Both National League Division Series are over, and now we get a primere NLCS matchup in the Dodgers and Cardinals. Congratulations to both, and good luck next year to the Braves and Pirates.
Game 5 Recap: STL 6, PIT 1
The Pirates magical run has come to an end. For the Cardinals, their October run is just beginning, as they defeat the Pirates in game five of the NLDS 6-1, and move on to play the Dodgers for the pennant. Adam Wainwright threw a 107 pitch complete-game and David Freese homered, as the Cardinals move on to the National League Championship series again. The Pirates Gerrit Cole pitched five innings of two-run ball, working out of jams and keeping the Cardinals mostly at bay. Due to the lack of support (Alvarez's RBI Single), the Cardinals were still able to win this game and play the Dodgers in the NLCS.
Game 4 Recap: LAD 4, ATL 3
The Dodgers decided to start Clayton Kershaw on short rest, to try and finish off the series without much problem. If he didn't win, however, he wouldn't be able to start game one of the NLCS if they happened to win game five. He won. Pitching six strong innings yielding two runs (none earned), Kershaw pitched a great game, giving himself a great chance to win. A two run go-ahead blast from Juan Uribe won this game. Brian Wilson got the win, and the Dodgers will go to the National League Championship Series.
Game 4 Recap: STL 2, PIT 1
St. Louis pitcher Michael Wacha pitched fantastically, pitching a no-hitter into the eighth. It ended with a Pedro Alvarez homer, which sliced the Cardinals lead in half. After walking the following batter, Wacha was replaced by Carlos Martinez, who combined with Trevor Rosenthal to close out the Pirates in game four. Matt Holliday hit a two-run bomb off of Charlie Morton to provide the offense for St. Louis. They will play game five on Wednesday, where the winner will play in the National League Championship Series.
Game 3 Recap: LAD 13, ATL 6
The Los Angeles Dodgers did just what the score suggested, scoring early and often. Carl Crawford (2-5, HR, 3 R) hit a three run homer, and Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig each tallied two hits, as the Dodgers continued to show that they can shine in the spotlight. Their 2-1 lead could lead to the end of the series today, as they play again at Dodger Stadium today, with a chance to move on to the NL Championship Series.
Game 3 Recap: PIT 5, STL 3
The Pittsbugh Pirates resiliance was key in their game three victory. After losing leads of 2-0 and 3-2, the Pirates came back into the bottom of the eighth needing one run to take the lead and give the ball to Jason Grilli. Pedro Alvarez did just that, as he drove in the go-ahead RBI. Russell Martin and Marlon Byrd each drove in two runs as well, as the Pirates now have a commanding two to one game lead. They play again today in PNC with a chance to go to the NLCS.
Game 2 Recap: ATL 4, LAD 3
Unlike the Pirates/Cardinals game, this game finished in a nail-biter. The Braves held a 2-1 lead until the seventh, when they piled on two more to make it a 4-1 game. If you decided to finish watching there, you missed it all. Hanley Ramirez then subsequently homered in the top half of the eighth, scoring Mark Ellis, making it once again a one-run game. Then Craig Kimbrel got the call for a four out save. In the ninth, a bad call at second base looms large for the Dodgers. Kimbrel walked A.J. Ellis, who was replaced by pinch-runner Dee Gordon. Gordon then tried to steal second base, where it seemed he was safe. But, a missed call changed that. He was out. The Braves held on to win 4-3. The series is tied at one, as they play at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.
Game 2 Recap: PIT 7, STL 1
The Pirates took all their Game One frustrations out on the team that beat them in St. Louis. After tallying five runs by the fifth, they took a Gerrit Cole gem (6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 5 SO) and used it to their advantage. Starling Marte and Pedro Alvarez each homered, as the Pirates tallied 10 hits in their steamroll of the Cardinals on the road. Besides a Yadier Molina home run, only Matt Adams and Carlos Beltran got extra-base hits. The series is now tied at one apiece, as they play in PNC Park on Sunday.
Game 1 Recap: LAD 6, ATL 1
Kershaw pitched seven innings of one run ball, struck out twelve, and looked absolutely dominant as the Dodgers rolled to a 6-1 win over the Atlanta Braves in game one of the National League Division Series. Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run bomb, and the Braves were not able to get anything going thoughout the night. The Dodgers take a 1-0 series lead. They play game two today at 6:00 PM ET.
Game 1 Recap: STL 9, PIT 1
The Cardinals had put up a seven spot before the Pirates tallied their first hit. In a game that AJ Burnett faced eight hitters in the third without getting any outs, the Cardinals easily breezed to victory. Adam Wainwright pitched seven innings of one run ball, as the Cardinals take a 1-0 series lead over the Pirates. They play again today at 1:00 PM ET on MLB Network.
The year's National League Division series' seem to look like a great playoff matchup, and one that we will end up remembering for a while. Division rivals in the Pirates and Cardinals face off, while the Braves take on the Dodgers. Let's break down both series here.
PIT @ STL:
This series squares off tonight a 5:07 PM ET. The Pirates are coming off an electric Wild Card win in Pittsburgh, and now get to face their division's champions, the St. Louis Cardinals. What do the Pirates need to do to pull of the upset? Hit. The Pirates have a great pitching staff that should matchup realitively well to the Cardinals (I still believe that the Cards have a better staff overall), but the Cardinals crush them when it comes to hitting. If the Pirates can find their stroke, they could pull this off. I think they won't be able to pull it off, however, as I predict the Cardinals to take this series in four games.
LAD @ ATL:
This series is more intriguing to me than the Pirates/Cardinals series. Squaring off tonight at 8:00 PM ET, this Braves and Dodgers seem to play a very competative series that could sway either way. The reason I give the Dodgers the advantage? They are pitching Kershaw, Greinke, and Ryu in this series. I'd be pretty intimitaded if I were the Braves. The Braves has a wonderful lineup, however, as I think they could be the toughest opponent the Dodgers face this October. But, I think the Dodgers will take the series in five games because of their pitching staff.
We have a fun slew of division series coming up, as we look to eliminate more teams on our way to the 2013 World Series.