Results tagged ‘ Pittsburgh Pirates ’
It’s set. Dodgers will face off the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. Both teams had tough challenges and gotten through them which proved them to be worthy of getting to this stage. The changes in the League Championship Series, Instead of a 5 game series we now have a 7 game series in a 2-3-2 format. Last round in the NLDS the Dodgers faced the Braves where they manage to eliminate Atlanta in 5 games. This allowed the Dodgers to get the extra days rest they needed and wait to see who their opponent would be in the NLCS. Now we have our teams but what are the matchups looking like between the two teams. Lets preview our NLCS Series between St Louis and Los Angeles.
The Cardinals pitching staff is no joke when you look at the names but during Postseason it’s a tail of the Bullpen and Starting pitching. Starting pitching wise the Cardinals have a decent staff posting a 3.42 ERA during the regular season. Postseason wise starters are pitching a 3.38 ERA. It’s not a deadly rotation but the Cardinals starters are no joke. St Louis Ace Adam Wainwright has been pitching great in the 2 games he started in the Postseason, pitching a 1.13 ERA. In game 5 of the NLDS vs Pittsburgh he pitched a complete game in the win. In his only start vs the Dodgers Wainwright gave up 7 hits and 3 Earned Runs in a game where he was given the loss. Joe Kelly, who will be starting game 1, has been lights out the past two months going 9-2 with a ERA of 2.06. Game three vs the Pirates he gave up 5 hits and 2 Earned Runs in a 5-3 loss. Kelly has also pitched 2 games against the Dodgers as well with only one of them being a start (5-1 win on Aug 6th in St Louis) and the other as a bullpen appearance in the 5-3 loss in Los Angeles. Another guy we can’t forget is Micheal Wacha. For those who aren’t familiar Wacha is the rookie who No hit the Washington Nationals through 8 innings and went 7 innings without giving up a hit against the Pirates in Game 4 of the NLDS. Wacha hasn’t faced the Dodgers this season but he will present a great challenge for Dodger batters. When you look at the St Louis bullpen you’ll see a different story. St Louis bullpen have pitched a 2.45 ERA this postseason giving up 4 runs with 3 of them being earned. During the regular season this bullpen pitched a 3.45 ERA with a 20-19 record and 44 saves. As a staff the St Louis has had trouble with Dodger batters in the 7 game they have played in the regular season, pitching a 4.21 ERA against Los Angeles.
The Dodgers on the other hand go into the NLCS with a good rotation but questions in their bullpen. Los Angeles is pitching a 3.09 ERA this postseason. Dodger starters this postseason pitch a 2.73 ERA from their 3 that played in the NLDS against the Braves. With this being a 7 game series the Dodgers will now have to use all 4 of their pitchers. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced that Zack Greinke would start Game 1 in St Louis. Greinke started Game 2 of the NLDS against the Braves and had a solid outing against the Braves but the run support just wasn’t there for him. Greinke made a start against the Cardinals back on August 5th in St Louis. In that game he went 6 innings giving up 8 hits 2 earned runs and had 4 strikeouts in the win against St Louis (3-2 Win). Clayton Kershaw, who will be starting Game 2, has continued his dominance in his two starts in the Postseason pitching a 0.69 ERA with 18 Strikeouts. Kershaw however has had trouble against the Cardinals doping both starts he made against St Louis, Pitching a 4.15 ERA against St Louis and giving up 13 hits (The most against a team outside the NL West.). Game 3 will have to be decided between Rickey Nolasco and Hyun Jin Ryu. Nolasco was expected to start Game 4 of the NLDS until the choice was made to go with Kershaw in the closeout game. Ryu started Game 3 of the NLDS and was very shaky in his start giving up 6 hits and 4 earned runs through 3 innings. Both pitchers have started against the Cardinals and has had success. Ryu in his only start gave up 5 hits, 1 run, and had 7 strikeouts in the win at St Louis where Nolasco in his two starts pitches a 0.75 ERA against St Louis. When it comes to the bullpen the Dodgers will have to be on their A game. With JP Howell, Brian Wilson, and Kenley Jansen pitching well you think things will be alright..right? Well anyone outside of that has struggled, giving up hits and putting the team in bad positions to work with or giving up runs. Left off the roster for the NLCS is Chris Capuano and Paco Rodriguez while Edinson Volquez and Carlos Marmol are in. That leaves JP Howell as the only LHP in the pen. The Dodgers pitching staff against St Louis has had a lot of success, Pitching a 3.05 ERA against Cardinal batters.
The Cardinals have been known as a consistent hitting team and their ability to score runs is nothing to take lightly at all. During the regular season the Cardinals were in 3rd the NL in runs scored. The reason for that is how they’re able to hit with RISP (Runners In Scoring Position), batting .333 which is a NL best. Postseason however the Cardinals go into their series with the Dodgers batting .209. Looking at players like Pete Kozma, Matt Holiday, Yadier Molina , Matt Adams, and Carlos Beltran you don’t have room to sleep against them but one player you have to watch for is David Freese and Matt Carpenter. While both players are batting low averages in Postseason they’re still dangerous hitters in October and can strike in big moments that can shift momentum. The Cardinals also have some flaws with their batting that could haunt them in this series and that’s the inability of St Louis being able to hit against Left Handed Pitching. St Louis bats .238 against LHP which favors the Dodgers as they have two LHP in their rotation (Clayton Kershaw and Hyun Jin Ryu). Against the Dodgers St Louis struggled during the 7 game regular season series only batting .237. While they have struggled swinging the bat St Louis can strike at anytime which makes them a pretty scary team.
The Dodgers have been really lighting it up in the Postseason with their hitting .333 in their last series. Being led by guys like Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, and Adrian Gonzalez the Dodgers have really been hitting. If you look at this team going into the NLCS things could really swing in their favor. The Cardinals have no Left Hand Pitcher in their rotation which is great for guys like Carl Crawford (Struggled against LHP this season.). Another thing you can look at is the return of Andre Ethier. Andre didn’t start a game in the NLDS due to an ankle injury but pinched hit in certain situations when he was needed. Speaking of Hanley Ramirez he has been hitting the ball really good as well. In the NLDS against the Braves Hanley hit 6 extra bases in the series which was key for Los Angeles. Another guy who has been hitting well is Juan Uribe. Uribe is hitting .375 in the Postseason with 2 HR and 4 RBI’s. One of his home runs was the 8th inning shot that lifted the Dodgers to the NLCS. Los Angeles bat .280 against the Cardinals in the 7 game regular season series and that’s without Hanley Ramirez.
As stated many times the Dodgers and Cardinals met 7 times during the regular season with the Dodgers taking the regular season series 4-3. When it comes to postseason these teams have seen a lot of each other in the NLDS. Last two postseason meetings the Dodgers faced the Cardinals in the 2004 and 2009 NLDS with both teams splitting one each(Dodgers in 2009 and Cardinals in 2004). Last time these two teams met in the NLCS was back in 1985 when it was moved to 7 Games. The Cardinals won the series 4-2.
If you look at this matchup on paper it’s really evenly matched. The Dodgers are going in with hot bats and two aces starting games One and Two while the Cardinals go in with a rotation that has been pretty good and a Lineup that can strike at anytime. Cardinals are a fundamentally sound team and has been here before (3rd Straight NLCS appearance) but the Dodgers also have a veteran team while making their first NLCS appearance since 2009. I believe it will com down to who can be consistent and the Bullen. This series can go either way.
Dodgers in 6
The Dodgers have completed the second step. Last night the Dodgers advanced to their 10th NLCS in franchise history by defeating the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS 3-1. This was going to be a tough series one way or another as the Dodgers started off the NLDS in Atlanta where they split 2 games with the Braves coming back to Los Angeles. In L.A. the Dodgers would finish up the series dominating Game 3 and pulling out some heroics by Juan Uribe and Carl Crawford’s 2 Homer night. Now before I go any further I have to say hats off to the Atlanta Braves. They’re a tough team and no doubt look for them to be back in the postseason next year.
Last night many Dodger fans as well as the players celebrated this win and should. Yes is was advancing to the next round but for this team to really face adversity and momentum being shifted to the Braves side, The team found a way to pull it off. Fellow Dodger fans you should be proud of what the team is doing this far and the potential of this team right now because if things keep up a bigger reward will be coming for us. While this is a great feat this only means that another step has to be complete in order to get where this franchise needs to get. Nothing is set and stone yet and we know that this team will be all business once Friday gets here.
