7.09pm ET

Final thoughts

Compared to last night there weren't as many missed opportunities tonight for the Dodgers, although Puig and Uribe being unable to do anything with bases loaded in the 6th will, as it should, be remembered as the turning point of the game. The Dodgers are going to need Hanley Ramirez back in the lineup, Yasiel Puig to get over his rookie jitters and Don Mattingly to never call upon Michale Young again for any reason if they want to even out the series at home. Winning Monday night's NLCS game three will be a start.

In about an hour or so the American League Championship Series between the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox will kick off at Fenway Park. We'll have live coverage of game two of that series tomorrow night at 8:00pm EST/1:00am BST. This however will end tonight's MLB Playoffs coverage, thanks to everyone who followed along with us tonight, especially those who sent in tweets and emails. Stay tuned here at the Guardian, as Steve Busfield will have live boxing coverage starting at 9:00pm EST/2:00am BST!

Updated at 7.14pm ET

6.56pm ET

The Cardinals take 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series

St Louis's Michael Wacha is the winning pitcher and, because, baseball is cruel and stupid, the loss goes to Clayton Kershaw who was one of the few people on the Dodgers staff who doesn't deserve to be called out. Can I give the loss to Michael Young instead? The Dodgers head back home to Dodgers Stadium on Monday for Game Three down 0-2 and having used their best two starters. Well they'll be back home at least?

Optimistic tweet... MT @Dodgers The #Dodgers have come back from 0-2 deficits 4x in playoffs: 1981 DS 1955 WS 1965 WS 1981 WS @HunterFelt

— Steve Busfield (@Busfield) October 12, 2013

They better hope they have Hanley Ramirez, that's all I'm saying.

Updated at 6.56pm ET

6.50pm ET

Cardinals 1 - Dodgers 0, FINAL

Andre Ethier pinch-hits for Skip Schumaker and HE strikes out swinging on three pitches! The Cardinals win!

6.49pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 9th

Juan Uribe strikes out swinging for out number two.

6.47pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 9th

Trevor Rosenthal (again, no relation to Ken or his bowties) is up to close things out for the Cardinals. He pitched two innings in last night's extra inning affair, so we'll see if there's some fatigue. Rosenthal gets Puig looking at a strike on the outside corner for out number one.

Updated at 6.48pm ET

6.42pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 8th

...Which will be filled with a pinch-hitting Shane Robinson with Kozma at first and two down. He hits a pop up for the third out and the Dodgers have three outs to score a run. It feels like you could give them hundreds.

6.39pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 8th

Pete Kozma is in for the Cardinals' last shot at an insurance run that it doesn't really look like they'll need against this Dodgers offense. He also works a full count off of Howell and then walks him. The pitcher's spot is up here...

Updated at 6.40pm ET

6.37pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 8th

Jon Jay then flies out to center for out number two.

@richiemetsoh @LengelDavid @HunterFelt LA missing Kemp, Ethier & Ramirez. That's some big bats missing

— Steve Busfield (@Busfield) October 12, 2013

The Editor says it better than I could.

Updated at 6.43pm ET

6.35pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 8th

J.P. Howell is out to pitch for the Dodgers, his first pitch goes to the backstop. This has started well. Howell evens it out after going to 2-0, getting two strikes to make it 2-2, takes a pitch for 3-2 and then grounds out to Punto.

@GdnUSsports @guardian_sport @HunterFelt dodgers appear to have gone back to their form at the start of the season

— Dinesh Sharma (@dineshsharma75) October 12, 2013

Losing Hanley Ramirez, first via managerial incompetence and then through injury, has hurt them bad.

6.31pm ET


Just in case anyone wonders why a lot of baseball bloggers are relentlessly negative about Michael Young, this kind of ridiculousness is what we're up against regarding the most overrated player in modern MLB history.

@HunterFelt When Teixiera & Young were with the Rangers, they'd play a clip at games where he called Young "greatest player who ever lived."

— ash. (@hyperalloy) October 12, 2013

@HunterFelt So every time you bash Michael Young, remember, you're bashing the greatest player who ever lived, according to Mark Teixeira.

— ash. (@hyperalloy) October 12, 2013

Updated at 6.44pm ET

6.28pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 8th

Carlos Martinez gets Adrian Gonzalez to strike out on four pitches! Holy crap this is why Matheny wanted Martinez here.

6.27pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 8th

Okay, you can go to your bullpen but don't go full-Joe Maddon on us, Matheny. He brings out Carlos Martinez to face Mark Ellis, and Martinez strikes him out.

Email from Zepp Jamieson, about Kershaw's should-be-better record:

Rick Monday was comparing the Dodgers we're seeing today with the team in May: Ramirez and Kemp out, Puig essentially not there, and Kershaw pitching beautifully but to no avail.
In his past four starts, including today's, Kershaw has given up a total of ONE earned run. He has a record of 1-1 to show for it.

6.23pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 8th

Randy Choate is out to start the eighth for the Cardinals, and gets Carl Crawford to pop out to Daniel Descalso, in for Freese, for the first out.

And we have another pitching change!

Updated at 6.23pm ET

6.20pm ET


From Resins.Man:

Don Mattingly 3 for 3
in using Michael Young to squander men on base.
What is it with the NL and reflexive pinch hitting for pitchers?
especially when Kershaw had 30 odd pitches left?

The idea was that this might have been the Dodgers' best chance at scoring (especially as Punto made his away to third, via wild pitches) the problem here is: Michael Young is not an improvement over letting Kershaw swing there.

6.18pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 7th

David Freese falls to 3-0, but takes a strike and then grounds out to Ellis on second.

6.17pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 7th

Molina grounds out to Punto, who has maybe been the Dodgers' best position player of the game. Everything that's gone wrong with the Dodgers this game can be summed up by that fact.

6.15pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 7th

Ronald Belisario starts the bottom of the seventh and gets Holliday to fly out.

@HunterFelt THATS where the pitcher hitting sucks, kershaw pitching a gem taken out after 72 pitches because they want to PH

— Steve (@stevo1270) October 12, 2013

Steve says it better than I did just there.

6.14pm ET

Seventh Inning Stretch

"Take Me Out To The Ballgame" by Carly Simon. Nobody does it better.

6.11pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 7th

3-2 on Michael Young, who hits an easy flyball to center because he should have been out of baseball at least two seasons ago. To the bottom of the seventh!

6.10pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 7th

Siegrist throws a wild pitch at 1-2 that allows Punto to advance to second base. Molina can't catch it. The 2-2 pitch is ALSO wild and Punto's on third!

See Kershaw being removed there? THAT'S WHY YOU WANT THE DH!!! @HunterFelt

— Elena V (@amariselv) October 12, 2013

Exactly. He threw only 72 pitches this outing, everyone gets cheated of a full outing from the best pitcher in baseball. (NOTE: Cardinals fans are fine with this.)

6.05pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 7th

Kevin Siegrist will be pitching against pinch-hitter Michael Young. MICHAEL YOUNG? After yesterday? Kershaw had a better chance here.

6.04pm ET

Pitching change! Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 7th

Well, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is out to take out Wacha, assuming there will be a countermove here from Mattlingly. That's 6 2/3rd scoreless innings for Wacha, who is receiving a loud ovation from Cardinals fans.

6.02pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 7th

Nick Punto, the Shredder, hits a liner to centerfield and does Don Mattingly keep his starting pitcher in or pinch-hit?

6.01pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 7th

A.J. Ellis works a full count off of Wacha and then flies out to Jon Jay in center.

The Dodgers will win this on a three-run Nick Punto 9th inning home run. Because that's how things happen in the NL. @HunterFelt

— Not Terry Francona (@NotCoachTito) October 12, 2013

Which is why the Dodgers made that big trade to the Red Sox to get him last year.

5.59pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 7th

Wacha's back out there for the seventh, he gets Skip Schumaker to ground out, the Dodgers' day is getting shorter.

5.55pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 6th

Carlos Beltran strikes out swinging. Clearly this guy's a bum.

5.53pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 6th

Matt Carpenter comes out next, grounds out to Adrian Gonzalez at first. Here comes Carlos Beltran, is he any good?

5.52pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 6th

Michael Wacha will be hitting for himself, so it looks like his afternoon's not over even though he's thrown 101 pitches. He becomes Kershaw's fourth strikeout here.

@HunterFelt This just doesn't look like the Dodgers night, again. #anotherJuanbitesthedust

— Dan Aitch (@aitch_dan) October 12, 2013

Puig is 0-9 with five strikeouts. Hanley Ramirez was hitting behind Michael Young and now he's injured. That will do it in close games.

