Preparation for the NLCS got underway this afternoon as the Dodgers took a late-night flight to St. Louis before meeting with the media this afternoon.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny set his rotation for Games 1-3 and confirmed that his roster will stay the same as Joe Kelly and Michael Wacha will start in St. Louis over the weekend. The Dodgers will counter with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw as Greinke talked about the Cardinals lineup according to MLB.com:
“Their lineup is so deep. They really don’t give up any at-bats. It’s always a grind.” – Zack Greinke on @Cardinals
— MLB (@MLB) October 10, 2013
Greinke faced the Cardinals once this season and picked up a win, going 6.1 innings allowing two earned runs and striking out four at Busch Stadium. Having Adam Wainwright start last night means the Cardinals won’t have him available until Game 3 at Dodger Stadium, but the Don Mattingly hasn’t named a number three starter yet.
In his career, Greinke is 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA in five starts as he saw the Red Birds quite often in his one plus season pitching with the Milwaukee Brewers. One person Greinke won’t be seeing is Allen Craig, as his injured foot is keeping him out of the NLCS and has been an issue for the past five weeks.
On paper, the Dodgers have strong matchups in Games 1 and 2 and it’ll be essential for Greinke and then Kershaw to deliver strong performances. In his Game 2 start against the Braves in the NLDS, Greinke tossed six innings, allowing just two runs and struck out three as the Dodger bullpen faltered down the stretch.
The Dodgers are in a great position with their two aces on the mound in St. Louis as Greinke will have the first chance to set the tone in the series tomorrow.
In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS!