Coming into Game 4 of the NLCS, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly hinted that he was thinking of starting Zack Greinke on three days rest. It seemed a bit risky, but, it was possible his trust factor in scheduled starter Ricky Nolasco wasn’t that high, especially considering Nolasco was already skipped in the NLDS and had not pitched in over two weeks.
Maybe he should have listened to his gut because Nolasco, despite throwing two solid innings was removed after just four innings of work, this after falling behind 3-0 thanks to a Matt Carpenter RBI double which was followed by a two-run home run from slugger Matt Holliday.
Despite trailing early, the Dodgers didn’t pack their bags as a two-run fourth inning brought them back to within one. Los Angeles was able to score thanks to a Yasiel Puig (who else) RBI single to center which came moments before an A.J. Ellis RBI single to center, scoring the Dodgers’ second run.
The 3-2 deficit for the Dodgers continued to hold until the top of the seventh inning when pinch hitter Craig Robinson took a J.P. Howell hanger to left field, extending St. Louis’ lead to 4-2. The home run for Robinson, who had hit only two round-trippers all season, just cleared the outfield fence as the ball hit the padding on the top of the wall before bouncing into the disappointed crowd.
Nursing a two-run lead, St. Louis’ bullpen was able to hold strong en route to the victory, pushing Los Angeles to the brink of elimination with the win.
The Dodgers will attempt to see another day and send the series back to St. Louis with a win on Wednesday afternoon while the Cardinals will try to advance to their second World Series in three years.