Carlos Beltran and the St. Louis Cardinals look to build on their 1-0 lead in the NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Two on Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
Beltran capped a nearly five hour, 13-inning marathon in Game One on Friday by driving in all three of St. Louis’s runs, and gunned down a runner at home plate to prevent a Dodger run. Beltran’s now driven in nine runs this postseason.
"He's a stud, man," St. Louis second baseman Matt Carpenter said to MLB.com. "There's really no explanation, the guy just rises to the occasion and finds a way to make plays in these types of games. He's a special player."
The Dodgers tagged Game One starter Joe Kelly for two runs in the third inning, but finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position in the subsequent 10 innings.
Beltran also spoiled a masterful performance by L.A.’s Zach Greinke, who went eight innings and peppered four hits amongst 10 strikeouts.
Los Angeles lefty Clayton Kershaw will take the mound against 22-year-old Cardinal rookie Michael Wacha in Game Two.
Kerhsaw is now charged with containing Beltran and the rest of the Cardinal lineup, and evening the series before it heads back to Los Angeles. In 13 innings pitched over two starts this postseason, Kershaw’s gone 1-0, surrendering one run and fanning 18 batters.
The imposing 6-foot-6 Wacha was equally impressive in his first career postseason start in the NLDS against Pittsburgh. He gave up one home run in 7 1/3 innings, and struck out nine Pirates on 96 pitches.
Wacha should have some extra confidence in the biggest start of his young life knowing the Cardinal bullpen has his back. Reliever Trevor Rosenthal and Game One winner Lance Lynn each pitched two innings, and headlined a staff that gave up three total hits and four walks over seven scoreless innings of work.
Despite giving up the deciding run, the Dodgers relievers didn’t necessarily crumble. Chris Withrow was charged with the losing run after 1 1/3 innings and 25 pitches, and Brian Wilson made his first postseason appearance in three years with 12 of his 28 pitches for strikes.
LA’s pen allowed three hits and one earned run, and may have missed Paco Rodriguez and Chris Capuano, who were both left off the NLCS roster in favor of Carlos Marmol and Edinson Volquez.
Start Time: 4:07 p.m. ET
Betting Odds: St. Louis-145, Los Angeles+125
TV Channel: TBS
Live Stream: TBS.com
Prediction: Los Angeles 5, St. Louis 4