5.48pm ET


@HunterFelt Akin to last night, RISPs and LOBs will make or break @Dodgers tonight. #topofthesixth

— Dan Aitch (@aitch_dan) October 12, 2013

Want to talk about LOBs breaking a team.. That was brutal for LA.

5.46pm ET

Cardinals escape! Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 6th

With two down now, bases still loaded, Uribe swings and misses at the first pitch. 0-1. The next one is a fastball outside. 1-1. Next pitch will be pitch 100 for Wacha, and Uribe fouls it off. 1-2. The Busch Stadium crowd is LOUD and they are UP. AND URIBE STRIKES OUT!

5.44pm ET

Puig strikes out! Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 6th

Puig swings away at the first pitch of his at-bat, to fall behind 0-1. Puig doesn't swing at pitch two, a borderline pitch low. At 0-2, Wacha tries to get Puig to swing at an outside fastball. 1-2. Wacha throws a changeup in the dirt, Puig doesn't even try on this one either.

Puig requests time. It's granted.

He comes back, Wacha throws a changeup inside and Puig doesn't offer. 3-2. Bases loaded. One out. Pitch of reckoning, as Bobby Valentine would call it. Puig calls time, so Molina and Wacha have a brief conference. On 3-2 he gets Puig to chase one out of the zone! TWO DOWN!

5.40pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 6th

Mark Ellis pops out to second, to prevent the run from scoring, and the Cardinals intentionally walk Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases with one out to face Puig.

5.38pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 6th

Crawford hits a ball to Matt Carpenter that he makes a diving stop on, but he throws to second to try to get Kershaw. He uh, gets no one and Crawford and Kershaw make it to second and third.

Tamara Kemp points out this isn't the only time a pitcher has helped out on the offense:

Last year World Series Game 1. Justin Verlander pitching to Barry Zito. RBI single. No DH = you can't predict baseball. 

5.35pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, top of the 6th

Clayton Kershaw lines a base hit because he's trying to mock my pro-DH ways.

5.34pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 5th

Kozma pops up to Gonzalez at first to end the inning, but we have scoring!

5.32pm ET

RUN! Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 1, bottom of the 5th

The Dodgers infield comes in with Jon Jay at-bat with one-down. He pops up a suicide squeeze attempt and then swings away at the next pitch and hits a fly-ball to the weak armed Carl Crawford that drives in Freese at third.

5.29pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 5th

And A.J. Ellis tries to catch a Kershaw pitch with Matt Adams at the plate, and Freesse advances to third on a passed ball. Adams takes the next pitch for 3-0, and he has the green light but he fouls one off and then swings and misses at 3-1. So, Kershaw has a 3-2 count here and then gets Adams to completely miss on a slider outside. One down.

5.27pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 5th

David Freese starts off the fifth with a leadoff double! We have offense!

Updated at 5.30pm ET

5.22pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 5th

There's a brief discussion about whether to pitch to Nick Punto with the pitcher due after him. The Cardinals decide no because it's Nick freaking Punto. At 2-2, the Cardinals crowd gets up to cheer on another Wacha k. It's a ball. They try one more time and...

Punto chases one and misses. And that's why you pitch to Nick Punto.

5.19pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 5th

Schumaker grounds out to second, and A.J. Ellis... hey a hit, he hits a ground rule double!

@GdnUSsports @HunterFelt @LengelDavid if he stays injury free does Clayton Kershaw have a legitimate chance of 300 wins? #postseason

— Richard Andrzejak (@Itchie139) October 12, 2013

He'll have to be on a team with a more consistent offense for a few years if he hopes to do that, which goes to show you how little pitching wins tell you about the starter.

5.15pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 5th

Juan Uribe, who has been a huge batter for L.A., strikes out swinging, with Molina throwing to first to complete it after the ball bounces.

Email from Kirk Eichler:

The DH makes the game dull. If it wasn't for NL pitchers swinging a bat, you'd have to think of something fresh to post every other inning.

You see, this is actually a point against the DH. Even I'm bored of me talking about this.

5.13pm ET


@HunterFelt as long as one offence doesnt forget to score this game could be over in 2 hours

— Steve (@stevo1270) October 12, 2013

I will remember this tweet when it's 0-0 in the 20th somewhere around 9:30pm...

