The Cardinals begin a critical four game series late in the season against the Dodgers tonight. Currently the Dodgers are the most imminent threat to the Cardinals’ playoff hopes, sitting two games behind in the wild card standings. A dominant series by the Cards could put them back even further.

Tonight we will see a tale of two lefties. Rookie Austin Gomber will be sent out by Shildt and the gang, while grizzled Cy Young all timer / playoff Cardinals punching bag Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers.

Tonight’s Lineups:

Taylor LF Carpenter 1B

Turner 3B Muñoz 2B

Machado SS Martinez RF

Freese 1B Ozuna LF

Kemp RF DeJong SS

Dozier 2B Gyorko 3B

Hernández CF Molina C

Barnes C Bader CF

Kershaw P Gomber P

First Inning

So things got off horribly and it involved David Freese hitting a Poncedeleonian triple on the fourteenth pitch of the at bat, driving in two. Kemp 2.0 singled him in to score Freese, but a double play ended the inning, saving Gomber and the boys from further trouble.

3-0 Dodgers

Carpenter got things started with a smashed single, and Yairo clobbered a double off the wall. Unfortunately Martinez and DeJong put a strikeout sandwich around an Ozuna RBI groundout, and the Cardinals only surmised the one run.

3-1 Dodgers

Second Inning

Despite walking Hernandez walking, Gomber struck out Barnes looking. Kershaw’s but attempt was then foiled by a nice play with Gomber to second. Taylor flew out to Jose and things have settled back in.

Jeds Gyorko, who I love and adore, unfortunately struck out so hard his helmet flew off. He struggles with his helmet and I would like to suggest he grow his hair out to make it more snug. Yadi drew a walk in his grand return and Bader struck kout looking. Then to my surprise, Gomber bashed a single out to right to bring up Carpenter who became the third strikeout victim of the evening to end the threat.

Third Inning

Turner, who is slop, hit one to the wall in which Ozuna caught, but then upon hitting the wall dropped it. Turner’s double would be followed by a Machado double to regain their three run lead. Freese struck out, and eventually Dozier did, too.

4-1 Dodgers

Muñoz and Ozuna both struck out in a sad inning of being Kershawed.

Fourth Inning

Three singles directly in sequence by Hernandez, Barnes, and even Kershaw brought home the Dodgers fifth run of the night as the knockout blow was delivered to end Gomber’s night, bringing in Tyson Ross. Taylor doubled, Turner hit a sac fly, and Machado hit a sac fly to boot. Each event scoring a run. My view of this particular game is now reaching a nadir, as I sit and watch Freese strikeout swinging and brace myself for even more of this chaos. Also it’s Saint Patrick’s day at the ballpark? That’s weird.

8-1 Dodgers

Machado did something Machadoey as a shortstop.

Fifth Inning

Three ground outs for Ross? Yes.

And folks we have officially reached twilight zone baseball. TYSON ROSS CRUSHES ONE WAY OUT OF HERE OFF CLAYTON KERSHAW. HOLY CRAAAAAP!!! It may have actually been a wall scraper but it still counts as a moonshot in my book. Carpenter bunted for a single and the Muñoz also darted his second hit of the night. Martinez then immediately bastardized David Freese on his home turf by chopping a grounder his way which David flailed in operatic fashion, proceeding to make the error. With the bases loaded, Ozuna slashed a single to score one, and DeJong hit a sac fly to score another. Also at this point Fransisco Peña has come in for Yadi.

8-4 Dodgers

Sixth Inning

The main happening for the Dodgers here was Francisco Peña catching Austin Barnes stealing third. Ross had another solid inning otherwise.

Harrison Bader dashingly doubled, and was followed by an O’Neill walk. How often does that happen? Carpenter and Munoz failed to bring them home… So that was slop.

Seventh Inning

Freaking Machado had to hit a homer off Brebbia which I don’t like. Still riding off the high of that Ross homer so I’m still feeling ok I guess.

9-4 Dodgers

Maeda came in to pitch the seventh. DeJong singled in Ozuna, and Gyorko pounded a single, but DeJong was thrown and going for third. Peña then struck out but uhh yeah I wasn’t surprised.

9-5 Dodgers

Eighth Inning

Mayers in for the Birds, a few singles, a few strikeouts, the whole deal. Getting ready for a memorable come back.

I don’t remember exactly what happened because I don’t think anything happened 😦

Ninth Inning

Cecil came in and gave up one hit but otherwise slithered his way around the Dodgers.

Here comes our buddy Jansen to face our birds. Muñoz is a walkin’, Martinez is a singlin, and Ozuna is a infield flyin’ out. DeJong takes a walk. Our Lord and savior Jedd Gyorko now represents the tying run. He slaps one down and it’s almost a double play but it’s a wild throw to first and two runs score. And with two outs Matt Adams comes up but unfortunately he swings at the first pitch and grounds out in the most anticlimactic kind of ending. That’ll be the game with a final of 9-7 Dodgers.

Post the Game

So I certainly didn’t expect the Cards to win, but things just didn’t go well tonight. We got to Kershaw, but Gomber had his worst start ever. The offense even put up seven, and Tyson Ross joins the ranks of Peter Bourjos as absurd Cardinals to homer off Kershaw in the regular season. Gomber was charged with seven runs, and Kershaw was just charged with three of his four. The Dodgers are now just one game back of the Cards. We’ll see ya tomorrow night at Busch.

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