NLCS Game 5: Now Or Never

October 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Posted in 2013 NLCS, Game Threads | Leave a comment

dodger_stadium_2013_150x150

So, it comes to this. Zack Greinke against Joe Kelly, and there are no more tomorrows for the Dodgers if they can’t manage to solve Kelly a little better than they did in Game 1.

I’m honestly a little surprised that Hanley Ramirez is playing today, given how injured he looked yesterday — even Don Mattingly said he thought Ramirez was “afraid to pull the trigger” — but I suppose in an elimination game, no one wants to sit and watch. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a good thing, but Mattingly also claims that Ramirez is playing “because he’s the best option at shortstop.” I’m not sure if that says more about Nick Punto than it does Ramirez, but we’ll see if that turns out to be true.

Cardinals
Dodgers
2B
Carpenter
LF
Crawford
RF
Beltran
2B
M.Ellis
LF
Holliday
SS
Ramirez
1B
Adams
1B
Gonzalez
C
Molina
CF
Ethier
CF
Jay
RF
Puig
3B
Freese
3B
Uribe
SS
Kozma
C
A.Ellis
P
Kelly
P
Greinke

Andre Ethier is back in there as well, as the lineup remains unchanged, with Mark Ellis still hitting second because second basemen hit second. (Meanwhile in Detroit, Jim Leyland is shaking things up by moving Miguel Cabrera to second, yet oddly he remains at third base.)

So who else does Mattingly have at his disposal today? This is basically an “all hands” game because there’s no tomorrow, but even if they win there’s not a game tomorrow, so Mattingly can really use his bullpen as he pleases. Still, it’s going to take a real emergency to see Chris Withrow (44 pitches yesterday), and while I’d like to say that J.P. Howell could be avoided after 26 pitches yesterday, the simple fact that there’s no other lefty in the bullpen may demand otherwise. Of course, with Greinke on the mound, the hope is that the bullpen is needed rarely or ideally not at all.

This could be the last game of what’s been an incredible season; barring a miracle, it’s very likely the last home game we’ll see at Dodger Stadium for quite some time. Let’s make it a good one.

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