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Dodgers Win Opener, Beat Cardinals 5-3

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NLDS: Cardinals vs. Dodgers
Dodgers Lead Series 1-0
Game 1 Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3
Game 2 Thu Dodger Stadium 3:07pm
Game 3 Sat Busch Stadium 3:07pm
Game 4* Sun Busch Stadium TBD
Game 5*   
Oct 13   
Dodger Stadium TBD
*if necessary All times Pacific
All games televised on TBS

The Dodgers' starting pitcher couldn't get out of the fourth inning, and their offense had a woeful two hits in 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position.  Yet, none of that mattered, as the Dodgers plodded their way to a 5-3 victory in Game One of the National League Division Series, the longest game in NLDS history at three hours, 54 minutes.

Randy Wolf, making his first career playoff start, was shaky and wild all night.  He loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning, but managed to escape allowing only one run.  Leaving men on base was a pattern for both teams, as the Dodgers (16) and Cardinals (14) combined to leave a division series record 30 men on base. 

Wolf allowed 12 baserunners while only getting 11 outs.  Thankfully for the Dodgers, Chris Carpenter also wasn't sharp, and they were able to capitalize.  A Matt Kemp home run in the first inning gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead that they would never relinquish.  The Dodgers pecked away the rest of the game, tacking on single runs in the third, fifth, and sixth innings.  Carpenter allowed 14 baserunners while getting his 15 outs.

Jeff Weaver relieved Wolf in the fourth, getting out of yet another bases loaded jam, and ended up earning the win for his four-out effort.  Weaver has won each of the last two playoff games in which he has pitched, one for the Cardinals and one against.  He won the clinching game five of the 2006 World Series before tonight.

All in all the Dodger bullpen allowed just five hits and a run, striking out five while walking none over their 5.1 innings of work.  Jonathan Broxton got the final four outs for the save.

James Loney had two hits, and has had at least one hit in all nine postseason games he has started in his career.  He had one of the two hits with runners in scoring position, but his single to left didn't score Andre Ethier, who was rightfully held at third base by Larry Bowa.  Lifetime in the postseason, Loney is hitting .395/.465/.553.

The Dodgers got 22 men on base tonight, via 12 hits, eight walks, and two times being hit by a pitch.  This was the third highest total men on base in Dodger postseason history:

Game Opponent Hits BB HBP TOB
1956 WS, Gm 2 Yankees 12 11 0 23
1974 NLCS, Gm 4    Pirates 12 11 0 23
2009 NLDS, Gm 1 Cardinals 12 8 2 22

The Dodgers take a 1-0 series lead into tomorrow's game, with their best pitcher on the mound.  Clayton Kershaw versus Adam Wainwright figures to be a stellar playoff match-up.  Remember, tomorrow's game starts at 3:07pm, ensuring a sharp decline in Southern California workforce productivity.

Oh, by the way:  the Kevin Baxter reverse jinx is alive and well.

WP - Jeff Weaver (1-0): 1.1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout

LP - Chris Carpenter (0-1):  5 IP, 9 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts

Sv - Jonathan Broxton (1): 1.1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 strikeouts

Box Score