Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

And we go to St. Louis …

Down three games to one in the National League Championship Series, with the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the first and the tying runs on base in the ninth, the Dodgers weathered their most worrisome storm of 2013 and then some, hitting four home runs to back Zack Greinke and earn a return trip to St. Louis with a 6-4 victory.

Clayton Kershaw will start Game 6 for Los Angeles on Friday against the Cardinals’ Michael Wacha, in a rematch of their Game 2 showdown won by Wacha, 1-0. Should the Dodgers survive, it would be Hyun-Jin Ryu and everyone else on the staff against Adam Wainwright and friends in Game 7 on Saturday.

Greinke had a most eventful first three innings, driving in the Dodgers’ second run of the second inning for a 2-0 lead, but allowing two runs of his own in the third. Seven of the first 13 St. Louis hitters in the game reached base against the Dodger right-hander.

But after Yadier Molina hit into his second double play to end the top of the third, Greinke went on to retire the next 12 batters, while the Dodgers took control behind solo home runs by Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis.

Following a shutout eighth by Brian Wilson, Gonzalez hit his second home run of the game to give the Dodgers a four-run lead. After hitting no home runs in the first 42 innings of the series, Los Angeles hit four homers in the next six innings. The Dodgers had not hit four home runs in a playoff game since 1978.

St. Louis scored two runs in the ninth, fueled by a sun double in front of Yasiel Puig in right field. Singles by Matt Adams, John Jay and Pete Kozma soon followed, but Kenley Jansen closed the door on the potential devastation by striking out Adron Chambers.

In a repeat of Tuesday’s Game 4, Hanley Ramirez once again started but had to leave the game in the top of the seventh inning after going 0 for 3. He’ll have about 48 hours off before he has to take the field again.


National League Championship Series Game 5 chat


But can they hit?


  1. KT

    Clayton’s turn

  2. NoahUCLA

    You are quick Jon. How’d you do that so fast??

    • I’m suspicious. Jon’s a former newspaper writer. He probably had two stories ready to go, one if they won and one if they lost. ;)

      • I started writing in the bottom of the eighth. Had to make more revisions than I would have liked in the bottom of the ninth.

        • SaMoDodger

          From where I was sitting, you could almost hear the groans in the press box from reporters hoping desperately that they wouldn’t have to tear up their stories (figuratively, these days–I go back to the days of typewriters) because of a 9th inning meltdown. Luckily Jansen struck out the side. All those pesky hits and runs in between were mere sideshows.

      • NoahUCLA

        He’s like a politician? The victory and concession speeches?

  3. ASW1

    Beautiful start by Greinke. And even though Dodgers lost last night’s game, I still think it was the right decision to start Nolasco. Now we get a well rested Kershaw for game 6 – couldn’t ask for any more than that.

    • NoahUCLA

      How about a Kershaw win? Can we ask for that?

      • ASW1

        Sure you can – and if the Dodgers can at least score a couple, few runs this time, I see a game 7 in the works.

  4. WBBsAs

    Before today’s game, I was very cautiously optimistic. I feel more so now, but it’s still an uphill struggle.

    • Bumsrap

      More cautious or more optimistic?

      • WBBsAs

        More optimistic, but it’s still going to be an effort.

        • rumped6

          I’d second that. Probably biggest game of his career, pitching against a team he hasn’t had great success against, with Cards getting somewhat better at-bats the last couple.
          He lost the last game because a tired catcher was too confident Clayton would hit his target, and a ball that was supposed to be outside corner got a good slice of the other side. That the ump missed it was a clear strike also may have contributed – since whole pitch sequence for that hitter, that inning changed.

          Hope his luck, at least, is better tomorrow.

          Speaking of umps, that was a pretty consistently fine effort from Barrett
          yesterday, unusual in these playoffs in its quality, EXCEPT for that last strike call.
          Shame it had to end that way…

  5. Jack Dawkins

    With our bats waking up I really dont see how the cards beat Kershaw twice in one series. Beating Wainwright twice in one series is somethign I will worry about when we get there.

    • It’s really about the offense at this point.

      • WBBsAs

        Ryu will have to come at least close to repeating his Game 3 effort.

