This afternoon’s NLCS Game 5 isn’t the first time the St. Louis Cardinals have held a 3-1 series lead. In fact, it last happened last year, when they ended up dropping three games in a row to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals are bound to approach the Los Angeles Dodgers game much differently this year, not letting up on the gas until the final out of the ninth inning. With the game taking place mid-day, there are surely folks looking to watch NLCS online free using one of several different methods and looking for a Cardinals/Dodgers game preview about what’s in store for NLCS game 5 live today at 4pm Eastern / 1pm Pacific.
Game 4 of the NLCS last night was quiet for a few innings, but then Matt Holliday slammed a two-run shot off Ricky Nolasco to cap a three-run third inning that gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. Holliday had previously gone 0-for-13 in the series before that blast. The final score was 4-2, indicating the Cardinals had a good chance of victory even without that inning, but what was most surprising was that they pulled it off in spite of facing Dodgers pitcher Ricky Nolasco, who only pitched eight innings and finished with a 6.75 ERA. Meanwhile, the Cardinals bullpen has been outstanding all series long.
When NLCS Game 5 gets underway this afternoon in Dodger Stadium, star pitcher Zack Greinke will get the starting nod for Los Angeles. He will face Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly, himself no slouch. But the Dodgers’ Skip Schumaker has the utmost faith in Greinke today, telling ESPN “we’ve got our horses [Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw] lined up. If we’re going to lose, we’ve got our best guys going.” Indeed, the Dodgers made Greinke the best-paid right-handed pitcher in baseball history last December. If he can’t deliver today in Game 5 of the NLCS, that contract will be questioned more than ever.
Whether you watch NLCS online free using the link above or below, it’s bound to be a battle with Greinke on the mound. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Greinke struck out 10 of these Cardinals over eight innings, giving up only four hits. And he’ll be going up against a Cardinals team that’s managed to go up 3-1 in spite of batting only .148 and picking up only 19 hits this entire series. The biggest hitting story has actually come from Greinke’s own Dodgers team, thanks largely to star rookie Yasiel Puig. Puig has been bashed for his premature celebrations — one of which was “only” a stand-up triple that he thought was a home run — but when he shows up to play, he delivers.
His showing up to play will be more necessary today than ever, and not just because the Dodgers are on the brink of elimination from the NLCS. The Dodgers are likely to take the field today without one of their best players, Hanley Ramirez, who tried to play Game 4 with a broken rib suffered in Game 1 but eventually left in the seventh inning. After he didn’t return, ESPN asked him whether he’d be ready to go in tonight’s NLCS Game 5. To the Dodgers’ dismay, he replied with “I don’t know. I don’t know.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the Dodgers fare without a star player at 100% and facing a 3-1 deficit. Although you can watch NLCS online free on TBS, it requires that you subscribe to TBS directly or via part of your existing cable TV package. You can alternatively pay $4.99 at MLB.com to see it all unfold live. The Cardinals may have a 3-1 lead, but after last year’s NLCS loss to the Giants, they’re bound to be the team playing as if its back is against the wall.