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Dodgers Cash In Gift, Send Cardinals To Brink Of Offseason Holliday

NLDS: Cardinals vs. Dodgers
Dodgers Lead Series 2-0
Game 1 Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3
Game 2 Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2
Game 3 Sat Busch Stadium 3:07pm
Game 4* Sun Busch Stadium 12:37pm
Game 5*   
Oct 13   
Dodger Stadium 6:37pm / 5:07pm
*if necessary All times Pacific
All games televised on TBS

I've heard of a sucker punch game, but this was a junk punch game for the Cardinals.  The Cardinals held a 2-1 lead with two outs in the ninth inning, and James Loney lofted a soft line drive to Matt Holliday in left field.  As Holliday came in to make the game-ending catch, he stumbled and missed the easy catch, and the ball appeared to hit him in the groin area, allowing Loney to reach second base on the error.  The Dodgers were given new life.

Juan Pierre was brought in to pinch run, and Casey Blake walked, bringing up Ronnie Belliard, the surprise starter at second base for each of the first two games of this series.  Belliard delivered, with a game-tying single to center, plating Pierre.  A Russell Martin walk loaded the bases for the pitcher's spot.  Mark Loretta, who struggled all year, came through with the biggest hit of his career, a soft single to centerfield to send Dodger fans everywhere into a state of euphoria with a 3-2 win and a 2-0 series lead.

The ending outshone a wonderful pitching duel between Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw.  Kershaw was good, allowing just two runs in his 6.2 innings, but Wainwright was better, allowing only one run in his eight innings.  The Dodger comeback win also overshadows a mistake by Torre in a tie game in the sixth inning, when he should have pinch hit for Kershaw, who had thrown 97 pitches to that point.  That's all water under the bridge right now, thanks to the improbable comeback.

Wainwright was not happy with the white towels given out to fans at Dodger Stadium, believing they contributed to Holliday's misplay, telling MLB Network:

It doesn't really seem fair that the opposing team should be allowed to shake white towels when there's a white baseball flying through the air.  Dodger blue towels, how about that?

I have good news for you, Adam.  You won't have to worry about the Cardinals playing another game at Dodger Stadium this season.  I do agree, though, that the towels should be blue.

Lucky or not, so far Torre's roster decisions are coming up golden so far this October:

  • Jeff Weaver: got out of a bases loaded jam yesterday.  Check.
  • Ronnie Belliard:  game-tying base hit today.  Check.
  • Mark Loretta:  game-winning hit today.  Check.

Here's a link to Vin Scully's call of the game-winning hit on KABC.

By the way, that makes 13 walk-off hits this season for the Dodgers.

Friday is a time to rest, and bask in the commanding 2-0 series lead.  Vicente Padilla will face Joel Pineiro Saturday at 3:07pm.

The game times have been determined for the rest of the series.  Game four, if necessary, will be played Sunday at 12:37pm Pacific time.  If both NL division series go to a fifth game, Tuesday will be played at 6:37pm at Dodger Stadium.  If the other NL series is over, game five will be at 5:07pm.

WP - George Sherrill (1-0):  1 IP, 1 hit

LP - Ryan Franklin (0-1): 0.1 IP, 2 hits, 2 unearned runs, 2 walks

Box Score