Seasons are on the line today in St. Louis and San Francisco.
First up, Clayton Kershaw takes the mound on short rest for the Dodgers against the team that's roughed him up for 15 runs in his last two post season starts. This is the most important game of Kershaw's career to this point as a third straight poor outing against the Cardinals in October would not only mean the likely end of his team's season, but will also leave him having to answer questions about why he can't pitch as well when the lights shine brightest for at least a year.
Coming into the Game 1 of this series, the Dodgers were 20-1 in Kershaw's last 21 starts. Could they really go 0-2 in that situation in this series and get bounced from the playoffs? Should be interesting to watch, but don't be surprised if a big time player has a big time game in a big time moment here.
Also from this game, Yasiel Puig is not in the lineup after striking out eight times in his last nine at bats. Ouch!
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Later on tonight (7:00 p.m. MT), the Giants will once again try to finish off the Nationals. Yesterday was probably the best chance on paper for the Giants as they had Madison Bumgarner on the mound, but they still have a 2-1 series lead and a game at home here with Ryan Vogelsong, who tends to be annoyingly decent when the Giants need him to be in situations like today.
The Nationals will have Gio Gonzalez going. The lefty had a rather mediocre season by his standards but did finish strong with a 2.36 ERA over his last seven starts.
I'm rooting for more baseball, which means a pair of Game 5's on Thursday in LA and our nation's capital.
Here we go!!!