Michael Wacha did not allow a run for the fourth time in seven starts – and that was what it took to outduel Clayton Kershaw 1-0 and give the St. Louis Cardinals a two games to none lead in the National League Championship Series. The Cardinals have not scored more than two runs in any of his last three starts – and Wacha won all three games.
Kershaw was dazzling as well, but David Freese doubled to start the fifth inning. He then went to third on what was originally scored a wild pitch by Kershaw, and came home on a sacrifice fly for what would be the games only run. The scoring was changed from wild pitch to passed ball, which made the only run scored on Kershaw unearned.
Kershaw pitched well but only pitched six innings because the Dodgers decided to pinch hit for him in the top of the seventh. He allowed only two hits to five for Wacha, but the Dodgers could not push a run across. Both pitchers benefited from late afternoon shadows that made it hard to pick up the pitch. Wacha’s starts in September and October on www.valueaddbaseball.com are as follows:
|St. Louis||Michael Wacha||IP||ER||Result||Score|
|@ CIN||9/3/2013||6||0||Defeat||L 0-1|
|vs PIT||9/8/2013||7||0||Win||W 9-2|
|vs SEA||9/14/2013||5||2||Loss||L 1-4|
|@ COL||9/19/2013||4.2||4||Blown||L 6-7|
|vs WSH||9/24/2013||8.2||0||Win||W 2-0|
|at PIT PO||10/7/2013||7.1||1||Win||W 2-1|
|vs LA PO||10/12/2013||6.2||0||Win||W 1-0|
The Dodgers have given Kershaw one to three runs in 16 of his starts, going only 5-11 in those games. They failed to score despite having men in scoring position in four of the nine innings.
In the first, Mark Ellis singled and stole second.
In the fifth, he doubled.
In the sixth, Kershaw himself started the inning and an infield single by Carl Crawford and throwing error put men on second and third but no runs scored.
In the seventh, Nick Punto reached to chase Wacha, but failed to score despite two wild pitches to put him on third base with two outs.
The Dodgers will try to regroup with a win in Los Angeles Monday night, but will now have to defeat Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright to avoiding going down three games to none.