After a hard-fought Game 4 victory over the Dodgers, the Cardinals are just one win away from capturing the franchise's 19th pennant. They will have their first of a possible three opportunities at that Wednesday evening.
The two sides will play a rematch of Game 1 with Joe Kelly and Zack Greinke toeing the rubber once more. In the first game between these pitchers, both allowed two runs and neither received a decision, as the game went 13 innings before the Cardinals came out victorious.
That was the second postseason start that Kelly gave up two runs in 2013. He also did so in the NLDS against the Pirates. Kelly began 2013 in the Cardinals' bullpen, but moved into a starting role full time starting in July. He thrived as a member of the rotation, posting a 2.28 ERA and holding opponents to a .657 OPS over 15 starts. Just 25 years old, he has a career postseason ERA of 2.84 having worked as a reliever in the 2012 playoffs for St. Louis.
Greinke received his first postseason experience with the Brewers, when he made three playoff starts in 2011. Déjà vu, two of those starts came against the Cardinals in the NLCS. He struggled then, allowing 12 runs in 16⅔ innings against St. Louis and Arizona. This year has been much better for Greinke, with four runs allowed in 14 total innings.
In his first season with the Dodgers after being signed as a high-priced free agent, Greinke has posted his best numbers since a 2009 campaign that saw him with the AL Cy Young award with the Royals. In 2013, he made 28 starts with a 2.63 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.
Greinke will look to keep the Dodgers' pennant hopes alive as one more loss will send them into the offseason early.
First pitch for Game 5 of the NLCS is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. ET in Dodger Stadium on TBS.