Dodgers shut out Cardinals in Game 3, now trail 2-1 in NLCS

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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.

Pitch clock cut minor league games by 25 minutes to 2:38

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NEW YORK — Use of pitch clocks cut the average time of minor league games by 25 minutes this year, a reduction Major League Baseball hopes is replicated when the devices are installed in the big leagues next season.

The average time of minor league games dropped to 2 hours, 38 minutes in the season that ended Wednesday, according to the commissioner’s office. That was down from 3:03 during the 2021 season.

Clocks at Triple-A were set at 14 seconds with no runners on base and 19 with runners. At lower levels, the clocks were at 18 seconds with runners.

Big league nine-inning games are averaging 3:04 this season.

MLB announced on Sept. 9 that clocks will be introduced in the major leagues next year at 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners, a decision opposed by the players’ association.

Pitchers are penalized a ball for violating the clock. In the minors, violations decreased from an average of 1.73 per game in the second week to 0.41 in week 24.

There will be a limit of two pickoff attempts or stepoffs per plate appearance, a rule that also was part of the minor league experiment this season. A third pickoff throw that is not successful would result in a balk.

Stolen bases increased to an average of 2.81 per game from 2.23 in the minors this year and the success rate rose to 78% from 68%.

Many offensive measurements were relatively stable: runs per team per game increased to 5.13 from 5.11 and batting average to .249 from .247.

Plate appearances resulting in home runs dropped to 2.7% from 2.8%, strikeouts declined to 24.4% from 25.4% and walks rose to 10.5% from 10.2%. Hit batters remained at 1.6%.