I don’t know who turned off the power for the Dodgers, but I guessing that guy’s going to get fired tonight.
And both NLCS teams seemed to be feeling the pressure and weight of October baseball. So both teams began tonight’s game with a standoff. All the teams stand in front of their respective dugouts for the national anthem, and then all the teams take their respective places. Except two guys — Joe Kelly (Cardinals) and Scott Van Slyke (Dodgers). And they stood there for 13 minutes following the anthem and didn’t move. This caused the home plate umpire to intervene and order both players off the field. Technically, Kelly took the first step toward the dugout, which caused Van Slyke to raise his hand in victory; but Kelly waited until after Van Slyke was off the field to fully vacate his position. I’m calling it a draw.
The same cannot be said for the game, a game that (since the invention of stadium lighting and night games) can never end in a tie (except in Spring Training). And there was no way this game was going to end that way. Especially with the way the Dodgers were playing tonight. And we’re kind of used to the playing level of the Championship Series to be pretty high and pretty evenly matched, like it has been since Game 1 (and in both leagues). So tonight was unexpected, and maybe they were a little fatigued from playing postseason ball. Honestly, the Cardinals weren’t at their best, but they were consistent in the small ball game they rely on, taking advantage of their opponents’ weaknesses. And tonight, the Dodgers were just weak all over tonight.
Look, the Dodgers put up their ace and he threw into the 5th inning, giving up 10 of the 13 Cardinal hits and 7 of their 9 runs. And the Dodger bullpen just didn’t tighten it up from there. Like I said before, the Cardinals just played some small ball in 2 innings to score their runs. In the 3rd, 3 RBI singles scored 4 runs; and in the 5th, 5 runs were scored on an RBI double, a fielder’s choice, a sacrifice fly, a wild pitch, and an RBI single. And the Dodger defense was less than Dodger standards tonight with 2 errors (a fielding and a throwing), by the same outfielder.
See, the Cardinals have a ridiculous rookie in their starting pitcher, who threw just 95 pitches through his 7 innings and kept the Dodgers scoreless and to just 2 hits. So the final score was 9-0 Cardinals. And what a way to go to the World Series (their 19th in their franchise history) — a complete shutout.
Now, they will wait and watch closely to see if they will be traveling to Boston or Detroit for the World Series. Because the AL has home field advantage, any travel plans are on hold until they have results from the ALCS. Boston will need to win either tomorrow or Sunday night; or Detroit needs to win both games to go.
Congrats to the Cardinals! And a big congrats to Michael Wacha, the rookie pitcher, who was awarded the NLCS MVP tonight following the game. It will be interesting to watch this young man as he continues to develop into quite a pitcher. Provided he stays healthy, we could be seeing so much more from this 22 year old through the next 15-20 years of his career.
It has been very weird watching October baseball with no Yankees. Even recent former Yankees (at least the ones I liked) have all been eliminated. So I guess I’m watching baseball like an analyst — enjoying the sport for its purity and cheering for the team I think is better. And (sorry, LA friends) St. Louis has a better and more consistent team this year, and honestly, they deserve the NL title and chance at the Series.
But still in my heart, I’ll always be true to my team…