The St Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 in Game 6 of the NLCS to win the series 4-2 and advance to the World Series, where they'll meet the winner of the Red Sox-Tigers ALCS.
After a sluggish performance for most of the series, the Cardinals offense erupted in Game 6 right when they needed to. The Cardinals scored four runs in the third off of Clayton Kershaw, and added five more in the fifth (two off of Kershaw and two off of Ronald Belisario) to provide Michael Wacha with more than enough offense to provide him with his second win of the series and third of this Postseason.
The Cardinals offense got a boost from Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who didn't have his best night. Puig made two errors, and an ill-advised throw home in the third wasn't an error, but allowed Carlos Beltran to move up to second on his RBI single. Beltran would score two batters later on a single by Yadier Molina to make it 2-0, and after a single by David Freese and a walk to Matt Adams, Shane Robinson singled in two more and advanced to second on Puig's first error of the night, a throwing miscue.
In the fifth, Puig's error came on Molina's single to lead off the inning, allowing him to head to second base. It ended up not mattering much, as Freese singled to move Molina up to third, and Adams drove him in with a double to increase the lead to 5-0. That would be all for Kershaw as Belisario relieved him. After forcing Freese at the plate on a fielders choice and intentionally walking Pete Kozma, Belisario got a would-be inning-ending double play grounder from Wacha, but Mark Ellis threw home and couldn't get the out. JP Howell replaced Belisario, and promptly allowed three straight runs on a sac fly, a wild pitch, and another RBI single by Beltran. With a 9-0 lead and Wacha shooting flames out of his eyes on the hill, the game was already over.
Speaking of Wacha, he dominated the Dodgers once again. In his seven innings of work, Wacha allowed just two hits and one walk, punching out five Dodgers while not giving up a run. After AJ Ellis doubled to lead off the sixth, the final 12 Dodgers hitters went down in order against Wacha, Carlos Martinez, and Trevor Rosenthal. Aside from that double, Los Angeles didn't have a runner move into scoring position all night.
In all honesty, this night couldn't have gone any worse for the Dodgers. No offense? Check. Bad pitching? Check. Sloppy defense? Check. It was a complete nightmare from the first pitch to the last pitch. The Cardinals went 6/14 with runners in scoring position and scored nine runs despite just three extra base hits, all doubles. It's what they've done all year, and it's fitting that they did it to win the NL pennant. The Cardinals won on Friday night by tattooing the best pitcher in the game for seven runs on ten hits in four innings. You can't say they didn't earn it tonight.
Wacha was named NLCS MVP, and it's a well-deserved award. The 22-year old rookie went 2-0 in the NLCS, allowing just seven hits over 13 2/3 shutout innings, striking out 13 and walking just two. It was a dominant performance worthy of the award.
The Cardinals will be heading to either Detroit or Boston for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 PM on Fox.