As the Dodgers and their fans await the start of Game 6 tonight in St. Louis, the Dodgers come into the game after scoring a series-high six runs with four home runs in Game 5 on Wednesday.
The Dodgers are down 3-2 in the series and must win tonight to force a decisive Game 7 at Busch Stadium. The NL West champions are sending out their ace Clayton Kershaw to get them to the winner-take-all game, while the Cardinals are giving the ball to rookie Michael Wacha.
Kershaw and Wacha faced off in Game 2 of the series, where Kershaw took the loss after allowing an unearned run in six innings of work in a 1-0 game. Wacha threw 6.2 innings while giving up five hits before giving way to the Cardinal bullpen.
Because they have the frontrunner for Cy Young on the mound, the Dodger offense will be the x-factor tonight in Game 6. Before breaking out for six runs on Wednesday, the Dodgers scored just seven runs in four games and were hitting .223 collectively. With runners in scoring position in the series, the Dodgers are hitting just .216 with no home runs.
All indications point to shortstop Hanley Ramirez and outfielder Andre Ethier starting again in Game 6, which helps the lineup significantly.The Dodgers will need Ramirez and Ethier to provide a boost, while continuing to get contributions from Adrian Gonzalez , Yasiel Puig and role players like Mark Ellis.
Juan Uribe has struggled in the series but did have an RBI single in Game 5, while A.J. Ellis is hitting .313 in the series and has driven in two runs. Carl Crawford provided some pop in Game 5 and will be instrumental in getting the Dodgers started in the leadoff spot. If Crawford can get on base early in the game, the pressure will turn to Wacha and the Cardinals.
The offense must get on the board early and knock the Cardinals back on their toes since the Dodgers know what to expect from Kershaw and must back up their ace by putting runs on the board.
If not, the Dodgers will have a long flight home from St. Louis.
In case you missed it, here’s the “Mickey Mouse” celebration from Adrian Gonzalez in Game 5