|Date of game: 10/14/2013
Recap: Los Angeles vs. St. Louis
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pitching still ruled the day in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
Only this time, it was the Dodgers' staff keeping the Cardinals off balance.
Hyun-Jin Ryu scattered three hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings as Los Angeles shut out St. Louis, 3-0, at Chavez Ravine to avoid falling in a 3-0 hole.
Hanley Ramirez played through a hairline fracture in his rib and went 2-for-4 with an RBI for a Dodgers club that had been stymied the first two games.
They went the final 10 innings without scoring in a series-opening loss and were shut out in Game 2, but they found success against Adam Wainwright, the NL leader in wins.
Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig ended LA's drought with RBI extra-base hits in the fourth inning, and that was all Ryu and the back end of the Dodgers' bullpen needed.
"I think the playoffs are a one-day momentum swings. Every day changes with momentum. Right now I feel like we've kind of grabbed it," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Only one team has rallied from an 0-2 deficit in the NLCS -- the Cardinals in 1985 against the Dodgers.
These Dodgers are aiming to return the favor 28 years later despite dropping the first two games with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw on the hill and facing St. Louis' ace on Monday.
Wainwright (0-1), who tossed a complete-game gem in the NLDS closeout game against the Pirates, retired seven straight heading into the fourth inning and appeared to make it eight in a row when Mark Ellis hit a fly ball to right- center. But Carlos Beltran and center fielder Jon Jay had a miscommunication and the ball fell between them as Ellis strode in for a leadoff double.
Gonzalez broke the scoreless tie two batters later with a two-bagger of his own down the right-field line -- the club's second hit in 17 chances with runners in scoring position at that point in the series and its first run since the third inning of Game 1.
Puig, hitless in his first 11 at-bats in the series, added another one with a run-scoring line drive off the wall in right. The rookie star thought he cleared the wall as he stood at the plate with his arms raised, but broke out of the box and managed a stand-up triple anyway.
Despite stranding Puig on third and wasting a leadoff triple in the fifth, Ryu had all the run support he needed.
"All I was thinking about was the fact that we were down 2-0, and I told myself this could potentially be the last start I ever pitched here this year," Ryu said through an interpreter. "So I focused from the very first pitch. I just zoned in and fortunately I was able to get a good result out of the game."
The only time the Cardinals had a runner in scoring position came in the fifth when they started the inning with back-to-back singles and ran themselves out of a scoring chance.
Daniel Descalso, pinch-running for an injured David Freese, made a bad read on Jay's fly ball hit to left field. Descalso headed to third off the sound of the bat, and Carl Crawford caught the routine pop up and doubled off Descalso at second.
Ryu left after throwing 69 of his 108 pitches for strikes, and Brian Wilson worked around a leadoff single in the eighth to keep his stellar postseason streak in tact.
Kevin Siegrist took over in the eighth for Wainwright, who was charged with two runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Carl Crawford hit a one-out single off Siegrist, moved to second on a Mark Ellis base hit and came around to score on Ramirez's bloop hit into right- center field.
The added run was window dressing as Kenley Jansen retired the side in order in the ninth to get the Dodgers back in the series with a chance to even things in Game 4 on Tuesday night.
"We're a better club than this," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It wasn't very characteristic of how we played all season."Game Notes
The nine combined runs in the series thus far is the fewest ever through three
games of an LCS ... The Cardinals are batting .134 in the series ... Only
three pitchers, John Rocker, Joe Niekro and Joe McGinnity, have thrown more
postseason innings without allowing an earned run than Wilson, who is sitting
at 16 2/3 innings ... Freese was taken out for a pinch-runner with right
calf tightness ... Ellis and Puig also had two hits for the Dodgers, who
finished 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position ... LA's Ricky Nolasco
will make his first postseason start Tuesday and will face Lance Lynn ... Game