Found October 16, 2013 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
Although the St. Louis Cardinals are one victory away from winning the NL pennant, they don't want to get caught up with World Series talk after what transpired last October.
A year after a devastating postseason collapse, the Cardinals will try to close out the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the NL championship series on Wednesday.
St. Louis is seeking a second World Series in three years, and its 4-2 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday has given it a 3-1 series lead.
"We can't get ahead of ourselves," left fielder Matt Holliday said.
He certainly speaks from experience after the Cardinals squandered such a lead in the 2012 NLCS, losing the last three games to San Francisco - the eventual World Series champion. The offense was a major culprit of that collapse, mustering one run while hitting .190.
It could become a problem again since St. Louis owns a .148 average while totaling eight runs in this series.
The Dodgers, however, are having their own problems at the plate, producing seven runs and going 6 for 33 (.182) with runners in scoring position.
Holliday gave the Cardinals a jolt offensively in Game 4, hitting the first homer of the series - a two-run shot in the third inning. He finished with two hits after going hitless in his previous 22 at-bats at Chavez Ravine.
"Hopefully, we can throw some offense together like we were (Tuesday) a little bit and keep some positive thoughts going," manager Mike Matheny said. "When we start talking about where the series is, I think it's a distraction. What we've got to do is play a game."
Offense may be at a premium again since the Dodgers are scheduled to send Zack Greinke (0-1, 2.57 ERA) to the mound.
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA over his last four starts against the Cardinals, but could've use some help from his teammates in Game 1. Greinke struck out 10 and allowed two runs in eight innings of a 3-2 loss in 13 on Friday.
Holliday is 9 for 29 (.310) with two homers all-time against Greinke, including the playoffs.
This time, Greinke is wary of a breakout performance from the Cardinals.
"If you make really good pitches it's not much the offense can do," he said, "but they haven't had many like lucky hits so they're probably due for a couple like flairs and groundballs that just no one can get to."
The Dodgers are certainly more concerned with their own offensive issues, and Hanley Ramirez's availability due to a broken rub. The star shortstop exited in the middle of the sixth inning Tuesday after striking out three times.
"It got worse as we went along," manager Don Mattingly said.
Mattingly may need Ramirez to get better if Los Angeles is going to overturn a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in its lengthy postseason history.
"We realize we've been through a lot in the regular season, but it pales in comparison to what we're doing now," said second baseman Mark Ellis, who went 0 for 4 Tuesday. "We realize we have it in us to do this. It's a three-game win streak. That's all it is."
The Dodgers haven't reeled off three straight postseason wins since sweeping the Cardinals in the 2009 division series.
Joe Kelly (0-0, 3.18), a native of nearby Anaheim, will try to keep it that way, and help the Cardinals wrap up this series.
The right-hander started opposite Greinke in Game 1, yielding two runs in six innings.
"Obviously they know what I've got, and I know what they've got," Kelly said. "It's just going to be about executing pitches, ultimately."
Kelly did that versus Yasiel Puig in Game 1, holding the rookie sensation hitless in three at-bats, striking him out once.
A meeting at Dodger Stadium could prove different since Puig is 9 for 15 (.600) with four RBIs in four playoff games there after getting four hits over the last two against St. Louis.
He hit .360 at home during the regular season compared to .284 on the road.
BEST OF MAXIM
LOS ANGELES -- Three quick observations on the Cardinals and the National League Championship Series.
THE IDEAL STARTER
Joe Kelly has pitched only twice at Dodger Stadium, the Cardinals lost both games and he didn't pitch well.
But he's still the ideal guy to start Game 5 of the NL Championship Series this afternoon at Dodger Stadium. Of course, you could say the same...
The Cardinals are one game away from heading to the World Series after last night's 4-2 triumph over the Dodgers.
However, the team needs to stay focused and continue to do what they're doing in order to succeed in their ultimate goal, lest we forget what happened last year.