For right now the Dodgers will once again play the waiting game to find out who their opponent will be in the NLCS. Wednesday the Pirates and Cardinals will play a decisive Game 5 in St Louis. This also means the Dodgers will wait and see if they’ll start off the NLCS at home or on the road. If you’re loss the scenarios goes like this. If the Cardinals win Game 5 then the Dodgers will start Game One and Two (Friday and Saturday) in St Louis (Cardinals have the best record in the NL). However if the Pirates win Game 5 then the Dodgers will host the first two games of the NLCS (Pirates are the Wildcard team.) Times have not been announced as of yet but all NLCS games will be shown on TBS. Also if you are lost about the postseason Schedule make sure to check it out the Dodger website for Dates and Times so you can plan accordingly.
What a memoriable Week it’s been for the Dodgers and it’s fans. After going 3-1 in San Diego the Dodgers came back home to a much hyped crowd at Dodger Stadium to play the Pittsburgh Pirates. I was able to get myself to all three games in the series and I have to say it’s truely amazing to see the Dodgers in person no matter what. Opening Day at Dodger Stadium was the Day everyone was looking forward to and in front of a packed Stadium. I couldn’t catch the festivites due to the traffic getting to Dodger Stadium but was able to see the Game where Clayton Kershaw took the mound and pitched really good game. The highlight of the game had to be Andre Ethier’s Home run to go on top and win the game ON HIS BIRTHDAY!! and the Festivites before (Even though I couldn’t catch them). The celebration of Dodgers Stadium 50th Anniversary was something very special to All Dodger fans. Those in the Stadium and those who couldn’t make it it was special. Not only was it the First game at Dodger Stadium but it was the a chance to reflect on the history of moments that has happened at Dodger Stadium and reflect on Past Dodgers and appriciate the Tradition and What being a Dodger fan is all about.
The Second night the threat of rain couldn’t stop some of those to make their way to the Stadium and see the Dodgers and even in the Cold the Boys in blue and Billingsley play couldn’t cool of the Dodgers and they rolled through Pittsburgh in this game. The Pirates looked very out matched and the Dodgers showed what they could do. Even though there was less of a crowd than Opening Day the Dodgers still played and fed off that energy. And How could I forget!! Clayton Kershaw recieved his Cy Young that night and what a epic night after having a Monster 2011 Year. The fans also got the
The Final Night once again faced a threat of rain which was a cause for another low attendance but still Didn’t Stop Dodgers from doing their thing. Los Angeles was able to hold off the Pirates and complete the sweep 3-2 Improving the Record to 6-1. Solid controbutions by the Dodgers have helped this team really step their game up and get off to a great start and even though the Pirates made it interesting late Dodgers Pitching was able to help them out in this game to hold them off completing the Sweep. With this sweep the Dodgers are off to their first 6-1 Start since 1981…..That was the year they won the World Series. Now weather it’ll have the same results is something we ALL hope for but now it’s early in the Season with the Padres coming to Los Angeles for another series with the Dodgers.
This week was something that Many Dodger fans including myself will never forget this week at all. The Dodgers are also on a roll but will they keep it up? Lets hope but after this week Dodger fans should be very excited for whats to come for the rest of the season! Keep it going Dodgers and Dodger fans keep up the support and come see your Boys in Blue
We are in the last month of March which always means good news for all Baseball fans. Opening day down the street. As of today we are TEN days away from the first pitch being thrown in the Regular season of the 2012 MLB Season. After all the moves in the off-season and ownership issues, Clubhouse issues of beer and sleeping and eating instead of playing a Brand new season is here. For us Dodger fans having to deal with the Ownership issues of McCourt and then wondering who the new Owner will be will finally be put to rest and we can get back to focusing on another season of Dodger Baseball. This year with the NL West up for grabs new hope raises especially with the way the Dodgers closed out the 2011 season. This year the Dodgers opens the season in San Diego to take on the Padres.
While All Baseball fans are excited for the Opening of the 2012 Season in 17 Days Something Historic will happen. April 10th will be the Home Opener for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not only will it be the Opening Day in Los Angeles BUT it will be exactly 50 years ago Dodgers Stadium opened its doors. It’ll be the 50th Anniversary of Dodger Stadium and it will be a very memorable day for the Dodgers, City of Los Angeles, and Dodger fans. 2 dates We’re all looking towards and it’s quickly apporaching but to some the days will be moving slow. In the end when the day gets here we will all finally get to hear the words from Vin Scully “I’s Time For Dodger Baseball!” and look forward to another season of Dodger Baseball!!