5.11pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 4th

Yadier Molina then hits one to Uribe at third and we're all done here. To the fifth!

5.10pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 4th

But Beltran is promptly erased as Matt Holliday hits one to Nick Punto, doing some good defensive work in place of Hanley Ramirez, who turns a double play.

5.09pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 4th

Kershaw starts off the fourth with a strike on Beltran, and he likes how that feels and follows up with a second. The third pitch is a ball, however, as are the next two as Beltran works a full count and then a walk for the Cardinals' first baserunner since the first.

@HunterFelt #wachawachawacha #Wachtober

— Matt K (@engelsthecat) October 12, 2013

I'm assuming there's already shirts that say that. A note that we're taking your tweets here, send them to @HunterFelt or email Hunter.Felt.Freelance@theguardian.com.

5.05pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 4th

Wacha gets ahead of Puig 1-2, and the fans rise at Busch to cheer on a strikeout. The next pitch is just off the corner for a ball, and Puig fouls off the next two offerings. The crowd regroups and re-rises and Puig fouls off another one, he's at least making Wacha work. At 2-2, Puig takes a breaking ball outside, to the crowd's disappointment, but Puig ends the inning with a swing and miss.

@HunterFelt So the more I hate the STL SP getting a hit last nite igniting the scoring. Don't encourage mlb not to institute the DH in NL!

— Elena V (@amariselv) October 12, 2013

The AL/NL difference has hit the point of ridiculousness, like it's two different sports. At this point it feels like if one NFL conference ran the Wildcat exclusively.

5.01pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 4th

And Jon Jay fights- THE SHADOWS- to collect an Adrian Gonzalez pop up for the second out.

5.00pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 4th

Here we're already into the fourth? This is flying by... Which is good news unless neither team manages to score off each other, very possible considering these starters. Mark Ellis hits a curve right to Freese at third and it's looking good for Wacha here to start things out.

4.57pm ET


Resins Man points out via email:

You certain Jim Leyland is going to rack up those Pitcher Abuse Points
starting Justin Verlander on 2 days rest against the Red Sox,
when he has a rested Anibal Sanchez ready to go?

Ah yes, Anibal Sanchez is in fact going to start tonight for the Detroit Tigers, which is what happens when I'm prepping for the other game all day.

4.55pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 3rd

Matt Carpenter hits a roller as well, Punto picks it up and tosses it. No triple this time around.

@HunterFelt I will not refrain from expressing my thoughts about pitchers hitting: It's asinine.

— Elena V (@amariselv) October 12, 2013

(Presented without commentary.)

4.53pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 3rd

Hot pitcher vs pitcher action in the National League. Michael Wacha strikes out, which should only really be credited like 2/3rd of a strikeout for Clayton Kershaw.

4.51pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 3rd

20 pitches through two innings for Clayton Kershaw. This is complete game territory.

— Pedro Moura (@PedroMoura) October 12, 2013

These are the expectations you live with when you're Kershaw. He starts off against Pete Kozma, who is basically the Evolutionary Nick Punto, who hits a slow roller to second for the first out of the inning.

4.48pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 3rd

Carl Crawford flies out and that will do it for the Dodgers here in the top of the third.

4.47pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 3rd

Clayton Kershaw grounds out, because he's the pitcher. I will refrain on saying my thoughts on the National League and pitchers hitting, but all I'm saying here is that maybe it would have been more fun to see a David Oritz or Victor Martinez hitting there instead.

4.45pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 3rd

Nick Punto leads off the third, with Hanley Ramirez reportedly away from the ballpark and getting x-rays and really this just sounds worse and worse for Los Angeles the more they talk about it. Nick Punto works a full count off of Michael Wacha before he strikes out on a high fastball, because he is Nick Punto,

4.43pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 2nd

Jon Jay is up next for the the Cardinals, Kershaw gets him to ground out to Mark Ellis and that's six gone after that lead-off triple.

@HunterFelt Kershaw needs to stop bouncing pitches or, with men on base, 'there may be trouble ahead'.

— Dan Aitch (@aitch_dan) October 12, 2013

The easiest way to go about this, if you're Kershaw, is to prevent there from ever being men on base. That seems to be the strategy here.

4.41pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 2nd

The "demeaning euphemism for overweight" Matt Adams lines out to Adrian Gonzalez for the second out of the inning.