        • John_from_Aus

          combined with good batting as Jon mentioned above

      • Casey Barker

        It looks to me like A-gon is trying to take the Dodgers on his shoulders.

        • rumped6

          And doing a nice job; would still like better ABs with RISP from Adrian, Mark and Carl.

          Hanley should sit, unless the rib is markedly better by gametime Friday.
          Any morale boost seems to be offset in actual below-par performance at bat and in the field.
          If the Baseball Bible for Stars requires his attendance, at least get him out of the middle of the order:-).

  6. Adam Gilson

    Bookending your wrap up with Scully’s genius is genius. love it!

  7. WBBsAs

    I want both LCS’s to go seven games, would very slightly prefer Sawx to Tigres.

  8. KT

    From MSTI:

    Dodgers now batting .281 / .336 / .440 in post season

    Opponents batting .181 / .260 / .265

  9. John_from_Aus

    watch out, the Tigers have a 5 run lead

    • rumped6

      Nice one, John.

      I cringed when Benoit was brought in the other night;
      cringed harder when he threw a batting practice gift to
      Boston’s Big Whining Baby.

  10. KT

    From MSTI: BIah 2 minutes ago

  11. ASW1

    Jake Peavy with a nightmare start for the BoSox.

    • RBI

      He’s been so good. Must have been due.

    • rumped6

      That could have been a lot better if the usual rock at second base had

      not mishandled that ball. Ouch, Pedey!

  12. RBI

    What a game 5, by the way. So proud of our guys.

  13. Spence

    Greinke’s hitting is one of the biggest surprises of this year.

    • rumped6

      Always a pleasure to see a pitcher compete in all phases.

  14. Bob_in_Vegas

    I was busy all day at work, but checked in at the beginning of the game to hear Zack’s Great Escape, then heard Adrian’s 1st HR, then Kenley (finally!) getting the K to end the game.

    I look forward to reviewing some of the posts, but I am pleased to bring back a refrain from the 1st part of the season — “AGon — again!” x 3 — digging out the DP throw in the 1st and his two HRs.

    I’m sure this has been noted, but by winning a second one in the LCS, this is the most successful postseason Dodger team since ’88 — I hope they don’t stop here!

    • rumped6

      Yup! They finally got over the five-game series hump:-).

      And Adrian back to his solid self in the field, after THAT game against the Braves.

  15. Bob_in_Vegas

    And way to go, RBI, bringing them luck again!

  16. KT

    Puig imitating the cards after they imitated him:

  17. WBBsAs

    I’m contented with a breather today, but for tomorrow I am anticipating No. 2 in the Dodgers’ seven-game winning streak.

  18. WBBsAs

    Let’s not overlook the rest of the St. Louis baseball tradition:

  19. ASW1

    Whatever happens the rest of the way, I’m just happy I get to see Kershaw pitch again this season.

  20. Branch_Rickey

    I love watching Puig and I love his passion for the game. I accept that mistakes will come with that. The one thing I can’t stand is watching him consistently show up umpires. That’s just so easily avoided and it’s so dangerous. He deserved to get tossed yesterday and one of these days, he’s going to. Also didn’t like seeing him hang his head all the way back to the dugout after the victory because he had lost one in the sun. I know wanting Puig to grow up is nothing new. I just wish he’d start with the easy stuff first. And now. In the meantime, I’ll just hope umpires continue to show restraint.

    • rumped6

      Speaking to me and for me. Thanks.

      • rumped6

        Cespedes in Oakland pulled that same stuff in a playoff game.

        I also thought he was lucky he didn’t get tossed.

        I imagine there will be some off-season dialogues started by MLB central.
        At least I hope so.

        The hateful attempts at intimidation don’t belong, any more than
        dangerous throws at a hitter who got the best of you last at-bat.

        Grow up, baseball!! Set the tone!

  21. dodger fan

    Hey everyone as the 6th game is upon us how amazing would it be if us dodger fans could get Dodger Elvis to the game! Read more at . :) Every donation counts! Go Blue! Dodger Blue!

  22. The author of this WSJ blog post suggests that in any other field Puig’s enthusiasm and effort would be prized; it’s in baseball that the old fogeys grouse about it.

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