St. Louis pitchers kept the Dodgers bats silent for the second straight day, helping the Cards go up two games to none in the 2013 NLCS. David Freese scored on a fifth inning sacrifice fly off the bat of John Jay and the Cardinals pitchers did the rest.
Five Cardinals hurlers combined on a 5-hit shutout, running the Dodgers scoring drought to 19 straight innings. St. Louis rookie Michael Wacha was masterful over 6 & 2/3 innings, striking out eight while allowing five hits and a walk. Clayton Kershaw was the tough luck loser. The only run he allowed was unearned. A passed ball by battery mate A.J. Ellis enabled Freese to advance from second base to third, setting him up to score on Jay’s fly ball.
As an Astros fan you probably find it hard to root for the Cardinals — but it’s coming quite naturally for me. First of all, about sixty percent of the players on the Cardinals playoff roster were drafted or signed by Jeff Luhnow. That little tidbit makes it easier to buy into the idea that the Astros are on the right track.
Secondly, my deep rooted dislike for the Dodgers predates any such feelings I have for the St. Louis franchise. Before the Astros were battling the Cardinals for N.L. Central division titles, they had a particularly accomplished adversary in the N.L. West. The Dodgers, along with the Cincinnati Reds, ruled the west throughout the decades of the seventies and eighties. When the Astros finally began to compete at a high level it was often the Dodgers that stood in their way. For that reason, a number of Astros fans of my generation still hold a special grudge against the team from Hollywood.
And if that’s not enough for you — consider this. The new ownership group in Lala-land just went on the biggest spending spree in sports history. Attempts to buy championships have always been frowned upon — at least by me. Oh, and the highest profile member of that ownership group is a man named “Magic” Johnson. The former Laker was also a direct rival of our beloved Rockets back in the day.
And then there’s the Puig factor. Don’t even get me started on how the Dodgers outfielder has the most arrogant act in the big leagues. It was a joy to see him go 0 for 4 with four strikeouts today.
As a true Astros fan I can’t rightfully root for any other team. But I do enjoy rooting against a select few. So, please join me in rooting against the Dodgers for the next few games. Because it’s the right thing to do. Plus, it’ll soon be over and you’ll be glad you did.