Update 7:00 p.m. Southern California baseball fans were hoping the Dodgers and Angels would meet in the World Series — but instead, both teams will watch the rest of the playoffs on TV.
Dodgers fans watched the game that would end in their ultimate disappointment at Barney's Beanery in Westwood, letting their disappointment be heard when Carl Crawford grounded out to ground the Dodgers' comeback hopes.
This year’s Dodgers had the most expensive payroll in history. With that kind of talent assembled, a championship is expected — not a four-game loss in the first round.
“It’s tough... it's tough," said Robert Jadon, who came to cheer on his Dodgers and will them to a Game 5.
“It’s amazing how you invested in the season, and then it’s just over like that," Jadon said. ”I think it’s always disappointing when you get to that point where you realize your team is not as good as your expectations."
Jadon was sitting in a booth with Pasadena's Rosa Brummel, trying to figure out how in the world a season that started half a world away more than six months ago in Australia could be over in St. Louis, less than a week after the playoffs began.
"I'm very sad," Brummel said.
What made Brummel especially sad was to see Clayton Kershaw — brilliant in the regular season and through six innings Tuesday — once again unravel in the seventh.
“That’s nuts, to end just like that. It’s a bummer," Brummel said.
But it’s the Cardinals — who have a payroll less than half the size of the Dodgers — who advance to their fourth consecutive league championship series.
— Ben Bergman/KPCC
Update 5:48 p.m. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 3-2 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, knocking the Los Angeles Dodgers out of the playoffs in St. Louis. The Cardinals beat Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw for the second time in the five days and rode Matt Adams' go-ahead, three-run homer to victory and a fourth straight trip to the NL Championship Series.
Following their 3-1 win in the best-of-five series, the Cardinals await San Francisco or Washington with their rotation well-rested for the NLCS, which starts Saturday. They would open at home against the Giants or at the Nationals.
At AT&T Park in San Francisco, fans broke into cheers when the rival Dodgers were eliminated.
Trevor Rosenthal allowed two runners in the ninth before getting Carl Crawford on a game-ending groundout for his third save of the series.
Kershaw allowed one homer to left-handed hitters while going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA in the regular season. He gave up two to the Cardinals, with Matt Carpenter connecting in the opener. The left-handed ace is 0-3 with a 9.72 ERA in his last three postseason appearances, including St. Louis' clinching Game 6 victory in the NLCS last year.
Kershaw pitched on three days' rest for the second time in his career. He was dominant into the seventh, as he was in Game 1, but again started the inning with three straight hits.
The third hit Tuesday came when Adams drove a curveball into the right-center bullpen to put St. Louis up 3-2. Adams thrust his hands over his head in the batter's box then jumped several times as he ran down the first base line. A stunned Kershaw bent over on the mound, head hung and hands on his knees.
The likely NL Cy Young Award winner fell to 1-5 with a 5.12 ERA in 11 postseason appearances.
Reliever Marco Gonzales earned his second victory of the series, after getting treated for a nosebleed. The rookie lefty got Adrian Gonzalez on a groundout to end the seventh and strand two runners.
Pat Neshek worked a perfect eighth for the second straight game and Rosenthal pitched the ninth for a second straight day, receiving two visits to the mound from catcher Yadier Molina and one from the pitching coach after a shaky start to the inning.
Kershaw had yielded only one hit through six innings and struck out nine, including three in a row in the sixth.
But Matt Holliday opened the seventh with a sharp single up the middle off second baseman Dee Gordon's glove, Jhonny Peralta lined another single before Adams homered off a left-hander for the first time since July 7.
The Cardinals, who had an NL low 105 homers this season, hit five homers against lefties in this series. They had just eight in the regular season.
Previously: Slumping All-Star Yasiel Puig was benched by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday for Game 4 of their NL Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
"What can I do? I wasn't in the lineup," Puig said through an interpreter. "That was a decision they made. Whether it was the manager's decision or anyone, they made that decision.
"Now it's my responsibility to be supportive from the dugout."
Manager Don Mattingly said he thought Andre Ethier was a better option. Eithier often has been the odd-man out in a crowded outfield.
"He's healthy," Mattingly said of Puig. "Pretty simple today: We just feel like this gives us the best chance to win today, just the best chance to win today."
Mattingly said it was difficult to read whether the 23-year-old Puig was pressing.
"It's just confidence," the manager said. "I can't tell you that he's not confident or that he's overly confident or anything. So that's a question for him."
Puig struck out seven consecutive times before he tripled and scored the tying run in the Dodgers' 3-1 loss on Monday night, which gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. He is batting .250 in the series, going 3 for 12, with eight strikeouts.
"He just had a tough game," closer Kenley Jansen said. "But Yasiel, he's learned a lot, I feel like. He's been doing much better in the postseason, even though the numbers don't show, probably."
Cardinals pitchers handled him last year in the NL Championship Series, too, holding the rookie to a .227 average with 10 strikeouts in 22 at-bats.
Mattingly hedged about whether he'd hesitate to use Puig off the bench.
"We'll use whatever the game calls for. That's what we will do," the manager said. "You can't sit here and say 'This guy is not going to play.' That's not what this is all about.
"If he's part of the equation of trying to win a game, he'll be in the game."
The 32-year-old Ethier was listed to play center field and bat sixth in place of Puig against right-hander Shelby Miller. Ethier was 1 for 2 in the series and 2 for 6 this season against Miller.
Puig batted .296 with 16 homers, 69 RBIs and a .382 on-base percentage. He had three homers and 10 RBIs during September.
Ethier batted .249 with four homers and 42 RBIs in 331 at-bats, fewest by two among the Dodgers outfield quartet. Ethier had three starts in September, including the last two games after the Dodgers clinched the NL West.
"One reason why Andre's not playing every day is we have an abundance of outfielders," Mattingly said. "Nothing bad about Andre. We've got more than enough everyday outfielders."