Bullpen, balanced attack take Dodgers past Cards

October 8, 2009

They were facing an ace they had never beaten.

downlevel descriptionThis video requires the Adobe Flash Player. Download a free version of the player.

Meanwhile, their own starter couldn't get out of the fourth inning.

Still, the Dodgers managed to win the inaugural contest of their postseason campaign, 5-3 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

It was not the slugger's duel so widely wished for, what with Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Manny Ramirez going a combined 2-for-11 with no RBIs. Then again, who needs Ramirez when you've got Rafael Furcal?

A year ago, the Dodgers were a one-man show. Today they're less euphoric, but better — a more well-rounded baseball team and an infinitely more confident one. They know they can win without Ramirez. They know they can win without a bona fide ace.

And at long last, they know they can beat Chris Carpenter. Only one game into this divisional series, they've taken the Cardinals' best punch.