In standout seven innings, Wacha walks all over Dodgers

If it’s any consolation to Clayton Kershaw in the short term, it does not appear there was any besting Michael Wacha tonight.

While Kershaw unraveled, allowing four runs in the third inning and three more in the fifth in his worst performance in 15 months, Wacha dominated Los Angeles for the second time in the National League Championship Series.

Wacha, the youngblood compared with Kershaw, faced only two batters over the minimum in allowing no runs and three baserunners in seven shutout innings, needing only 95 pitches in the process. Only one Dodger advanced past first base and none past second before Wacha was removed with St. Louis comfortably ahead, 9-0, as this post was being written.

Tonight was ugly, but also numbing. Nothing about it eases the pain of how close the Dodgers came to winning Games 1 and 2 of the NLCS. Nothing short of an absolute, unconscious miracle in the final minutes.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Silver lining: The apparent inevitable celebrating by the Cards will be on their field . . . not Dodger Stadium!

  • RBI

    Hanley’s cracked rib really hurt us.

    • 4d3fect

      Think how it feels to him!

      • RBI

        I know. Was trying to figure out how to put it without sounding insensitive!

        • 4d3fect

          Yeah, I know, j/k

        • XJill

          I can’t imagine how frustrated he must be feeling.

    • Casey Barker

      What a bush-league move, hitting Hanley in game 1. Those Cardinals don’t play the game right.

  • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

    I will say this: I’m more optimistic at the end of this season than last.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Interesting that Wacha is the Cards’ 22-year-old phenom to counter Puig.

  • Adam Luther

    Wacha something like one earned run in 20+ innings post-season. 8 hits, 3BB, 22K’s. Stellar against any lineup.

  • Alec Johnson

    It was ugly and numbing, but it’s what we sign up for as fans. My two cents: Puig will be dragged over the coals for his game tonight, but tonight falls on Kershaw. He was off his game and not sharp at all. But, as fans, we can’t forget the Dodgers, collectively, lost the series. Here’s to 2014.

    • Blue-eyed Gal

      Collectively, yeah.

      Kersh and Puig lost it, but there’s an awful lot of bats on that team. Other losses in this series were winnable. We had Ethier and Hanley hurt and Kemp gone, but — for example — Uribe slumped at the wrong time too.

      I’m not dumping on them, just undescoring your point that the team went down together, and it’s not just on a couple guys tonight, even if this game is ghastly to watch.

      (i do wish Crawford would put one over the wall for the sake of pride.)

      • Alec Johnson

        No denying Dodgers had ample opportunities to score runs and that injuries hurt lineup depth. I was speaking more to TBS announcers slamming Puig for tonight’s miscues – which, in my opinion, were not as detrimental as leaving pitches over the middle of the plate by Kershaw. I think the Dodgers were better team, statistically, in 4 of 6 games (Games 1-3 and 5).

        • Blue-eyed Gal

          Ah, I hear ya. Thankfully I didn’t have to hear the TBS announcers ragging on Puig as if this were a team of one. (A phenomenon that drives me batty, and has done, for years, whenever sportscasters decide to be lazy and anoint one player as the Face of the Team.)

          Unfortunately the alternative was listening to Steiner immediately after the disastrous third inning, which wasn’t much better.

    • Adam Luther

      Puig should be to a degree ad nauseum- but he’s paid to hit the ball with power which he didn’t in this series.

  • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

    Hey, thanks to you guys for making the season fun.

  • das411

    hmmm if I’m reading the game log right, there were 22 games in which Kemp, Hanley and Puig were all healthy at once…and they went 15-7 = .681% = oh only 110 wins of 162 during those games… #smallsamplesize #butstill

    • Casey Barker

      Yeah, Kemp replaces Ethier/Crawford – who knows.

  • RBI

    Yeah, thanks to all. What a crazy, unlikely, and ultimately very fun year.

  • Adam Luther

    There’s always next year…

  • Adam Luther

    Thanks Jon!!!

  • Adam Luther

    I do not want the Cards to win another World Series. Go BoSoxtigers.

  • XJill

    So…are you all rooting for the Red Sox or Tigers? And (different question) which will make a more interesting WS match with STL?

    • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

      The Lakers. Baseball season is dead to me.

    • Adam Luther

      Tigers. Can’t stand looking at the Sox beards. Like the midwest match-up.

    • Spence

      I guess the Tigers because I like watching Verlander and Miggy. But the Red Sox – Cardinals could be a great series as well.

    • RBI

      Tigers.

  • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

    Thanks for coming back, Jon. In the end, this season was a memorable one that portends better things… Plus, we got Vin for one more year.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Amen to all of the above.

    • Onlyatriple

      Yes yes and yes. You put it perfectly,

  • Spence

    Cardinals were the best team in the NL by far going by run differential this year. They deserved to be in the World Series. Another rematch. Another WS in which the Cardinals open on the road vs either Tigers or Red Sox.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    great season but not the finish I wanted…
    Thanks for all the shared experiences this year
    We’ll get them next year!!

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    My two cents/thanks as well to Jon and everyone here, and KT and RBI in person for the playoffs . . . you guys all made it easier when things were bad and more fun when they were good!

    • RBI

      Well put.

  • Adam Luther

    Ok I’ll say it. How about the Cards in the post-Pujols era?

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      They got Wacha because they lost Pujols.

      • 4d3fect

        Lost?

        • Bob_in_Vegas

          “Compensation” from the Angels

          • 4d3fect

            Just imagining Cardinals brass looking behind their waistcoats, “He was here just a minute ago!”

    • Spence

      Their scouting dept is the best in baseball. Wacha, Miller, Martinez, Rosenthal, Siegrist, Maness, and then throw in developing older college age bats like Carpenter, Adams, Craig. They know what they are doing.

      • RBI

        Carpenter’s 11 pitch at bat tonight was one for the books.

  • Adam Luther

    8 – 40 with RISP.

  • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

    Not for nothing, Bum Phillips died tonight. Don’t think it’s related, but I suppose you never know.

  • RBI

    Jon, I don’t want to think about my sanity if you hadn’t come back, by the way. Maybe we can have a DT gathering at a game next year? I still have my DT shirt, though it appears to have been sprayed by mustard.

  • Spence

    Insane that Wacha was drafted #19 in 2012, then the very next year he’s the MVP of the NLCS.

  • Bruce Brooks

    As Bill Veeck (as in Wreck) so eloquently stated : “There are only two seasons – winter and baseball.” It suddenly got colder here near Darrtown, Ohio, where Smokey Alston still spends all his winters.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • WinnipegDave

    I feel sad that the season is over. Sad too that I had to work this evening and couldn’t be around to commiserate with all the fine folks to be found at Dodger Thoughts. I do look forward to next season, even the hot stove league, but feel a bit weary from 7 months of intense fandom. Now that the Dodgers are truly done for the season, I am ready for a break to cleanse the pallet and start fresh and freshly energized for 2014. What a long narrative baseball has. It is hard when that narrative ends so jarringly as it did tonight.
    Congrats to the Cards. They clearly were the better team tonight.
    And is so often the case for the Dodgers… Wait til next year!
    Thanks Jon and everyone for being a go to place for me to cheer on the Dodgers.