In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS!