In his second consecutive post-season start, Clayton Kershaw has been charged with seven-plus runs. It looked like the Dodgers were on their way to an easy win after going up 6-1 after five innings, but the Cardinals scored once in the sixth on Matt Carpenter’s solo home run and five times in the seventh, capped off by a two-out bases-clearing double from Carpenter.
The Cardinals began the seventh inning with four consecutive singles. The last of them, hit by Matt Adams, knocked in the first run of the inning. After Pete Kozma struck out, Jon Jay singled to left-center, scoring another run. Curiously, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny opted to have lefty Oscar Taveras pinch-hit in the nine-hole against the lefty Kershaw. Taveras struck out, which seemed to put the kibosh on the rally.
Not so fast. Carpenter famously had one of the best at-bats of the entire post-season last year with an 11-pitch at-bat against Kershaw in Game 6 of the NLCS, sparked a four-run outburst, eventually allowing the Cardinals to roll to a 9-0 victory to take the series. Carpenter did it again, falling behind 0-2 but ultimately seeing eight pitches, the last of which he ripped into the gap in right-center to clear the bases and give the Cardinals a 7-6 lead.
But wait, there’s more. Pedro Baez relieved Kershaw, but walked Randal Grichuk before serving up a three-run home run to Matt Holliday, making it 10-6 Cardinals. Jhonny Peralta mercifully grounded out to end the Cardinals’ eight-run seventh inning. Kershaw’s line: 6 2/3 innings, eight hits, no walks, 10 striekouts, eight earned runs. Kershaw had only twice been charged with as many earned runs over 209 regular season starts.
We’ve already seen so many incredible comebacks this post-season, and we’re not even two games into the Division Series yet. Baseball is wonderful.