Cardinals power past Dodgers in Game 3 of NLDS, grab 2-1 lead in series

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The Cardinals are just one win away from a trip to the NLCS.

Behind an impressive start from John Lackey and some thump from Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong, the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 3-1 in Game 3 of the NLDS this evening in St. Louis.

This is the kind of outing the Cardinals were hoping for when they acquired Lackey from the Red Sox at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The veteran right-hander was excellent, allowing just one run on five hits and one walk over seven innings to go along with eight strikeouts. The lone run scored on an RBI double from Hanley Ramirez in the sixth inning.

Making his first start since September 12 due to shoulder inflammation, Hyun-Jin Ryu was solid in his own right for the Dodgers. He gave up just one run — a solo homer from Matt Carpenter in the third inning — over his six innings of work. The Dodgers couldn’t have asked for much more under the circumstances. However, the Cardinals took the lead back as soon as Ryu left the ballgame, as Kolten Wong launched a two-run homer off Scott Elbert in the bottom of the seventh inning. It proved to be the difference in the ballgame.

Pat Neshek followed Lackey with a perfect eighth inning before closer Trevor Rosenthal worked around some trouble — and an issue with the mound — to get the final three outs.

It all falls on Clayton Kershaw now for the Dodgers. After he fell apart late in Game 1 last Friday, he’ll start on three days’ rest in Game 4 tomorrow. The Cardinals will go with Shelby Miller as they attempt to advance.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.