When the Los Angeles Dodgers square off with the St. Louis Cardinals tonight in Game 6 of the NLCS, it will be a pitching rematch of Game 2 of the same series. Michael Wacha of the Cardinals will be pitching against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in what will be Kershaw’s most important start of his young postseason career. Wacha has been as close to unhittable as a pitcher can possibly be in his past three starts for the Cardinals, but one has to wonder if he can keep carrying that success with him this postseason. Clayton, on the other hand, has all of Los Angeles on his back for this game; can his young shoulders carry the load?
In Game 2 of the NLCS, it was a 1-0 victory for Wacha and the Cardinals, and that one run was only able to eventually score because of a ball A.J. Ellis allowed to get past him. Other than that one situation, Kershaw was as good as the Dodgers would have hoped for him to be. Los Angeles was finally able to smack a few homers in Game 5 of this series and they’re likely going to have to do the same thing tonight to help Kershaw pick up his second win of this postseason and force a Game 7. However, if the Dodgers fail to show pop in their bats, the NLCS may very well come to an end tonight because the Cardinals are capable of scoring enough runs to get the victory.
I expect Kershaw to be ready to go tonight and do his part to help the Dodgers get the win. If the offense shows up then expect to see a Game 7 in the NLCS. However, if Wacha is as good as he has been his past three starts and Los Angeles fails to hit the long ball or at least get clutch hits with runners in scoring position, then this series will be over and St. Louis will be heading to the World Series.