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NLCS Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, October 14th (All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (5-2) at Los Angeles Dodgers (3-3), 8:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Adam Wainwright (2-0, 1.13) Los Angeles - Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-0, 12.00)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Wainwright hopes to give the St. Louis Cardinals a commanding 3-0 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series on Monday, as the best-of-seven affair shifts to Dodger Stadium for Game 3.
Wainwright led the NL with 19 wins this season and has been even more impressive in the playoffs, winning both of his starts and striking out 15, while allowing just two runs in 16 innings of work.
"We're up two-nothing," Wainwright said. "But the thing that I know is that team over there is very dangerous and they're going to want it. And they're going to be hungry. They're going to want to go out there and give those L.A. fans a good show. So it's going to be very tough. There's no question about it. That team is very good from top to bottom, pitching and hitting. But so are we, and we're very confident so we can go over there and get the job done. And we have a lot of confidence in that happening. But we've got to do it one game at a time, I know that. We're not looking forward to the end of this series. We're going to look forward to Game 3."
The change of scenery shouldn't bother Wainwright, who was 10-3 in 17 road starts this season.
Wainwright may not have to deal with Dodgers' shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who missed Saturday's Game 2 loss after getting hit in the ribs on Friday. Plus, L.A. outfielder Andre Ethier is also questionable with an ankle injury that sidelined him for most of September.
"We're just working on that, taking the pain away so I can go," Ramirez said. "Even if it's cracked or something, I'm going to be able to get out there if we can take the pain away. It feels the same, but that doesn't stop me from trying to remain positive for tomorrow."
The Dodgers missed Ramirez's bat on Saturday, as Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha limited them to five hits over six scoreless innings in St. Louis' 1-0 win.
Los Angeles has batted just .184 in the first two games on the road, including a 1-for-16 (.063) with runners in scoring position.
"It's a matter of us ... getting the outs when you need them and being able to get that key hit," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. "This series, up to this point, we haven't gotten the key hit. We weren't able to put the run up when we needed it. If we get two key hits over the last two days, we win two. We're walking out of here up 2-0. It didn't happen, so we're walking out of here down two."
The Cardinals only managed two hits off of Dodgers' ace Clayton Kershaw and their run was unearned, as David Freese, who had doubled and moved to third on a passed ball, scored on John Jay's sacrifice fly.
"You're not going to get a lot of chances against the best pitcher in the league," Freese said. "Even though you lead off with a double, it doesn't give you a good chance of scoring off a guy like that. We were fortunate that Jon Jay ... battled back and hit a tough pitch."
Hoping to get the Dodgers back into the win column on Monday will be Korean righty Hyu-Jin Ryu, who will be trying to bounce back from a poor showing in the NLDS. Ryu figures to get some NL Rookie of the Year consideration, but couldn't get out of the third inning versus the Atlanta Braves, as he surrendered four runs and six hits in a no-decision in the Dodgers' Game 3 win.
He had been 14-8 during the season with a 3.00 ERA. Half of his wins came at Chavez Ravine, where he pitched to a 2.32 ERA in 15 starts.
"There's always additional pressure when you come back home down 2-0," Ryu said. "I think all of us understand that. We are professionals. We're going to do the best we can to go out there and put our best game forward.
"Now it's a five-game series. We need to win four out of the five, and we'll do the best we can to do that.
The Dodgers were 4-3 against the Cardinals this season.
10/14 10:20:43 ET