Tuesday, October 7, 2014
CARDINALS BEAT MATTINGLY & THE DODGERS!
For Clayton Kershaw, it was deja vu all over again.
The Dodgers ace had another costly seventh inning and allowed three runs as the St. Louis Cardinals came from behind to win 3-2 and advance to the NLCS.
It all started just as it did in Game 1—Matt Holliday led off the inning with a single, followed by another base hit from Jhonny Peralta. Then first baseman Matt Adams came to the plate and drilled a hanging curveball over the right field fence for a three-run homer.
Kershaw—who is contender for both the Cy Young and MVP awards—had a forgettable postseason. He had an ERA over 6 against the Cardinals and could not make it out of the seventh inning in both starts.
But Kershaw’s under performance was not the reason why the $290 million Dodgers payroll failed to advance yet again in the postseason. All year long, the team has struggled with RISP and the bullpen has been garbage—at BEST. Add that in with Mattingly’s constant tinkering with the lineup and you have an underachieving lot. You may be able to get away with these deficiencies in the regular season, but they show up big time in the postseason. And that’s what did the Dodgers in.
Mattingly’s decision to bench Yasiel Puig in favor of Andre Ethier didn’t seem to factor in the game. Puig had eight strikeouts in 12 plate appearances against the Cardinals. And while Ethier was picked off at third in the sixth, let’s not forget the Puig made the most outs on the bases (not counting steals) than anyone in the Major Leagues this year.
Credit is also due to the Cardinals who just find a way to win. This is their fourth trip in four years to the NLDS and is manager Mike Matheny’s third NLDS appearance in a row since taking over for Tony LaRussa in 2012.
--Alexis Garcia, BYB's "Eye on MLB" Columnist
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