Dodgers Hold Serve at Home in a Shutout of the Cardinals

It's amazing what a change of venue can do. The Dodgers pitching did just enough to get the 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the NLCS. The Dodgers still trail two games to one in the best-of-seven series.

There was a lot of pessism in the air about the Dodgers prospects in winning the series. Oh no the Dodgers have to face Adam Wainwright. Oh no the Dodgers are only 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position in the first two games. Oh no the Dodgers are only hitting .211 in the series.

But here is some perspective. The Cardinals was only 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and batting only .134 in the series. And the Red Birds beat the Dodgers aces Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw meaning games pitched by aces are winnable.

Things aren't as bad as they seem as the Dodgers proved.

The Dodgers got their scoring done in the fourth inning, a double hit by Mark Ellis that had centerfielder Jon Jay and rightfielder Carlos Beltran confused as to who should field it. Ellis went to third on Hanley Ramirez's grounder and scored Adrian Gonzalez's double. After Andre Ethier's grounder sent Gonzalez to third, Yasiel Puig came out of his slump with a triple.

That gave the Dodgers the 2-0 lead, a lead that was more than enough for Ryu Hyun-Jin and the Dodger pitchers. Ryu went seven innings giving up only three hits and a walk with four strikeouts on 108 pitches.

Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless eighth striking out two, and Kenley Jansen retired the side in order in the ninth for the save.

Perhaps the Dodgers third run was the most impressive. Hanley Ramirez hit a bloop single right behind second base. Carl Crawford from second base came home to score once he saw that second baseman Kolten Wong threw the ball to shortstop Daniel Descalso who was covering second base instead of to home plate. For a second, Crawford looked like Puig.

For all the talk of the Dodgers futility with the bats, the Cardinals have only scored three earned runs in three games in the NLCS. Of course, all three of those earned runs came in Game 1 — their lone run against Clayton Kershaw in Game 2 was an unearned run thanks to a passed ball by A.J. Ellis.

Hanley Ramirez who was determined to make the start despite a hairline fracture of one of his ribs went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Andre Ethier with his leg problems also got the start in centerfield and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

The two teams return tomorrow where Ricky Nolasco is due to go against Lance Lynn. But as we've seen before, all of that is subject to change.