In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few hours, you know by now that Clayton Kershaw, and the Dodgers lost the NLDS three games to one to the Cardinals in a 3-2 loss in game 4 at the house of horrors Busch Stadium. The Cardinals advance to another NLCS for the hundredth time. The Dodgers are a club with a lot of talent but also a lot of stupidity. It burns.
Clayton Kershaw pitched admirable on three days rest, and it appeared like this might actually work. But once again the Cardinals struck gold in the seventh inning touching Kershaw for three runs in the same manner as the game one loss. Matt Adam’s three run home run was the crushing blow. At least it wasn’t Matt Carpenter again. Kershaw held him hitless and whiffed him twice. Cardinal’s closer Trevor Rosenthal picked up his third save of the series, as Dodger’s closer Kenley Jansen only appeared in one of the four games.
Dodgers 2 8 0
Cardinals 3 4 0
I wrote two very controversial articles last night, mostly out of frustration that ended up breaking site records for page views and nasty Cardinal comments. I just want to say that despite my disgust for the Cardinals, they played a well fought series. The Cardinals were just the better club this year with a championship pedigree manager. Although I still feel that the game 3 ninth inning mound delay was pretty shady. But it doesn’t matter at this point. They won. We lost. It’s time to move on and wish them luck if they play the Giants.
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Don Mattingly’s huge mistake was benching Yasiel Puig, not leaving Kershaw in for the seventh inning. Yasiel Puig’s replacement Andre Ethier had two walks, and a stupid stupid tootlban pickoff at third base in the sixth inning that halted the Dodger’s only true rally of the game. I’ll get to that in a moment. Kershaw pitched his heart out, and it’s important to remember we don’t get this far without him. Kershaw allowed three runs on four hits through six plus innings. He whiffed nine and walked two on 102 pitches. He looked unbeatable through the first six frames, until he wasn’t in the seventh.
Cardinal’s starter Shelby Miller was tough, but the Dodgers knocked him out of the game in the top of the sixth.
Kershaw started the game by whiffing the side in the top of the first. He allowed just one measly hit until the seventh inning, a single from Randall Grichuk in the fourth frame. Grichuk advanced all the way to third before Kershaw whiffed game 4 villain Matt Adams to leave him stranded.
The Dodger offense let the club down with a lot of poor at-bats. But the club finally broke the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth. Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez led off with consecutive singles to put runners at first and third for the Dodgers. Matt Kemp’s double play really hurt that rally, but it did score Crawford from third to put the Dodger ahead 1-0. After Hanley was barely hit by a pitch that grazed his uniform, Ethier worked a walk. Then Juan Uribe’s slicing RBI single to right field scored Hanley to put the Dodgers up 2-0. On the next pitch with A.J Ellis at the plate, Miller bounced a ball that got away from St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina. Ethier had broke for the plate, but stopped and tried to get back to third. Molina thew back to third and he was tagged out. Although the original call was safe, until Mike Matheny challenged the call and it was overturned by the New York office. The play was the third out and nullified the Dodgers rally.
That play was just so so stupid. I have no idea why the hell Ethier thought he could have scored on that play. He had nowhere to go. The ball only bounced a few feet away from Molina. I like Ethier, but he should have been hugging the third base bag in that situation. You can’t make dumb mistakes like that in a postseason elimination game with your club’s season on the line. You could say the Dodgers got hosed on the review, but whatever. The play was just so retarded it makes me cringe every time I think of it.
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With the Dodgers up 2-0, Kershaw cruised through the sixth inning, and entered the top of the seventh at 94 pitches. Again, this is where everything ended for the Dodgers. Two singles inched off the gloves off Hanley and Dee Gordon set the stage for Adams home run.
First Matt Holliday singles off of Gordon’s glove. Then Peralta’s flare single lands inches above Hanley’s outstretched glove to put runners on first and second. With danger looming and bullpen activity going for the Dodgers, Adams blasted an 0-1 pitch over the right field wall to give the Cardinals the 3-2 lead. That was the death blow for the Dodgers. Pedro Baez relieved Kershaw to get the Dodgers out of the inning without anything further happening, but we all knew it was over at that point.
Pat Neshek pitched the top of the eighth inning and set the Dodgers down in order. In the top of the ninth Cardinal’s closer Trevor Rosenthal entered the game and got Uribe to ground back to the box for the first out. The Dodgers tried to rally as Rosenthal walked A.J. and Puig was brought into pinch-run for him. Justin Turner came into pinch-hit for the pitcher’s spot hoping to work more of his clutch hitting. Turner worked the count to 3-2 and struck out. The Justin Turner magic just ran out at the wrong time.
With two outs, Gordon singled into left field to extend the season for one more at-bat. Carl Crawford then swung at the first pitch and grounded into a force out to end the game and the 2014 season for the Dodgers.
Obviously the Cardinals are a very good team, and become an even better club in the playoffs. The Dodgers have now lost to the Cardinals in the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. It never stops hurting. This year was more painful than last year because the Dodgers didn’t even get to the NLCS. The Cardinals have a championship pedigree that has rubbed off on all of their players. They’ve done this year after year, and it’s not surprising that they were able to pull it off again.
Now the Dodgers face a long and cold offseason with a lot of questions to answer. Don Mattingly was very classy despite having little smarts. He congratulated the Cardinals, and wished them well. It was a tough series.
I remember texting Stacie in the fifth inning when the game was scoreless telling her this reminded me of that 1-0 loss in game two of last year’s NLCS. I think this was even more painful.
I think Mattingly benching Puig was a horrible mistake that cost the Dodgers dearly in game 4. If Puig plays who knows how this one ends up. The Cuban phenom did not have one at-bat in the Dodger’s last game of the season. His final at-bat was the triple in game 3 last night.
I still believe in the talent on this ball club. But I think the Dodgers need someone new to manage. Mattingly and Colletti are the last holdovers from the McCourt era and I have a feeling that both of them may be fired during the offseason. I’ve told everyone before that the Dodgers will never win a championship under Don Mattingly. He just doesn’t have the championship pedigree, or the sharp wit needed to pull the right strings.
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Ned Colletti is also at fault for building such a crappy bullpen. The Dodgers may end up canning them both. It’s unbelievable that with a 230 million dollar payroll and a club full of all-stars and Cy Young awards that the Dodgers couldn’t not only win a world series but get past the first round of the playoffs. It’s time for some changes. Division titles are fun, but not the end goal. The end goal is a World Series championship, and it takes more than just talent alone to get there. Plus it takes a pretty good bullpen to get you through the playoffs. At least we didn’t get swept.
With this being the last recap, I want to thank you all for reading and following along with us. I Especially want to thank my sister and co-editor Stacie for being my partner in crime for another season. Without her this blog just doesn’t work. She is truly the heart and soul of Lasorda’s Lair. We’ll be here eery day for you covering the hot stove all winter long. There will be a lot of questions to answer in the winter. We hope you stick around.
Congratulations Cardinals. You did it again. You beat us fair and square. You have a very talented tough, gritty ball club full of ugly looking players.
We still love our Dodgers, no matter how badly they choke in the playoffs. My blood will always run blue through and through. This club will be back, and I look forward to more bubble celebrations in 2015 with all of you.
So I bid you all a tearful goodbye.
Oh and go screw yourselves Cardinals