Don’t count the Los Angeles Dodgers out yet.
Facing a pitcher who has yet to lose this postseason, the blue bats finally came alive Monday night in a 3-0 victory. They now trail the Cardinals two games to one in the best of seven National League Championship Series.
“I think the playoffs are one-day momentum swings," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "Every day changes with momentum. Right now I feel like we’ve kind of grabbed it.”
Entering the fourth inning, the Dodger bats hadn’t scored a run in 22 innings.
Then Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI double, followed by a Yaisel Puig RBI triple.
Puig, who has been called "the wild horse" for the way he electrified the team over the summer, had been experiencing a severe power outage. He was batting 0-11 in the series before hitting an RBI triple.
When he reached third base, he raised his hands in the air, almost breaking into a dance.
"For me, that was a big situation, and it was just a great feeling to come through," Puig said through a translator after the game.
An ailing Hanley Ramirez added an insurance run in the eighth inning. Carl Crawford came home in what appeared to be a virtual tie with the Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
But on this night, everything went the Dodgers way, including their pitching.
The Cardinals never scored.
Korean rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lasted just three innings in his last start, looked far sharper than the Cardinals much vaunted ace Adam Wainwright.
“All I was thinking about was the fact that we were down 0-2, and I told myself this could potentially be the last start I ever pitched here this year,” Ryu said after the game, through a translator.
Ryu said he was further motivated by seeing his teammates Hanley Ramriez and Andre Ethier take the field at the last minute. Ramirez has a cracked rib. Ethier has ankle problems.
"It really inspires you and motivates you to go out there and do the best you can," Ryu said.
Mattingly said he’s not sure either Ramirez or Ethier would play in game four Tuesday night.
"We're kind of day-to-day with these guys, how they react after the games," the manager said.
Mattingly said “as of right now” Ricky Nolasco will pitch Wednesday’s game – not Zach Greinke on short rest. But that’s also what Mattingly said last week, before scratching Nolasco from the line-up in favor of Clayton Kershaw in game four of the National League Division Series.