The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals are no strangers to each other when it comes to playoff baseball, after the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers in six to advance to last year's World Series.
Familiarity would breed contempt in Game 1 of this year's NLDS, as benches cleared after Dodgers star Yasiel Puig was plunked by an Adam Wainwright pitch in the third inning.
After the dust (and tempers) settled, it was the Cardinals who put things together in a 7th inning to remember before holding on for dear life to shock the Dodgers and their home faithful by a count of 10-9.
Turning Point: After scoring two runs in three straight innings from the third to the fifth, you could forgive the Dodgers for being confident about being up 6-1 with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound. St. Louis would tally a single run on a Matt Carpenter solo shot in the 6th, however, before exploding for eight in the 7th - six of those charged to Kershaw himself. The big hit? Carpenter again, this time with a bases-clearing three-run double that chased Kershaw and gave the Cardinals a 7-6 lead.
Cardinals Player(s) of the Game: The two Matts, Holliday and Carpenter, went a combined 4-for-8 on Friday with seven RBIs (four for Carpenter, three for Holliday) and two home runs (one apiece). The rest of the Cardinals' order looked rather ordinary at times against Kershaw and the like, but St. Louis got more than enough production out of the one and three holes to secure the big comeback victory.
Dodgers Player of the Game: Before St. Louis' tidal wave of scoring, it was Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis who was positioned to be the hero. Ellis went 4-for-5, including a two-run 406-foot shot to left in the bottom of the 5th that put the Dodgers up 6-1. Despite singling and eventually scoring to cut the Cardinals' lead to 10-9 in the bottom of the 9th, the Dodgers (despite getting the tying run to third with Yasiel Puig at bat) couldn't parlay Ellis' success into a victory on Friday.
What's Next? The Dodgers will get a chance to square things at 6:37pm PST time on Saturday, as Zack Greinke (17-8, 2.71) takes the hill at Dodger Stadium opposite St. Louis' Lance Lynn (15-10, 2.74).Back to the Los Angeles Dodgers Newsfeed