Games 1 and 2 of the NLCS didn’t go exactly how the Los Angeles Dodgers envisioned them going.
Most would assume with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke on the mound, the Dodgers would generally win the majority of the time, but that wasn’t the case. The St. Louis Cardinals were able to win both of the games and take a 2-0 lead. The tide turned a bit last night in favor of the Dodgers when Hyun-Jin Ryu out-pitched Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright and the bats came alive for Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig.
Now with Game 4 tonight, the Dodgers will be looking to tie the NLCS up at 2-2 and turn the best-of-seven series into a best-of-three.
Don Mattingly will finally send Ricky Nolasco to the mound tonight to face off with Cardinals’ Lance Lynn. I felt Nolasco was good enough to pitch Game 4 against the Atlanta Braves, but Mattingly chose to use Kershaw instead. My feelings haven’t changed and I still think Nolasco has the ability the erase his end-of-season drought and pick up a huge win tonight in the NLCS for the Dodgers.
I fully expect both teams to score runs off of both of these pitchers and it very well could be the highest-scoring game so far this series, which would be quite the change compared to the first three games.
If last night was just the start of the Dodgers’ bats coming alive again, then the Cardinals are going to be in trouble the rest of the series. But if Carlos Beltran gets into the groove he was in during Game 1, the Dodgers could very well be in trouble tonight. Game 4 can turn the tide in favor of the Dodgers with Game 5 in Los Angeles as well, or it could set up an insurmountable 3-1 lead for the Cardinals. Either way, tonight’s game is huge for both squads.