After the Dodgers stranded a runner in scoring position in top of the first inning, things looked even bleaker in the bottom of the inning thanks to a leadoff triple by Matt Carpenter. But Clayton Kershaw was able to get out of the jam through the heart of the Cardinals batting order.
Mark Ellis singled off Michael Wacha with one out in the top of the inning, but Adrian Gonzalez struck out. Ellis then stole second base but was stranded when Yasiel Puig struck out too.
Puig, 0-for-7 in the NLCS to this point, compounded his bad inning when he slipped going after Carpenter's leadoff drive in the bottom of the frame, putting a runner on third with nobody out.
But Kershaw got playoff god Carlos Beltran to pop up in the infield, struck out Matt Holliday, and retired Yadier Molina on a ground ball to shortstop Nick Punto. The highlight was the great curve to retire Holliday:
With no Andre Ethier and no Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers need all the breaks they can get. Thanks to Kershaw, they got one in the first inning.