The Cardinals took the first two games of the NLCS and were sitting pretty with their ace Adam Wainwright on the hill tonight, but the Dodgers are suddenly making things interesting.
Behind an excellent outing from Hyun-Jin Ryu and long-awaited contributions from some key bats in the lineup, the Dodgers topped the Cardinals 3-0 tonight at Dodger Stadium. They now trail the best-of-seven series two games to one.
Ryu outdueled Wainwright by allowing just three hits and one walk over seven scoreless innings. He struck out four batters and didn’t let a baserunner advance past second base. Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen followed with scoreless frames to lock down the shutout victory.
The Dodgers got to Wainwright for two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, ending a 22-inning scoreless streak for the club during the series. Adrian Gonzalez got them on the board with an RBI double down the right field line while Yasiel Puig busted out of his recent slump with an eventful RBI triple. The Dodgers later added an insurance run in the eighth inning on a bloop single from Hanley Ramirez after Carl Crawford scampered home from second base and managed to get in under the tag from Yadier Molina.
Things were looking bleak for the Dodgers after Saturday’s loss, but they will have a chance to even things up in the series tomorrow night. Lance Lynn will get the ball for St. Louis while Ricky Nolasco is tentatively scheduled to start for Los Angeles.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.