The Los Angeles Dodgers needed a shot in the arm (or maybe just the ribs) down 2-0 in the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals. Hyun-jin Ryu provided his best performance of the postseason and the Dodgers got some much needed offense to take game three to beat Adam Wainwright 3-0.
The Dodgers pitching hasn’t been the problem this series with the starters now owning a 0.86 ERA in 21 innings only allowing two earned runs. The Cardinals have only scored four runs in the three games and didn’t really come close on Monday night.
There were two big question marks heading into Monday with Andre Ethier nursing the sore ankle and, more importantly, the news of a fractured rib for Hanley Ramirez. Ethier and Ramirez were both game time decisions and after working out, both made it into the lineup.
If the Dodgers were unable to solve Wainwright Monday, the series would likely be over. Fortunately for the Dodgers, they were able to scratch out a couple runs off the Cardinals ace.
The first was in direct connection with Jon Jay’s inability to man centerfield properly. A couple times in the game Jay let a ball drop due to miscommunication. In the bottom of the fourth Mark Ellis hit what seemed like an easy out to right center.
For whatever reason, Jay let the ball drop thinking Carlos Beltran was going to secure it. However, Beltran thought, correctly, that it was Jay’s ball to have. The result was Mark Ellis on second base with a double.
Two batters later, after Ramirez moved Ellis to third on a fly out to right, Adrian Gonzalez muscled a single down the right field line to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Later in the inning Yasiel Puig would crush a pitch that didn’t get out because it was flying too low to knock in Gonzalez.
Just having the two-run lead was huge for the Dodgers but they were able to score another in the bottom of the eighth when Carl Crawford was surprisingly sent around third on a flare single from Ramirez. Crawford got in just ahead of the tag to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.
The three runs were plenty for the bullpen with Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen combining to shut the Cardinals down in the eighth and ninth.
The Dodgers are now 10-2 when Ryu goes at least seven with the lefty only giving up three hits and a walk while striking out four. Now the decision to start Ricky Nolasco in game four or go with Zack Greinke on three days rest will be made tomorrow.
WP: Hyun-jin Ryu (1-0)
LP: Adam Wainwright (0-1)
S: Kenley Jansen (1)