4.40pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 2nd

Clayton Forrester... er Kershaw is back up for the second after pitching around a leadoff triple to start the season is back out to work the second. David Freese is up for the Cardinals and we're getting nonstop shadow talk aren't we? Freese grounds out to Uribe at third for the first out of the inning.

4.36pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 2nd

Here we have the catcher A.J. Ellis who flies out and that was quick, wasn't it. I could do with six or seven more innings like that.

4.35pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 2nd

Skip Schumaker, wow we have Schumaker and Punto on the same roster that is mind-boggling, and he also grounds out to Kozma.

4.33pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 2nd

Juan Uribe grounds out, but right to the shortstop Pete Kozma.

4.31pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 1st

So, Yadier Molina gets stopped by Nick Punto. Where's your "God" now Lengel?

Email from Zepp Jamieson

Vin Scully pointed out (glumly) that in playoffs where the first game was decided in extra innings, the team that won that game went on to win the subsequent series in 17 out of 18 occasions--and 12 out of 12 in the National League Championship series.
Scully hoped this would prove to fall under the "damned lie" category.

Can we make Vin Scully immortal? Are scientists working on this? If they're not, what are they working on that could possibly be more important?

4.28pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 1st

Yadier Molina hits a ball that seems likely to sneak into the outfield but Nick Punto, in the game only because Hanley Ramirez is hurt, gobbles it up to make the third out of the inning and keep the Cardinals off the board.

4.26pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 1st

Matt Holliday is up next, he falls into a 1-2 hole, hey he's decided not to just swing at the first pitch too? Well the 1-2 pitch bounces, A.J. Ellis is just able to block it. Matt Holliday swings and misses at a hanger he could have easily smashed, oh well it's now two outs and Carpenter won't be able to score on an out.

4.24pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 1st

Beltran pops up Kershaw's second pitch of the day to third, and that's not going to bring the runner home. This guy sucks in October.

4.23pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, bottom of the 1st

Clayton Kershaw is out to start the first, he won the NL Cy Young last year and he's gonna win it again this year unless the Joker has spiked the drinking supply. Matt Carpenter welcomes him with a first-pitch double that gets by Puig for a leadoff triple. Oh my.

4.19pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 1st

Yasiel Puig, 0-6 during yesterday's loss, is up now with a runner on first. He falls into a 1-2 count, when Mark Ellis gets a good jump as he steals second without even a throw from Wacha. So at 2-2, Puig strikes out on a changeup to render the stolen base moot. To the bottom of the first!

4.16pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 1st

Michael Wacha gets Adrian Gonzalez to strike out for the second out of the inning, the good news for Dodgers fans is that Mattingly won't pinch-run for him if he's not on base.

4.14pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 1st

Mark Ellis takes two strikes, which he's not entirely convinced are strikes, before taking the next three pitches for a full count. Then he hits a base hit, no no-hitter alerts for Wacha this time, and stumbles coming around first as Holliday can't quite get to it but he heads back to first to play it cautiously.

4.11pm ET

Dodgers 0 - Cardinals 0, top of the 1st

We have first pitch. We have Michael Wacha coming up to the mound, and the good news is that he's had such success recently that he's free of Fozzie Bear jokes. He gets Carl Crawford to pop up for the first out of the game.

4.09pm ET


Let's see if Don Mattingly pinch-runs Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth inning this time around, just to troll us all. @LengelDavid

— Not Terry Francona (@NotCoachTito) October 12, 2013

That's um great, Tito. It's uh Hunter though doing this liveblog. David's getting some much needed rest after yesterday's epic battle.

4.07pm ET

Revised Dodgers lineup

1. C. Crawford, LF
2. M. Ellis, 2B
3. A. Gonzalez, 1B
4. Y. Puig, RF
5. J. Uribe, 3B
6. S. Schumaker, CF
7. A. Ellis, C

(Long sigh from someone who picked the Dodgers to win this game...)

8. N. Punto, SS
9. C. Kershaw, P

Updated at 4.09pm ET

4.03pm ET


@HunterFelt im going for the cards in a close 2-1, they always seem to find a way to get it done (i realise its insane to go against CK)

— Steve (@stevo1270) October 12, 2013

@HunterFelt plus beltran is magic

— Steve (@stevo1270) October 12, 2013

Having seen the Ramirez news I'm tempted to go this way too, but I will stand my ground.

