NLDS Game 4: Dodgers (1-2) @ Cardinals (2-1)
A win in Monday’s swing game of the NLDS presents the Cardinals with as many as two opportunities to close out the series against the Dodgers. In the three previous NLDS matchups in which they held a 2-1 series lead, the Cardinals won each. The club is also 3-0 at home in NLDS Game 4s.
Shelby Miller has waited two years for a postseason start, and he gets it today in a potential clincher game. During the regular season, Miller started just once against the Dodgers (5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 K on June 29), but that was before he retooled his repertoire by adding in a sinker and throwing the curveball with more conviction. Miller also faced Los Angeles in his lone relief appearance of the year.
Here is more from Miller about the opportunity to make his first career postseason start.
The Dodgers are going without Yasiel Puig in their lineup today, subbing Andre Ethier into the outfield instead. Puig has three hits in the series but has also struck out eight times in 12 at-bats. Asked several times about the lineup change, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said over and over that he felt Etheir “gives us the best chance to win today.” Ethier tagged Miller for a three-run homer in June.
The Cardinals, in contrast, are sticking with the lineup that won them Game 3. That includes keeping Kolten Wong in it. Against Clayton Kershaw in Game 1, the Cardinals started Pete Kozma at second base instead.
“There’s a guy that’s swinging the bat well and he’s showing that he’s putting together good at bats against lefties just like he is the righties,” manager Mike Matheny said of Wong. “And he’s somebody that once he gets going in a good direction, we just try to keep him going.”
The only thing the Cardinals came unprepared to do on Tuesday was travel. Matheny opted not to have his players bring luggage to the ballpark for a possible flight to Los Angeles should the team lose Game 4. If the team does need to fly back to LA for a Game 5, the Cardinals will do so on Wednesday.
“We’ve done a real nice job of staying in the moment and today’s our day,” Matheny said. “We’re not being presumptuous. It’s just: let’s play the game and we’ll figure it out after that.”
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