Preview: Dodgers at Cardinals
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[October 06, 2014]
The St. Louis Cardinals attempt to
gain the upper hand in their National League Division Series when they
host the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 3 on Monday. NL Central champion
St. Louis pulled off an improbable comeback against Los Angeles ace
Clayton Kershaw and posted a 10-9 victory in the opener and rallied to
forge a tie in Game 2 before Matt Kemp led off the eighth inning with a
homer to give the Dodgers a 3-2 triumph. Zach Greinke pitched a whale of
a game, allowing two hits over seven scoreless frames before being
replaced after initially taking the mound to start the eighth.
Los Angeles will need to find a way to control Matt Carpenter,
who belted a solo homer and a three-run double in the opener and hit
the tying two-run shot in Game 2. The Dodgers have a pair of hot
hitters themselves, with one being very unlikely. Kemp is 5-for-9
over the first two games while A.J. Ellis has recorded five hits in
eight at-bats (4-for-5 in Game 1) with a homer, two RBIs and four
TV: 9:07 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-7, 3.38 ERA) vs.
Cardinals RH John Lackey (14-10, 3.82)
Ryu will be making his first start since Sept. 12, when he was
battered for four runs and five hits in one inning before exiting
with shoulder inflammation. The 27-year-old South Korean lost two of
his last three decisions but allowed more than three runs only once
in his last nine starts. Ryu is 1-1 in two career regular-season
outings against the Cardinals, losing at St. Louis on June 27, but
scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings en route to
victory in Game 3 of last year's NL Championship Series.
Lackey was a hard-luck loser to the Cubs in his final regular-season
start, allowing just two runs over 6 2/3 innings at Chicago on Sept.
24. The 35-year-old, who went 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 10 outings
after being acquired from Boston, yielded fewer than three earned
runs in seven of his last eight turns. Lackey is 5-3 lifetime with a
1.93 ERA against Los Angeles in the regular season and 6-5 with a
3.03 ERA in 19 career postseason games, including three relief
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1. Los Angeles RF Yasiel Puig has struck out in each of his last
five at-bats, including all four in Game 2.
2. St. Louis won all three home games against the Dodgers in last
3. RHP Dan Haren is tentatively slated to start Game 4 for Los
Angeles on Tuesday, while RHP Shelby Miller makes his first career
postseason start for St. Louis.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2
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