June 29, 2014

Cards attempt to prevent Dodgers pitching dominance in series finale

LOS ANGELES--DODGER STADIUM--The four-game series between the Dodgers and Cardinals wraps up today, and make no mistake, it's a chance for the Dodgers rotation to finish up with close to total dominance over the half-and-half Cards rotation.

To clarify. the Dodgers pitching staff has gone up against and defeated a couple of mainstays in Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn and defeated them. They did lose a game in between, but will throw Clayton Kershaw in the series finale, who is making outstanding pitching a consistent occurrence.

Kershaw heads to mound of Dodger Stadium with a string of 23 1/3 scoreless innings, including a no-no. The Cards will counter with Shelby Miller, who the Redbirds hope has healed up from recent back ailments.

If this were the playoffs, the Dodgers would be enjoying sweet revenge on the Redbirds, who knocked them off last season.

Luckily for St. Louis, they have a shot at evening up the four-game set, which would be a major accomplishment considering their injury-riddled pitching staff.

And the Cards cannot afford to look ahead (as if they want to) to their next series versus San Francisco and another recent no-no hurler in Tim Lincecum.

Although the Dodgers hurlers are one- or two-upping the Cards hurlers, the Cards do have a shot today, as Kershaw, for all his recent (and sustained) greatness, is 4-5 against the St. Louis.

And to harp on a recent point regarding defense, when you have close games with tough opponents, defense suddenly matters, a lot. The Cards allowed the Dodgers to show how a major league team can turn a miscue into a huge inning and make the difference in one of what would otherwise might have been one of those tough games. To clarify, what happened yesterday in the infield.