Tonight the Dodgers will begin playing in their tenth National League Championship Series since divisional play began in 1969. The Dodgers have appeared in the NLCS in the following seasons, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 2008, 2009, and now 2013. Of the other nine NLCS appearances, the Dodgers have won five of them, (74, 77, 78, 81, 88).
The Dodgers will be playing the Cardinals in the NLCS this season. The Cardinals defeated the Pirates in the NLDS to advance to their eighth NLCS in the last 14 years, while the Dodgers won their NLDS series against the Atlanta Braves to advance to their third NLCS since 1988. The Dodgers have played the Cardinals in the playoffs three previous times, and this will be the fourth. The Dodgers have played the Cardinals in the playoffs in 1985, 2004, and 2009. The Dodgers lost in the 1985 NLCS, and in the 2004 NLDS, but defeated the Cardinals in the 2009 NLDS. The Dodgers have lost five of the six postseason games they’ve played in St. Louis.
This is the second time the Dodgers have played the Red Birds in the NLCS, with the only other time being in 1985. That was when the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers in six games, and Jack Buck told everyone to “go crazy”. The three previous times the Dodgers have faced the Cardinals in the postseason have resulted in some interesting storylines. There was the Jack Clark home run in game 6 of the 1985 NLCS off of Tom Niedenfuer. The Jose Lima Complete game shutout in game 3 of the 2004 NLDS kept the Dodgers alive for another night, and of course the infamous Matt Holliday error in game 2 of the 2009 NLDS. If you remember the last time the Dodgers and Cardinals met in the postseason, Holliday’s error led to this magic happening…..
The Dodgers are expected to announce their NLCS roster this morning, with the first game starting tonight at 5:37PM at Busch Stadium. The Dodgers will have games 3, 4, and 5 at Dodger Stadium, and games 6 and 7 will be played at Busch if the series goes that far. Here is a complete schedule of the 2013 NLCS. All games will be televised on TBS.
The projected pitching match-ups for the first three games are as follows…. Game 1 will feature Zack Greinke against rookie Joe Kelly. Game 2 will see Clayton Kershaw battle another rookie Michael Wacha, and game 3 will have longtime Cardinal’s ace Adam Wainwright countering Dodger lefty Hyun-jin Ryu.