Although, yes, Beltran is magic.

4.01pm ET

No Hanley Ramirez

Oh hey, there's already been a change since last I checked, Joe Kelly hit Hanley Ramirez in the ribs with a Joe Kelly fastball yesterday and is out of the lineup this afternoon. Instead, the Dodgers' best hitter will be replaced in the lineup with Nick Punto. This, uh, this is not good news for the Dodgers to say the least.

3.55pm ET


Not to say that the NLCS isn't exactly the "sexy" series of the two, but game one of the American League Championship Series between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox doesn't start until after the first two games of the NLCS are (hopefully) on the books. Game 1, where Detroit's Justin Verlander Anibal Sanchez faces Boston's Jon Lester starts around 8:07pm EST.

Updated at 4.57pm ET

3.49pm ET

St Louis Cardinals starting lineup

1. M. Carpenter, 2B
2. C. Beltran, RF
3. M. Holliday, LF
4. Y. Molina, C
5. D. Freese, 3B
6. M. Adams, 1B
7. J. Jay, CF
8. P. Kozma, SS
9. M. Wacha, P

3.46pm ET

Los Angeles Dodgers starting lineup

No Andre Ethier this time around, which is good news for the Cardinals. Bad news for the Cardinals: Mattingly has decided not to start Michael Young.

1. C. Crawford, LF
2. M. Ellis, 2B
3. H. Ramirez, SS
4. A. Gonzalez, 1B
5. Y. Puig, RF
6. J. Uribe, 3B
7. S. Schumaker, CF
8. A. Ellis, C
9. C. Kershaw, P

3.44pm ET


I didn't get a chance to make my NLCS prediction yesterday, but I was going with the Dodgers to start the series and I feel no reason to change my mind now that they're a game behind. They'll get a win today with Clayton Kershaw on the mound and then head back to Dodger Stadium for the next three games and build up a series lead. I'm saying Dodgers 2 - Cardinals 1 tonight for game two? Think differently? The same? We'll be taking your predictions throughout the game via email (Hunter.Felt.Freelance@theguardian.com) or Twitter (@HunterFelt). (Okay I'm kinda begging for feedback at this point, but this could go on for a long time, if last night's game was any indication, I'm looking to be as less lonely as possible this afternoon.)

3.15pm ET


Doesn't it feel like we were just here? Yes, game two of the National League Championship Series against between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St Louis Cardinals feels more like the back end of a double-header than its own separate event. Yesterday's 13 inning affair didn't end until 1:30am on the East Coast, when Dodgers manager Don Mattingly finally brought in closer Kenley Jansen into the game to face Carlos Beltran, the game's greatest postseason player, with runners on first and second. That ended exactly how one would expect it to end, with Beltran driving in the winning run to give the Cardinals a 1-0 NLCS series lead.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has gotten a lot of heat after that extra inning loss, both for not bringing his closer in earlier (not that it would have mattered considering how little the Dodgers did offensively in extra innings) and for pinch-running his clean-up hitter Adrian Gonzalez late in regulation and replacing his bat in the line-up with that of washed up veteran Michael Young. With Young hitting behind him, the Cardinals decided to intentionally walk the team's best hitter, Hanley Ramirez, both times he was up in extras. The result? Michael Young hit into two inning-ending double plays, the first albeit aided by a Beltran outfield assist and possible phantom tag from Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.

A good starting pitcher can make a manager look brilliant however, and this afternoon the Dodgers will put Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in baseball for two years straight now, on the mound for what really seems like a must win game for L.A.. Of course, the Cardinals are putting Michael Wacha on the hill, and all he's done recently is flirt with a no-hitter his last two starts (including a postseason win against the Pittsburgh Pirates). So, even with Kershaw on the mound this doesn't look to be an easy win for the Dodgers, not that there should be easy wins this time of year.

Should be a good game, although hopefully not quite as long as last night's/this morning's. We'll be taking your comments throughout the game! Send your questions, comments, predictions and managerial second guessing either by email, to Hunter.Felt.Freelance@theguardian.com or tweet them at @HunterFelt. It's the L.A. Dodgers vs the St Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium for game two of the NLCS! First pitch will be at 4:00pm EST, we'll be back a tad bit sooner than then with starting lineups, predictions and Don Mattingly trolling.

Updated at 3.31pm ET

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk