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Dodgers' offense remains in hiding, Cards win 1-0 on unearned run

October 12, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez strikes out in the eighth inning during Game 2 of the NLCS.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez strikes out in the eighth inning… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

It should be clear to the Dodgers by now, the only way they win a game in the National League Championship Series is if their starter throws a shutout.

After Zack Greinke struck out 10 and gave up only two runs in eight innings in the opener and lost, Clayton Kershaw pitched even better Saturday in Game 2.

And lost.

The Cardinals scored an unearned run off Kershaw in the fifth inning and made it hold up for a 1-0 victory Saturday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Kershaw went seven brilliant innings, he and relievers Ronald Belisario and J.P. Howell holding the Cardinals to only two hits.

And lost.

A looping double by David Freese, an A.J. Ellis passed ball and a Jon Jay sacrifice fly in the fifth inning accounted for the entire day’s scoring.

The Dodgers could not score one lousy run against rookie Michael Wacha and four St. Louis relievers. The Dodgers went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and are now 1 for 16 in the NLCS.

The Dodgers played this one with shortstop Hanley Ramirez (ribs) and outfielder Andre Ethier (ankle) in the starting lineup, and their offense never could show any life.

The series now switches to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Monday, with St. Louis set to start ace Adam Wainwright against Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Here is an inning-by-inning recap of the NLCS's Game 2:

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0 (final, middle of ninth):

Closer Trevor Rosenthal wrapped it up for the Cardinals.

He struck out Yasiel Puig (his fourth in four at-bats), Juan Uribe and pinch-hitter Andre Ethier. The last five Dodgers struck out.

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0 (end of eighth);

J.P. Howell continued the Dodgers' strong pitching performance. Howell walked one, but held the Cardinals without a hit.

The Dodgers are in position to lose 1-0, despite allowing only two hits.

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0 (middle of eighth):

Ex-Dodgers left-hander Randy Choate started the inning and induced Carl Crawford to foul out, and then the hard-throwing Carlos Martinez came on to strike out Mark Ellis and Adrian Gonzalez.

St. Louis is making it look easy.

The Dodgers have struck out 10 times and are down to the final three outs.

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0 (end of seventh):

Ronald Belisario came on in relief and retired the Cardinals in order.

The Dodgers are in position to lose 1-0 on an unearned run.

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0 (middle of seventh):

Manager Don Mattingly seems unfazed by second-guessing, and has set himself up for more.

When Nick Punto singled with two outs in the top of the sixth, the Cardinals went to left-hander reliever Kevin Siegrist and Mattingly called on Michael Young to pinch hit for ... Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw has thrown only 72 pitches.

Siegrist threw a pair of wild pitches to advance Punto to third, but on a full count, Young flied out to right.

The Dodgers are six outs from a second consecutive frustrating loss.

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0 (end of sixth):

Clayton Kershaw made quick work of the Cardinals in the sixth, retiring them in order. The good news is he's thrown only 72 pitches through six.

The bad, of course, is the Cards' Michael Wacha is matching him and has a 1-0 lead. Wach, though, has thrown 100 pitches in five innings.

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0 (middle of sixth):

The Dodgers may never score again.

They wasted their biggest opportunity yet, and this one figures to hurt. And maybe for a long while.

Clayton Kershaw started the threat with a single. Carl Crawford followed with a bouncer that second baseman Matt Carpenter made a nice diving stop of, but then mistakenly threw to second. Kershaw was already there, the throw sailed into left for an error and the Dodgers ended up with Kershaw at third and Crawford at second and no outs.

Mark Ellis could not drive the run in, Michael Wacha getting him to pop up to second. The Cardinals then intentionally walked Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases with no outs.

And they still couldn't score.

Wacha struck out Yasiel Puig for the third time, and then struck out Juan Uribe. Both third strikes looked low.

Thus far the Dodgers are 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position in the NLCS's first two games.

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0 (end of fifth):

And a passed ball is going to kill them?

Clayton Kershaw gave up a lead-off double to David Freese and then catcher A.J. Ellis simply did not catch a ball right over the plate to Mike Adams.

With Freese advancing to third, the Cardinals tried to squeeze him home but Jon Jay could not get the bunt  down.

Then Jay lifted a fly to Carl Crawford in medium left field. Freese tagged and Crawford's throw was late and about 20 feet up the first-base line. Not even remotely close.

The sun remains bright, but with nasty shadows they've turned the lights on a Busch Stadium.

Dodgers 0, Cardinals 0 (middle of fifth):

Scoring opportunities are looking rare today. The Dodgers got one in the fifth when A.J. Ellis hit a two-out, ground-rule double but Nick Punto was caught looking at a third strike.

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