As you recall, the Cardinals were in the same position last year, up 3-1 against the San Francisco...
David Freese is in the lineup for St. Louis against Los Angeles in Game 4 of the NL championship series.
The third baseman left the fifth inning of Game 3 on Monday night with tightness in his right calf after he appeared to tweak his calf on a swing. He had just singled for the Cardinals' first hit of the game.
Manager Mike Matheny said Freese had more of a cramp than anything...
Carlos Beltran could be headed back to The Big Apple.
Citing multiple sources, the New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand reports that Beltran "would strongly consider" an offer that would bring him back to New York -- but this time to play outfield for the Yankees.
Beltran, who will turn 37 in April, is reportedly intrigued by the possibility of playing in the cozy right...
Adam Wainwright cleared up a misunderstanding regarding his issues with Adrian Gonzalez’s “Mickey Mouse” behavior during Game 3 on Monday night, explaining that he wasn’t annoyed with a celebration, but with Gonzalez heckling him. LBS and many other outlets incorrectly believed Wainwright was annoyed with the way Gonzalez celebrated his RBI double to put the […]
Adam Wainwright didn’t bring his “A” game to the mound or the batter’s box on Monday night.
During his at-bat in the sixth inning of Game 3 of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cardinals’ starting pitcher accidentally tossed his bat into the cameramen section after fouling off a pitch. Wainwright would eventually ground out to third for the first out of the...
In the brief interludes between arguing whether the Cardinals do indeed have “the best fans in baseball” and if they should or should not be offended by Yasiel Puig, a popular discussion topic on social media has centered on St. Louis’ so-called “Cardinals Devil Magic,” i.e., the sense that everything always seems to go the Cardinals’ way in October.
Setting aside the...
LOS ANGELES -- If the Cardinals were passing out postseason game balls ala 2006, they would have had no shortage of worthy candidates from their 4-2 victory over the Dodgers Tuesday night.
There was Matt Holliday with a monster two-run homer that all parties agreed traveled much farther than the estimated 426 feet. There was Shane Robinson and his pinch-hit homer that provided an...
LOS ANGELES -- If the pattern holds, the Cardinals' offense will break through Tuesday night.
That would be the every-fourth-game pattern, of course. Think about it. The Cardinals opened the postseason with a nine-run outburst against the Pirates. The bats then turned cold for three games. Just in time for Game 5 of the NL Division Series, they woke up and scored six runs....
It's only been a couple of seasons since the St. Louis Cardinals were in the World Series (2011) and after Tuesday night the Red Birds moved within a game of returning.
So yes, they do have a pretty good reason to be happy and goof off a little.
A three-run third inning put the Cardinals ahead early in Game Four of the NLCS Tuesday night and it turned...
Carlos Beltran could be headed back to The Big Apple.
Citing multiple sources, the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand reports that Beltran “would strongly consider” an offer that would bring him back to New York — but this time to play outfield for the Yankees.
Beltran, who will turn 37 in April, is reportedly intrigued by the possibility of playing in the cozy right field...
As a St. Louis Cardinals fan, I don’t even have a decent response for this. I mean, I love fan-made sports team anthems in an ironic way, because 99% of songs and/or videos recorded for the sake of “supportin’ the team, bro” are typically unintentionally hilarious, but this one? I have no clue what was supposed to come of “The Chase is On.”
Maybe this was just intended...
Shane Robinson did what?
Seriously, though. What happened? He did not hit a home run. I looked up Dodger Stadium and it's the 15th hardest park factor in 2013. Next thing you're going to tell me Cal Ripken's mom got held up by gunpoint again.
WHAT? What is going on?
The Cardinals **** the bed in GM3 of the NLCS last night. But tonight? Behind the cool...
1) The St. Louis Cardinals won Game 1. 2) The Los Angeles Dodgers won Game 2, evening up …
Jacob Wilson was the St. Louis Cardinals Single-A club’s best hitter and our pick for the Peoria Chiefs top position player in 2013.