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Dodgers @ Cardinals recap 7.20 - Cards just miss out on series sweep

Cardinals get to Kershaw; can't quite pull out the series sweep

Matt Holliday and A.J. Ellis discuss the finer points of the game of baseball
Matt Holliday and A.J. Ellis discuss the finer points of the game of baseball
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles DodgersSt. Louis Cardinals

Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 1.78 ERA, 1.60 FIP) vs. Carlos Martinez (2-4, 4.43 ERA, 3.63 FIP)
7:05 p.m. CT
Busch Stadium- St. Louis, Missouri

Today's Lineups

Dee Gordon - 2B Matt Carpenter - 3B
Hanley Ramirez - SS Peter Bourjos - CF
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B Matt Holliday - LF
Matt Kemp - LF Jhonny Peralta - SS
Andre Ethier - RF Matt Adams - 1B
Scott Van Slyke - CF Allen Craig - RF
Juan Uribe - 3B Mark Ellis - 2B
A.J. Ellis - C Tony Cruz - C
Clayton Kershaw - LHP Carlos Martinez - RHP

Some News-

Against the opponent (before this game)-

all-time record (1081 - 1050)

2013 (3-4)
2014 (3-3)

Today's game was the 2150th regular season bout between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The last time these teams played on July 20 was in 2003.  The Cards won a shootout 10-7.  Scott Rolen, Eduardo Perez, Albert Pujols, and winning pitcher Woody Williams all contributed homers to the cause.

Things we were looking for-

Here's Joe's series preview.  Check out his profile of Clayton Kershaw.

Things that happened-

Top Halves-

Carlos Martinez blew Dee Gordon away with a strikeout on a 99-m.p.h. fastball at the letters.  He dispatched Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez in short order in an impressive first inning.

He used some awesome pitches on the way through the heart of the Dodgers order.  He made Matt Kemp look foolish.  Andre Ethier, though, knocked a slider off the wall for a triple.  Carlos struck out Scott Van Slyke with a 100 m.p.h fastball.  He induced a little jam-shot pop-up from Juan Uribe.  Unfortunately, the ball found its way to the shallow right field grass, scoring Ethier.  Dodgers lead 1-0.

Martinez walked Kershaw to lead off the third.  NEVER WALK THE PITCHER.  My favorite play of the game came next.  Dee Gordon tapped a grounder up the first base line.  Adams fielded it, and danced backwards up the line with Gordon for a bit before he finally tagged him.  It was funny.  Martinez walked Ramirez, too.  Bourjos made a play that Jay wouldn't've to take a hit and probably an RBI away from Gonzalez.  Kemp knocked Kershaw in on the sixth pitch of the at bat.  Ethier knocked a single up the middle to score Ramirez.  Dodgers up 3-1.

In the fourth, Martinez got a little crazy.  Uribe singled.  Clayton Kershaw grounded into a fielder's choice, Uribe out at second, Kershaw to first.  Kershaw stole second.  Martinez loaded the bases, allowing a single to Gordon, and hit Ramirez high on the shoulder with a 97 m.p.h. fastball.  It was scary.  Martinez got out of the inning with no harm done.  That was it for Carlos, though.  His final line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 74 pitches thrown.

Jason Motte took over the pitching duties in the fifth.  He allowed a single to Kemp, but caught him leaning and picked him off at first.

Shelby Miller, reliever, was responsible for the sixth.  Uribe greeted him with Juan's third hit of the game.  A double play helped Miller out of the inning.  As Kershaw stepped in, he was greeted with a pretty good shower of "boooooo's" for his hitting of Holliday.

To lead off the seventh, Gordon continued his hot series, doubling down the left field line.  Shelby then walked Ramirez to finish out his night.  Matheny double switched Jon Jay and Randy Choate in for Miller and Craig.  Choate got one out and was replaced by Seth Maness.  Maness did his magic double-play thing on his very first pitch to get out of the threat.  It made me feel a lot better about the game.

Maness pitched a quick 1-2-3 eighth.

Trevor Rosenthal started the ninth by giving up a double off the center field wall to A.J. Ellis.  He came back and struck out Justin Turner and Gordon.  Then poor Ramirez got hit (for the second time in the game), this time with a 99 m.p.h. in the hand.  Being hit by 98 and 99 is not fun.  With this game, and the playoffs last year, Hanley can't be a big fan of Cardinals pitching.  Gonzalez drove in the go-ahead run to right field.  Dodgers lead 4-3.

Bottom Halves-

Matt Carpenter led off the game off of Clayton Kershaw with a towering fly out to right field..  Kershaw made easy work of Peter Bourjos with one pitch and Matt Holliday with a strikeout.

The Cards offense got their run back in the bottom of the second.   Jhonny Peralta legged out an infield single.  Allen Craig knocked him in with a double to the wall.  Kershaw struggled with his command all inning, throwing several breaking balls in the dirt, and used 26 pitches to make it through.

Kershaw struck out the side in the third.

In the fourth, Kershaw retaliated for Hanley's HBP by throwing at Matt Holliday's rump.  Warnings were issued to both sides.  Adams also singled in the inning.

The sixth was wild.  To lead off, Carpenter worked a walk in a 10-pitch AB reminiscent of the playoffs last year.  This one. And much like that AB, this one also proved to be a turning point.  Up to bat comes Peter Bourjos.  With a 2-2 count, Kershaw hung a slider to the centerfielder, and Bourjos didn't miss it.  He deposited it over the wall in left-center to tie the game at 3-3.  After things settled down, Peralta blooped one to shallow left- one Kemp probably should have gotten to, but didn't.  The very next batter (Adams), though, Kemp redeemed himself by making a fantastic diving/rolling catch on a ball that was similar to Peralta's.

Mark Ellis singled to lead off the seventh, but with two outs, was picked off at second base to end it.  It was a tooblan moment, to be sure.  That was the end of Kershaw's night.  His final line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 109 pitches thrown.

Brian Wilson took the eighth.  Peter Bourjos furthered his bid for player of the game by lining a single up the middle and stealing second and third base.  JP Howell came in to retire Adams, ending a Cardinal threat.

Kenley Jansen closed down the win for the Dodgers.  Dodgers win 4-3.

Final Notes-

  • Here's the fangraphs chart:

    Source: FanGraphs
  • Obviously, Peter Bourjos contributed the most on the Cardinals side, followed closely by Seth Maness.
  • Martinez showed his great stuff at times, but his two walks came back to bite him, and the hits racked up over his four innings.
  • This was the kind of night opposing teams hope Kershaw has.  He struggled with his command much of the night.
  • Poor Hanley Ramirez is likely injured after taking Rosenthal's fastball off the wrist.
  • The Cardinals will have to settle for sharing first place with the Brewers until the Crew's game tomorrow.
  • Gamenotes: Cards; Dodgers unavailable

Looking ahead-

Tune in Tuesday for a Tampa Bay Rays/ St. Louis Cardinals showdown.  Jake Odorizzi will take on Adam Wainwright.  The game starts at 7:15 CT.