Are the Dodgers trying to push the Cardinals' panic button?

Are the Dodgers trying to push the Cardinals' panic button?
A loss to the Dodgers in Game 6 could leave the Cardinals feeling out of focus for Game 7. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Pressure, pushing down on me ...

Who's really feeling it today? Should be the Dodgers, right? They're the ones facing elimination, the ones on the brink of having all the explaining to do.


Yet the Dodgers talk like it's on the Cardinals, a viewpoint you can understand. Last year, the Cardinals also took a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series, and then lost three consecutive games to the Giants.

A World Series that seemed so close, gone forever. Now after the Dodgers won Game 5 to send the series back to St. Louis, they are talking like the confident team.

"There's no panic on our part," said Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson. "We're not the ones up in the series. There can be a little bit of panic setting in. I can't speak for the other team, I can only assume because this is a particular situation they were in last year."

You know, just to remind them.

Should Clayton Kershaw pitch the Dodgers past the Cardinals on Friday, it will all come down to a dramatic Game 7. At which point, the Dodgers feel confident, the Cardinals will feel some unpleasant deja vu.

"We get it to Game 7, those things will creep in their heads over there," said first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

Or course, it behooves the Dodgers to even suggest the Cardinals might panic or succumb to the pressure. Still, after scoring 18 runs in the first four NLCS games last year the Cardinals scored only one in the last three. They already scored four in Wednesday's Game 5 loss.

Both teams will feel pressure, but only one will need to push away thoughts from a haunted 2012 postseason.