Culver City Observer -

Cardinals Eliminate Dodgers Again

 

October 16, 2014

By Steven Lieberman

Observer Reporter

The Dodgers tried to avenge their loss to the Cardinals in the 2013 NLCS, but again fell short, losing the 2014 NLDS to the Cardinals 3-1 in a five-game series which ended at Busch Stadium.

The Dodgers went with their elite pitcher, Clayton Kershaw twice, to try and stop the bleeding, but to no avail. It seems as if the Cardinals have become the "Dodger-Killers," especially Matt Carpenter, who some say is the "Kershaw-Killer."

In the first game at Dodger Stadium, Kershaw got hammered in the seventh inning, giving up seven hits and eight runs – five singles, a clutch bases-clearing double by Carpenter and a towering two-run homer my Matt Holiday.

Kershaw, NL Cy Young Award favorite, got the nod by manager Don Mattingly on three-days rest to try and redeem himself and right the ship starting the fourth game in St. Louis and again fell short.

In that series-deciding game, Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller mostly matched Kershaw inning-for-inning, buying the Cardinals enough time until it finally reached the talented lefty in the seventh again. Matt "Big City" Adams' three-run blast – plus his spectacular arms-in-the-air reaction – accounted for the entirety of the Cardinals offense. St. Louis won 3-2 to clinch their fourth consecutive NLCS appearance, and will now face the Giants.

"The season ended and I'm a big part of the reason why," Kershaw said. "It doesn't matter how I pitched. It's bad déjà vu all over again."

The Dodgers reached the NL Championship Series last year, so this early exit is a step backward for a club with a $230 million payroll and an ownership group that envisions a dynasty of championships. The Dodgers either led or were tied entering the seventh inning in all four games.

"They just have a good team, man," Matt Kemp said. "They get the big hit when they need it. Everything worked in their favor. Any time you lose in the playoffs you know your season is over and it's tough to swallow. We just came up short. They were the better team."

Of all the ways to advance to their fourth consecutive NL Championship Series, this had to be among the most improbable.

"To do it in the fashion that we did, it's nothing short of incredible," said Carpenter, whose three home runs, three doubles and seven RBI's through the first three games of the series, helped set the stage for a series-clincher in front of 46,906 happy fans at Busch Stadium. "We have something special going on right now."

The Cardinals scored 13 of their runs in the seventh innings, 11 of those coming in seventh innings Kershaw started.

"You wonder what we would have been able to do tonight if we had not pulled that off the first time," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said speaking to the media after game 4. "What that does is it gives you that confidence. Once you have a couple of those comebacks, you show yourself you can do it, especially when you show yourself against a pitcher of that caliber."

The Dodgers were happy to win the NL West Division Championship, but had their sights set on the ultimate goal – getting to and winning the World Series with their outstanding lineup. But again, it wasn't meant to be.

 

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