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10/08/09 1:48 AM EST

Dodgers Short Hops: Game 1

Weaver slips onto roster, then stars for solid bullpen

Fielding the Dodgers' 5-3 win over the Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on a short hop ...

In < 25 words ...
It's no surprise the Dodgers won the first game of the postseason the same way they won in the regular season -- via their bullpen.

Frozen moment
Things didn't look good for the Dodgers in the top of the first. The Cardinals already had one run in, and the bases were loaded for Yadier Molina. Randy Wolf got Molina to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the the threat. The Dodgers then took the lead in the bottom of the first.

Big number
30 -- Combined number of runners left on base for the Dodgers and Cardinals -- a Division Series record. This game could easily have been a 12-11 affair.

Game balls


The first postseason start of his career was one Wolf wold like to forget. Sure, he got out of jams and gave up only two runs, but Wolf retired the same number of batters he allowed on base -- 11. His 3 2/3 innings won't cut it from a No. 1 starter in the playoffs.


The Dodgers attacked Chris Carpenter early and often, and Furcal set the tone. He singled and later scored the tying run in the first and then tripled in the second. But his best at-bat probably came in the fifth, when he battled Carpenter for 10 pitches and hit a sacrifice fly to give his club a 4-2 lead.


Kemp might have gotten only one hit Wednesday night, but it was a big one. Kemp's two-run homer in the first gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Los Angeles led the rest of the way.

Sense of October
They say to throw the stats out the window once the playoffs start, and that definitely could be said for Wednesday's game. Carpenter gave up four runs on nine hits and four walks in five innings. Wolf walked five and allowed two runs on six hits in just 3 2/3 innings. Both these guys were the model of consistency during the regular season, but the playoffs are a different matter.

Lines of the Game

Andre Ethier
3 AB, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 LOB
Comment: Ethier led the team in runs, and he was one of the few who didn't strand anyone on base.

Jeff Weaver
1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Comment: He came out and got Ryan Ludwick to ground out with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth to preserve a 3-2 lead. He had appeared in only five games since the start of September, but he came through in the biggest moment of the game.
"Every game's a statement game right now." -- Ethier

Next step
Clayton Kershaw gets the start Thursday afternoon as the Dodgers look to take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Cardinals. Kershaw will face off against Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright(19-8, 2.63 ERA).

David Ely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.