Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ethier, Dodgers Sweep Cards, Advance to NLCS

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 10, 2009 American League There were no AL games on Saturday. Sunday, the Yankees play at Minnesota and the Angels are at Boston. Both the Yankees and Angels hold 2-0 leads in their best-of-five series and can wrap them up with wins. National League The scheduled night game between the Rockies and Phillies at Colorado was cancelled due to weather conditions (snow, cold) and will be played at 10:07 pm EDT on Sunday. Pedro Martinez was scratched by the Phillies in favor of rookie left-hander J.A. Happ, who gets to start against Colorado's Jason Hammels. LA Dodgers 5 St. Louis Cardinals 1 - After crashing and burning in the 9th inning of game 2, it was probably inevitable that the Dodgers were going to advance out of this series, so St. Louis did the honorable thing and basically didn't show up for game 3. Accordingly, Dodger starter Vicente Padilla produced his longest outing since July, going 7 full innings, and had his best game since May, allowing just 4 hits, no earned runs and one walk, while striking out 4. With Padilla throwing 69 of 96 pitches for strikes, the stunned Cardinal batters could only manage mostly ground outs (12 of them) and appeared to be playing in a state of self-imposed denial. Albert Pujols, after going 1-for-6 in the first two games, finally came through with an RBI, driving home Julio Lugo in the bottom of the 8th, but by then the Dodgers had built a 5-0 lead on the strength of Manny Ramirez (3-for-5, 2 doubles, 2 RBI) and Andre Ethier (left), who banged the ball all around Busch Stadium, coming up a single short of hitting for the cycle, with a double, triple and a two-run homer. Ethier scored twice and finished the series 6-for-12, with 2 doubles, a triple, 2 homers, 3 RBI and 5 runs. It was rumored that Ethier was also selling popcorn in the stands between innings. With the Dodgers completing the unlikely sweep of the Cardinals, they will have plenty of time to prepare for their next opponent, either the Rockies or Phillies. With that series tied 1-1, the earliest it could end would be Monday night, with the NL Championship Series scheduled to start on Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

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