NLCS 2013: St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers Game 5 preview

October 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter (13) reacts after completing a double play in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

After falling behind in their NLCS 0-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals, things didn’t look overly promising for the Los Angeles Dodgers. But a win in Game 3 brought Los Angeles to within a game of tying the series and given the next two games were at home with both Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw looming, their situation might not have been as unfavorable as it appeared on the surface.

All the Dodgers needed was a win in Game 4 and it would become a best of three series with the aforementioned Greinke and Kershaw lined up.

They couldn’t get it.

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn tossed a fantastic game, giving up just two earned in 5.1 innings while the Cardinals bullpen shut down the Dodgers the rest of the way.

Now Los Angeles will do everything they can to avoid elimination, which will start with Zack Greinke who will take the mound in Game 5. The Dodgers had toyed with the idea of starting Greinke in Game 4, though, opted for Ricky Nolasco who hadn’t thrown in over two weeks. That didn’t work out the way they had hoped and now it’ll be up to the 15-game winner to preserve the season for the Dodgers.

Greinke  has been nearly unhittable at Dodger Stadium this season, posting a 2.11 ERA though more impressively holding opposing batters to a dreadful .207 batting average against. He was also relatively successful in his lone regular season start against the Cardinals, holding them to two runs in 6.1 innings of work. Of course, the Dodgers’ second in command was brilliant in his postseason start against the Red Birds, striking out ten and holding them to two hits in the Dodgers’ Game 1 loss.

On the opposing hill, hoping to send St. Louis to their second World Series in three years will be Joe Kelly who also took the mound in Game 1. Kelly wasn’t nearly as impressive as Greinke in the first game of the series, though, managed to fight his way through his struggles, only giving up two earned in six innings of work despite often finding himself in trouble. He’ll look for a bit better start this time around and will hope to continue his impressive trend on the road where Kelly has amassed a beautiful 2.07 ERA in 19 games, seven of them starts.

There is no tomorrow for Los Angeles without a win and it’s possible they’ll be without shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who was forced from Game 4 with injury. Their back is certainly up against the wall, but who will answer the call in Game 5? St. Louis or Los Angeles?

Topics: 2013 MLB Playoffs, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals

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