Cardinals pitchers held the Dodgers to just two hits in 15 at-bats with men in scoring position Wednesday night in the first game of the National League Division Series, which they lost, 5-3. But they also put a staggering 20 runners on in eight innings, with 12 hits and eight walks.
Right-hander Chris Carpenter, who might be a fourth-game candidate if the Cardinals are down two games to one at that point, wasn't himself at all, allowing nine hits and walking four in five innings.
Now it falls on ace 1A of the
Cardinals' staff, right-hander Adam Wainwright, to try to get the Cardinals even
in the series Thursday afternoon. "We certainly beat a great pitcher, not a good
pitcher, a great pitcher tonight," said
"I think he's a carbon copy (of Carpenter) in the way he competes and the numbers that both of them have put up this year."
Second baseman Skip Schumaker, who didn't start that often against left-handers this season, might have played himself into another start on Thursday against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Starting against lefty Randy Wolf on Wednesday, Schumaker had two hits and a walk.
DODGERS 5, CARDINALS 3: The Cardinals failed to get more than one run in the first inning when they had the bases loaded and nobody out, and they regretted it as the Dodgers scored twice in their first on CF Matt Kemp's two-run homer. LF Matt Holliday fanned with three on and no outs in the first, and the game seemed to turn.
Notes and Quotes
--Manager Tony La Russa was reasonably philosophic about the first-game loss. "We just got beat by somebody who played better," La Russa said.
La Russa let Carpenter hit for himself with a man at second, two outs and the Cardinals down 3-2 in the fifth. Carpenter struck out. La Russa, wanting his ace to continue even though he wasn't sharp, said, "I thought we had enough game to give up that out."
--RHP Chris Carpenter was voted the NL Comeback Player of the Year, it was announced Monday. The award was voted on by the 30 beat writers for mlb.com.
--The Cardinals went into the postseason with nobody on the disabled list or even hurt at all. Trainer Barry Weinberg said, "We have no physical issues. Everybody has no limitations, or nobody has any limitations."
BY THE NUMBERS: 14 -- Number of runners left on by the Cardinals Wednesday night. The Dodgers stranded 16.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He wasn't quite as sharp as he usually is. He never quit competing." -- Manager Tony La /Russa on RHP Chris Carpenter, the losing pitcher in Game 1.
--3B Troy Glaus had a poor at-bat, striking out against LHP Hong-Chih Kuo with two on and two out in the seventh, and manager Tony La Russa might hesitate before calling on him in a similar spot later in the series. The Cardinals almost have to keep 2B Julio Lugo, their only other right-handed-hitting threat off the bench, on the sidelines for a key pinch-hitting role because the Dodgers not only have a strong right-handed relief corps but Kuo and George Sherrill as effective lefties.
--RHP Kyle McClellan, who had a couple of poor outings in the last weekend of the regular season, retired only two of five men he faced in the sixth inning. He allowed one hit, walked one and hit one. He might give way to RHP Jason Motte as the primary setup man ahead of RHP Ryan Franklin.
No injured players.