MLB

Aces definitely in the hole in NLCS

Image: Dodgers' pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu (© Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Hyun-jin Ryu sure didn't look like a rookie in Game 3 on Monday.
FOX Sports Stephen Mast
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We’re three games into the NLCS now and only one thing is clear. If you’ve got a bona fide ace in your rotation, throw him in the bullpen because each game has seen an unproven young arm best an All-Star ace.

OK maybe two things are clear. Throw your ace in the bullpen and you cannot score on Brian Wilson.

Seriously. That's it. Those are the two things we know so far.

What in the world is going on in this series?

After St. Louis took a 2-0 lead to Los Angeles, the Cardinals looked primed to take control of the series with ace Adam Wainwright on the mound Monday night. But contrary to everything we know about baseball and pitching in the postseason and for the third time in as many games, a rookie (this time the Dodgers’ Hyun-jin Ryu) outdueled a star. At least, for the Dodgers sake, this time they're on the winning end of a deal nobody made and are back in the series after a 3-0 win.

In each of the first two games in St. Louis, the Dodgers sent a Cy Young winner to the mound, while the host Cardinals countered with a rookie. Here's a look at the upside-down stats in all three games.

Game 1
Zack Greinke (LA) Joe Kelly (StL)
8.0 IP | 4 H | 2 ER | 1 BB | 10 K | ND 6.0 IP | 6 H | 2 ER | 2 BB | 5 K | ND
Result:
Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 (13)
Game 2
Clayton Kershaw (LA) Michael Wacha (StL)
6.0 IP | 2 H | 0 ER | 1 BB | 5 K | L (0-1) 6.2 IP | 5 H | 0 ER | 1 BB | 8 K | W (1-0)
Result:
Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0
Game 3
Adam Wainwright (StL) Hyun-Jin Ryu (LA)
7.0 IP | 6 H | 2 ER | 0 BB | 5 K | L (0-1) 7.0 IP | 3 H | 0 ER | 1 BB | 4 K | W (1-0)
Result:
Dodgers 3, Cardinals 0

 

Remarkable isn’t it?

This video, I mean.

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Old reliable

Speaking of remarkable, Brian Wilson continues to own the playoffs.

After pitching a scoreless eighth inning Monday, Wilson’s career pitching stats in the playoffs improve to:

16.2 IP, 9 H, 0 ER, 6 BB, 23 SO

A 0.00 ERA over 16-plus high-pressure playoff innings. Pretty impressive for a man who might not even know where he is at this very moment.

 

Now that's more like it

Despite out-classing Wainwright in Game 3, Ryu, who gave up more runs in his playoff debut than Wilson has — ever — has actually looked like a rookie if you take his postseason as a whole, his Monday night performance a far cry from his NLDS stinker.

NLDS Game 3 vs. Atlanta

3.0 IP — 6 H — 4 ER — 1 BB — 1 SO

He received a no-decision in this one, as the Dodgers offense erupted for 13 runs to bail him out.

 

Another rookie breakthrough

Yasiel Puig was certainly knee-deep in the downs of his up-and-down rookie campaign. He entered Game 3 a miserable 0 for 10 with six strikeouts. But you think that shook his confidence? This is how he rolled into Game 3:

Yeah, that's a cream Rolls Royce. He did this a few hours later.

And the GIF.

Good luck predicting Game 4.

Tagged: Dodgers, Cardinals, Adam Wainwright, Brian Wilson

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