NLCS Game 2 preview: Clayton Kershaw vs. Michael Wacha

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Once again runs figure to be at a premium in Game 2 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and Cardinals.

The only time the Dodgers played a postseason game longer than Friday night's 13-inning loss to the Cardinals was in the 1916 World Series, when Babe Ruth pitched a 14-inning complete game to give the Red Sox a 2-1 win over Brooklyn in Game 2. The Dodgers send their Babe Ruth to the mound on Saturday afternoon in Game 2 in Clayton Kerhsaw to try to even the National League Championship Series.

Kershaw has allowed three runs, including just one earned run, in 13 innings so far this postseason, with 18 strikeouts and four walks, and that includes one start on short rest.

Counting the regular season, Kershaw is 17-9 with a 1.77 ERA, 250 strikeouts and 56 walks in 249 innings. On Saturday, Kershaw will become the first Dodgers pitcher to throw 250 innings in a season (including the postseason) since Kevin Brown threw 252⅓ innings in 1999.

If Kershaw lasts 7⅔ innings today, he'll match Orel Hershiser's 1989 workload. One season earlier, Hershiser threw 309⅔ innings in leading the Dodgers to a World Series win.

But Kershaw has also lost his last three starts against the Cardinals, dating back to 2012. This season Kershaw is 0-2 and has allowed six runs in 13 innings to St. Louis.

This postseason the Dodgers have gotten excellent starts out of their aces, Kershaw and Zack Greinke, who have yet to allow more than two runs in a start. The duo has started four of the Dodgers' five playoff games in 2013 and has a collective 1.67 ERA with 31 strikeouts and five walks in 27 innings.

Yet the Dodgers are 2-2 in those games.

To improve that record on Saturday the Dodgers will have to score runs against Michael Wacha, who has pitched one-hitters in each of his last two starts. He lost a no-hitter on an infield single with two outs in the ninth inning on Sept. 24 against the Nationals, then took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of Game 4 of the NLDS against the Pirates.

Wacha, the 19th pick of the 2012 draft, is 5-1 with a 2.63 ERA this season, counting the playoffs, with 74 strikeouts and 21 walks in 72 innings.

Game 2 info

Time: 1:07 p.m.


MLB Gameday

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