2013 MLB Playoffs - National League Championship Series
And then there were two. The Senior Circuit's pennant chase is in its final stage, with a ticket to the 2013 World Series on the line. Two classic National League powers will face off in the 2013 NLCS, but the St. Louis Cardinals & Los Angeles Dodgers arrived in this playoff series via two very different paths. The Cardinals are making their eighth trip to the NLCS since 2000, mostly on the strength of homegrown talent. This year, they have inserted countless rookies into their pitching staff and developed a lineup with top-notch on base skills and historic success with runners in scoring position. They overcame a tough challenge from the division rival Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLDS, with ace Adam Wainwright winning two important games with dominant performances. St. Louis will need to be at the top of its game if they hope to avenge their last playoff meeting versus Los Angeles, when the Dodgers swept the Cardinals in the 2009 National League Division Series.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, are in the 2013 National League Championship series following a four year hiatus after their back to back NLCS berths in 2008 & 2009. The Los Angeles Dodgers were purchased by new owners last season & executed a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox to gain some talented albeit expensive players. They have signed plenty of other stars via free agency, including Cuban rookie Yasiel Puig. As a major compliment to these imported pieces of the puzzle, lefty ace Clayton Kershaw has developed into the second coming of another Dodgers legend, Sandy Koufax. He pitched twice in their four-game NLDS victory over the Atlanta Braves, fulfilling manager Don Mattingly's plans to shut down their NL East rivals in order to qualify for the NLCS. With two of the most loyal and established fan bases in the league, this Dodgers - Cardinals NLCS pits evenly matched teams in the last step before the World Series. 2013 NLCS tickets will give fans the chance to see deep, well-rounded lineups battling even deeper pitching staffs deep into many an October night. Will the Cards get their revenge and bring another World Series to Busch Stadium, or will Dem Bums from Chavez Ravine ride their high-payroll All Star cast into the 2013 World Series?