LOS ANGELES – The St. Louis Cardinals offensive slump is turning into another postseason drought, and not even Adam Wainwright could keep the Los Angeles Dodgers from getting back into the NL championship series.
Wainwright gave up six hits and two runs in seven innings, but the Cardinals couldnt score a run for their ace in their third straight awful offensive game, losing 3-0 to the Dodgers in Game 3 on Monday night.
St. Louis managed just four singles and never got a runner to third base against Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Los Angeles bullpen, leaving the NL Central champions wondering where their offense has gone for the second straight NLCS despite a 2-1 series lead.
The Cardinals havent scored in the last 13 innings, since the fifth inning of Game 2, and they have managed just one run in the last two games combined. St. Louis has scored in just three of the 31 innings in this series altogether. Game 4 is tonight.
St. Louis normally solid defense also was suspect. Although the Cardinals didnt commit an error, they made a series of poor decisions in the outfield starting with Mark Ellis fly ball that dropped between outfielders Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran for a double in the fifth inning, starting the Dodgers go-ahead rally.
Ryu outpitched Wainwright in front of an enthused Dodger Stadium crowd.
St. Louis lost third baseman David Freese in the fifth inning when he complained of tightness in his right calf. The 2011 postseason hero, who scored the only run in Game 2, pulled up lame after singling for the Cardinals first hit off Ryu – and then pinch-runner Daniel Descalso got doubled off second base, short-circuiting St. Louis only significant rally.
Descalso was the only St. Louis runner who got into scoring position in Game 3.
Jay and Beltran expected the other to attempt to catch Ellis drive into the right-center gap, allowing the high-hit ball to drop harmlessly onto the grass.
After Adrian Gonzalez drove in Ellis with a one-out double, Beltran failed to make a play on Yasiel Puigs ensuing drive into the right-field corner, allowing it to ricochet off the wall for an RBI triple.
Beltran then couldnt throw out the showboating Puig, who left home plate slowly and celebrated well before arriving at third base with a standup triple.
Jay failed to catch A.J. Ellis triple to right-center in the fifth inning despite getting a glove on the well-hit ball, but Wainwright stranded Ellis on third with three straight outs.
The Cardinals mistakes werent confined to the field, either. Descalso inexplicably broke hard from second base on Jays tailing fly to left field in the fifth inning, and Carl Crawford easily doubled him up.