If you ask the
One carried with it a note of caution, the other they wore like a badge of honor following a 10-9 victory on Friday night.
The first came in the bottom of the third inning, with the Cardinals leading 1-0. St. Louis starter
In last year’s NL Championship Series, the Cardinals also pitched the Dodgers tight, with Joe Kelly drilling Hanley Ramirez in the ribs and knocking him out of the series. So the Dodgers took this one personally, with first baseman
"I didn't hear what he said. But I can read lips. And he was screaming at me," Molina said. "I told him, 'If you want to scream at me you've got to be ready to fight.' I won't let anybody talk to me that way.
"But it's part of baseball. We're competing. We've got a bunch of respect for them. They're good. A great team."
If the Cardinals deserve credit for standing their ground, though, the Dodgers deserve credit for getting in their heads. Later in the same inning, Molina was unable to make a throw on a stolen-base attempt, costing the Cardinals a run, and he let a wild pitch get away, allowing a Dodger runner to advance to third base.
Then in his next at-bat, Molina struck out on three pitches.
Molina is an emotional player, and he's lost his cool and focus on the field before, which is where the note of caution came in. Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny quickly pulled Molina aside and told him his team needed him and he needed to put his dispute with Gonzalez aside.
Which brings us to the seventh inning, when a refocused Molina singled off a tiring
Those things allowed the Cardinals, given up for dead in the
"We just never quit," Carpenter said. "We were down a bunch but kept fighting."
And while one win won't decide the series, Carpenter said beating Kershaw at Dodger Stadium was worth more than just one victory.
"Just look at what was on the line," he said. "They threw their ace. They expect to go out and win, and we found a way to win. And this is the first game of the series.