The first two games of the NLCS have not gone the Dodgers' way, and they are back home down 2-0 in the series after a pair of one-run losses to the Cardinals. Here are some numbers and random musings from a lost weekend in St. Louis.
Sunday has no game but is still important as shortstop Hanley Ramirez is scheduled to have a CT exam on his bruised ribs. X-rays on Saturday were negative and while the test results on Sunday are eagerly awaited it seems like the most important determinant of his return to the lineup will be whether or not Ramirez can swing a bat. "I wasn't able to do it," Ramirez told reporters Saturday, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. "It was really painful."
The Dodgers are 54-28 (.659) in games started by Ramirez this season, including the playoffs. They are 41-45 (.477) when he doesn't start.
The Dodgers remain hopeful that Andre Ethier can return to center field in Game 3 on Monday, but Ken Gurnick of MLB.com referred to Ethier's ankle injury as "a microfracture in his lower left leg," a rather ominous term.
The Dodgers allowed only two hits in Game 2, a triple by Matt Carpenter in the first inning and a double by David Freese in the fifth. The only other Dodgers postseason game in which they didn't allow a single was Game 4 of the 1952 World Series, when the Yankees hit two doubles, a triple an a home run in a 2-0 win over Brooklyn.
One day after becoming the 34th player to go hitless in at least six at-bats in a postseason game in Game 1, Yasiel Puig donned the 42nd golden (or platinum) sombrero in playoff history with his four strikeouts in four at-bats in Game 2.
Manager Don Mattingly said after Saturday's game that catcher Yadier Molina was doing a great job of keeping Puig off balance, but that Puig was still dangerous. "At any moment, any swing he has a chance to tie that game up or get a big hit," Mattingly said.
The silver lining of Puig's 0-for-10, six-strikeout start to the NLCS is that he has seen 56 pitches in those 10 plate appearances.
One team in the NLCS has nine total hits, is hitting .134/.203/.194, and has only two hits and a sacrifice fly with runners in scoring position. That team is up 2-0 in the series.
The Dodgers are 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position in the first two games (the Cardinals are 2-for-8), and .184/.262/.237 overall.
There have been seven total runs scored in three League Championship Series games combined.
Kershaw and Zack Greinke have started five of the Dodgers' six playoff games and the duo has combined for a 1.36 ERA with 36 strikeouts and six walks in 33 innings. The Dodgers are 2-3 in those games.
Games 1 and 2 marked only the second time in 30 tries this season when the Dodgers lost back-to-back games started by Kershaw and Greinke. The other occurrence was Sept. 7-8 against the Reds in Cincinnati, also a pair of one-run losses.
When a Dodgers starting pitcher lasts at least six innings and allows two or fewer runs in the postseason, the team is 50-21 (.704), but have lost the last two games. The only other time the Dodgers lost two straight such games was in the 1966 World Series when Claude Osteen and Don Drysdale combined to allow two runs in 15 innings in Games 3-4 but lost both games 1-0 as the Orioles completed their sweep.
Dodgers pitchers were 0-for-12 (with a sacrifice fly, courtesy of Hyun-Jin Ryu in the NLDS against Atlanta) in the playoffs before Kershaw's single in the sixth inning on Saturday.
The Dodgers have lost their last seven NLCS road games. Their last victory away from home in the League Championship Series came in Game 5 of the 1988 NLCS at Shea Stadium in New York.
The Dodgers have lost 13 of their last 15 NLCS home games, dating back to 1983. They are 10-14 all-time in NLCS road contests.
In St. Louis during the postseason the Dodgers are 1-7, dating back to 1985.
Against the Cardinals in the playoffs at home, the Dodgers are 5-2.