Last night’s Game 1 of the NLCS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals was an exciting game and a sign of just how closely matched these teams are. Zack Greinke out-pitched Joe Kelly, but the Dodgers offense wasn’t able to muster much and Carlos Beltran was clutch in two separate situations for the Cardinals.
With Adam Wainwright waiting in the wings to start Game 3 of the NLCS, tonight is as close to “must-win” as possible for the Dodgers.
Michael Wacha takes the mound tonight for the Cardinals, and he has been next to impossible to hit lately. However, if there is one pitcher who can best him in a head-to-head duel, you would have to say Clayton Kershaw is your man. The Dodgers are going to have to get their bats hot again for a chance to even give Clayton an ounce of run support.
Kershaw has been quite the “hard luck” pitcher in previous years, and if that turns out to be the case again tonight, Los Angeles may be in a predicament they can’t get out of.
Both Wacha and Kershaw will be ready to pitch tonight and it may just end up being a low-scoring one-run game once again, but the Dodgers have the pressure on their backs now. St. Louis is up 1-0 and are playing again at home, so technically you can say they are playing with house money.
If the Dodgers and Kershaw lose tonight, it is going to be extremely hard to come back, especially with Wainwright on the mound in Game 3 and the Dodgers not knowing what to expect out of Hyun-Jin Ryu.