Cardinals put Dodgers on brink in NLCS Game 4: Quick hits

Matt Holliday’s big blast changed the course of Game 4. (USATSI)
Matt Holliday’s big blast changed the course of Game 4. (USATSI)

MORE: Game 4 boxscore

LOS ANGELES -- The Cardinals bested the Dodgers by a score of 4-2 in Game 4 of the NLCS and now have an authoritative 3-1 lead in the series. Now let's have a closer look at Tuesday night's encounter ... 

Hero: Matt Holliday. The Cardinals’ left fielder clouted a game-changer in the third inning, when his two-out, two-run homer soared over the wall in left. His blast turned a 1-0 Cardinals lead into a 3-0 lead. Holliday also added a single in the seventh to give him a 2-for-4 performance in Game 4.  

Goat: Juan Uribe. Sure, Nick Punto made the most glaring single gaffe of the night when he was picked off second base in the seventh, but Uribe had the the more damaging game at the plate. In Game 4, Uribe went 0-for-3 on the night and hit into a damaging 6-4-3 double play in the sixth. To be fair, Uribe hit the ball hard twice, but his five runners left on base was a team high. 

Turning point: Holliday’s bomb is the obvious turning point, but let’s make this one of those “turning phases.” The Dodgers mounted a comeback in the fourth, but St. Louis starter Lance Lynn settled down and avoided true disaster. To get out of the fourth, he induced a 6-6-4 double play out of pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker. Then he tossed a scoreless fifth and recorded an out on an Andre Ethier liner before being lifted following Yasiel Puig’s base hit. It wasn’t a great outing by Lynn, but he got off the ropes after allowing the first three batters of the fourth inning to reach base. That Lynn avoided the meltdown was indeed the turning point. Or turning phase, if you will.

It was over when: It wasn’t technically over when pinch-hitter Shane Robinson’s seventh-inning homer bounced off the wall and into the left field seats, but it was a critical insurance run for the Cardinals. The St. Louis bullpen -- one of the NL's best in 2013 -- had it from there. 

Next: Game 5 from Dodger Stadium gets underway Wednesday at 4:00 pm EST, 1:00 pm local time. Just as in Game 1, Joe Kelly will go for the Cardinals opposite Zack Greinke of the Dodgers. Down 3-1 in the series, the Dodgers are, in the most literal of senses, facing a must-win contest. 

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