Each of the NLDS series now stands at 2-1 after wins by the Cardinals and Nationals …
- The Cardinals beat the Dodgers 3-1 on the strength of yet another Matt Carpenter homer, and then a two-run shot in the 7th from Kolten Wong. John Lackey and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched well (with some help from an expansive zone), but Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert played the part of goat. Yasiel Puig’s rough postseason continues with another three strikeouts.
- There was a lot of grousing about the strike zone, which was fair, because it was kind of ridiculous. But for those who thought the Cardinals got an unreasonable volume of the good calls, using Brooks, I count 10 balls that were called strikes when the Cardinals were pitching, and 8 balls that were called strikes when the Dodgers were pitching. Given that the Dodgers pitched one fewer inning, that’s just about even. (Also: I wonder if MLB is going to be unhappy with home plate umpire Dale Scott’s extremely rough performance.)
- Game 4 is today at 4pm CT, and the Dodgers aren’t messing around: Clayton Kershaw comes back on three days’ rest after getting knocked around in Game 1. Shelby Miller goes for the Cardinals.
- As for the Giants and Nationals, they’ll also be going to a Game 4, because the Nationals finally won a game. The Nationals got another bomb from Bryce Harper in the 4-1 win, but they made sure to troll us really well by scoring two runs on a sac bunt attempt that Madison Bumgarner threw away. The bunt came from Wilson Ramos, with two strikes, and amounted to his first successful bunt in three years. Good decisions don’t become bad decisions just because they don’t work out (sometimes your opponent picks up an ace on the river). Similarly, bad decisions don’t become good decisions just because the pitcher throws the ball away. Sure, that’s always a possibility when you bunt, but the odds are miniscule. Especially when you’re asking a guy to bunt – and keep bunting with 2 strikes – when he hasn’t bunted in three damn years.
- Game 4 is tonight at 8pm CT, with Gio Gonzalez facing Ryan Vogelsong.