ST. LOUIS (CBSLA.com) — The Dodger 2014 campaign, which, after a $240 million payroll, many predicted would bring LA back to the World Series, has come to an end.
Clayton Kershaw, pitching off short rest, saw his 7th inning demons return to the mound, as Matt Adams’ go-ahead 3-run homer capped the St. Louis Cardinals rally to defeat the spent Dodgers 3-2 on Tuesday to eliminate LA from the playoffs.
The Dodgers had been the first to strike, following five scoreless innings, after getting runners on the corners with no outs in the 6th inning.
Matt Kemp, in his third at-bat of the game, grounded into a double play, but brought one run in to make it 1-0 Los Angeles.
After Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch, Andre Ethier walked, with two outs. Juan Uribe then singled to shallow right field to score Ramirez from second, with Ethier stopping at third.
With the hot-hitting A.J. Ellis at the plate, Seth Maness’s pitch rolled slightly past Molina, who recovered and threw Ethier out at third.
Ethier had attempted to get back to the bag, but was late with his slide, and, after a replay, was called out to end the inning.
The dreaded 7th inning, however, struck the Dodgers as hard as it has all series.
After Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, Matt Adams connected on a hanging curveball and sent it over the right field fence for a 3-run home run, giving the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.
Kershaw’s night was done at that point, having thrown 102 pitches and not retired a batter in the 7th.
The looks on the Dodgers’ faces in the dugout said it all after that. Kemp started the 8th inning by striking out with three rather soft swings, followed by an equally soft line out to short by Ramirez.
Ethier followed suit by grounding out to second.
A.J. Ellis was the high-water mark for the Dodgers in the 9th, walking to represent the tying run. Yasiel Puig, who had been benched by Don Mattingly before the game, came in as a pinch runner.
Michael Turner stepped up to the plate to pinch hit for Brandon League, and swung and missed at a low fastball for the second out.
Dee Gordon then connected on the first pitch to ground one through the hole and into left field to move the runner.
Crawford marked the final out of the 2014 Dodgers, grounding out to second.