The Los Angeles Dodgers were the first team to claim a spot in the League Championship Series as the Dodgers offense backed by big nights from Andre Ethier and Manny Ramires; however, an excellent outing by pitcher Vincente Padilla led them over the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-1.
Padilla – who was exiled from the Texas Rangers, but caught on with the Dodgers late in the season – delivered as he went seven shutout innings and gave up only four hits.
Joel Pineiro, who tried to help St. Louis extend their season, took the loss and only lasted four innings on the mound where he gave up four runs. Albert Pujols went 2-for-4, but the rest of his teammates had trouble getting anything going at the plate.
The Dodgers drew first blood as Manny Ramirez plated in a run off a RBI-double off Pineiro for their first run across home plate, and then raised the score to 3-0 in the third inning as Andre Ethier hit a two-run homer.
They took a 4-0 lead in the 4th inning as Rafael Furcal singled in a run, and after that frame Pineiro would be yanked from the game.
The Dodgers would get Andre Ethier on base with an RBI-triple, and then Manny Ramirez plated him with a single for a 5-0 advantage.
St. Louis got a run finally in the eighth as Albert Pujols plated in Julio Lugo; however, by then, it was too little, too late.
The Cardinals had a nice season, and I thought they could have upset the Dodgers; however, they produced little offense whatsoever, and in the end, Los Angeles was just the much stronger team. In addition, their bullpen – was it ever effective in the series…
The Dodgers should have a few days to rest as they await the results of the Phillies-Dodgers divisional series matchup.