Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday runs the bases after hitting a two-run… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
Momentum is a one-game deal in the playoffs, and as high as the Dodgers were feeling Monday, they were as low after Tuesday.
The Dodgers fell, 4-2, to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, leaving them down three games to one and without their offensive leader.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez tried to play for a second consecutive day with a broken rib, but this time the pain proved too great. He could not conceal the agony as he swung the bat. It was actually hard to watch.
BOX SCORE: Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2
Ramirez struck out in all three of his at-bats and was finally taken out of the game in the seventh. It’s not difficult to imagine he is done for the series.
The Dodgers could be done as soon as Wednesday afternoon’s Game 5 at Dodger Stadium. Zack Greinke will start for the Dodgers, opposite St. Louis’ Joe Kelly.
Manager Don Mattingly gave serious consideration to moving Greinke up and having him pitch Tuesday on short rest, but instead opted to go with Ricky Nolasco.
Nolasco, skipped over in the division series, had not started a game since Sept. 25.
He did not pitch well, but neither was he horrible for a guy who had not started a game in three weeks. He lasted four innings, his one major error giving up a mammoth two-run homer to Matt Holliday in the third.
But the Dodgers could never really get their offense going against Lance Lynn and the St. Louis bullpen.
Yasiel Puig and A.J. Ellis singled in runs in the fourth, the only inning the Dodgers could score.
Here is an inning-by-inning recap of Game 4 of the NLCS:
Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2 (final, end of ninth):
Closer Trevor Rosenthal took over in the ninth and immediately gave up a basehit to Andre Ethier.
Yet with the crowd on its feet, Rosenthal got Yasiel Puig to hit into a double play. Juan Uribe struck out, and the Dodgers were suddenly facing an elimination game.
Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2 (middle of ninth):
Carlos Marmol came out again in the eighth, and after a leadoff walk, retired the next three Cardinals, the last two looking at third strikes.
Many in the sellout crowd of 53,992 have slipped out, knowing the Dodgers are now down to their final three outs.
Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2 (end of eighth):
The Dodgers went weakly in the eighth, hard-throwing Carlos Martinez retiring retiring the Dodgers in order on three ground balls.
Due up in the ninth are Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe.
Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2 (middle of eighth):
Ronald Belisario took over for the Dodgers in the eighth. He lasted three batters. He gave up a one-out single to Jon Jay and then hit Pete Kozma with a pitch.
That brought on Carlos Marmol for his first postseason appearance, and it was a good one.
Marmol struck out Daniel Descalso and got Shane Robinson to fly out to center.
Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2 (end of seventh):
The innings are starting to get kind of ugly for the Dodgers now.
They got a one-out double from Nick Punto, just in for Hanley Ramirez, and he was promptly picked off second by reliever Carlos Martinez.
Carl Crawford then weakly bounced out to first, and the Dodgers were six outs away from being down 3-1 in the series.
Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2 (middle of seventh):
The Cardinals added to their lead, if from an unlikely source.
With left-hander J.P. Howell taking over to start the seventh for the Dodgers, The Cardinals pinch hit Shane Robinson. It was only his second at-bat of the series, but he made it memorable.
Robinson hit a drive to left and Carl Crawford kept backing up and backing up until he was at the wall. The ball landed on top of the outfield wall and bounced out for a solo homer.
Howell created a little more suspense when he gave up a two-out walk to Carlos Beltran and single to Matt Holliday, but struck out Matt Adams.
Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 (end of sixth):
When this inning ended, Nick Punto came out defensively for the Dodgers. Hanley Ramirez was in obvious pain swinging the bat. He struck out in his three at-bats. Dodgers probably had to tell him to sit.
In the bottom of the sixth Dodgers got a one-out single from Yasiel Puig, and that ended the night for Lance Lynn. Seth Maneess was able to get Juan Uribe to hit sharply into an inning-ending double play.
Lynn allowed two runs on six hits and three walks, with five strikeout in his 5 1/3 innings.
Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 (middle of sixth):
Chris Withrow keeps struggling, and keeps getting out of trouble.
This time he issued a one-out walk to Yadier Molina. On a hit-and-run, Jon Jay's bat nipped the end of catcher A.J. Ellis' mitt. Ellis was called for catcher's interference, putting runners at first and second with no out.
Withrow then got the most timely double play of his young career, getting David Freese to hit a routine grounder to Juan Uribe at third.
Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 (end of fifth):
The Dodgers got a leadoff single from Carl Crawford but never could advance him. Lance Lynn retired the next three Dodgers in order.