10/13/2013 8:47 P.M. ET
Pitching-dominated NLCS echoes 1966 World Series
By Ken Gurnick, Chris Haft and Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers-Cardinals National League Championship Series is following the path of another postseason matchup involving Los Angeles: the 1966 World Series, which featured a historic lack of scoring.
The '66 Dodgers, who were swept in four games by the Baltimore Orioles, went 33 consecutive innings without scoring after scratching out a run in the third inning of Game 1. Jim Palmer, Wally Bunker and Dave McNally pitched shutouts in the next three games, yielding a total of 14 hits.
For the Series, Los Angeles batted .142 (17-for-120). Then again, Baltimore didn't fare much better against the Sandy Koufax-and-Don Drysdale-led Dodgers, scoring 13 runs and hitting .200 (24-for-120).
Compare that with this NLCS. The teams have combined to score six runs in two games. St. Louis, which leads the series 2-0, actually has been outhit by the Dodgers. Los Angeles has hit .184 (14-for-76) to St. Louis' .134 (9-for-67).
None of this has surprised the Dodgers.
"When there's good pitching, it always beats good hitting every day," Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier said. "This is a case where you see the quality of starters on both sides and the bullpens. There's not going to be many opportunities to score runs."
Said Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, "In October baseball, every pitch is magnified a little bit. There aren't too many 2-0, down-the-middle heaters. There's a lot of switching, there's a lot of matchup stuff that goes into it and for the most part, it's really good teams."
Dodgers keep door open for Greinke in Game 4
LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke's bullpen session Sunday lasted only 12 pitches, leaving him fresh enough to pitch Game 4 of the National League Championship Series if the Dodgers choose.
Greinke, who started Game 1 Friday night, wouldn't indicate whether he had been asked by the club, or whether he'd be physically able, to start on three days' rest. He also said his bullpen sessions vary in length throughout the season, hinting that drawing conclusions from them might be risky.
Manager Don Mattingly said the club hasn't talked about bringing Greinke back that soon, and maybe they are the only participants in this series that haven't.
"It always makes sense any time you mention those two guys' names," said Mattingly. "But it's something, as I said, we haven't talked about at this point."
More likely, he's telling the media what he wants the Cardinals to believe, as that's what he said a week ago before he pitched Clayton Kershaw on three days' rest to clinch the NL Division Series against the Braves.
Ricky Nolasco is lined up to pitch Game 4 for the Dodgers against St. Louis, as he was in the NLDS before being bumped for Kershaw.
Conceivably, the Dodgers could start Greinke in Game 4, Kershaw in Game 5 and Greinke again in Game 7, all on three days' rest, with Game 3 starter Hyun-Jin Ryu starting Game 6.
But with so many starts on short rest, the Dodgers wouldn't be able to expect much more than 75 pitches each.
In their Game 1 and 2 starts, Greinke threw 104 pitches, Kershaw only 72, both on regular rest. Greinke started one game in 2011 on three days' rest, allowing two runs in six innings and making 74 pitches.
Dodgers express confidence before Game 3
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers did not hang their heads on the flight back from St. Louis on Saturday night after falling behind in the National League Championship Series, 2-0. Instead, manager Don Mattingly's veteran club shared experiences from past Octobers and plotted how to get back in the series.
"There was no big Bobby Knight speech," said Jerry Hairston Jr. "We just talked baseball. You've got to give credit to what they did. Hopefully, they'll give us credit the next five or six games. Hopefully, we'll be able to flip the script."
While the Dodgers lost both games in St. Louis, they collected five more hits than the Cardinals and stranded 17 runners on base. Los Angeles managed just two runs and hasn't scored in the last 19 innings, but the club understands it was one key hit away from changing the dynamics of the series.
"It's just a matter of getting a big hit, and we just didn't," said infielder Nick Punto, who won the World Series with the Cardinals in 2011.
Despite the scoring drought, Punto said the Dodgers aren't worried about their offense heading into Monday's Game 3 (5 p.m. PT, TBS).
"This is a very confident group inside this clubhouse, a very tight-knit group," Punto said. "Inside that clubhouse we're extremely loose. I feel like we're about to break out."
Mattingly isn't panicking, either, and trusts his club to turn things around.
"Our guys know where we're at," the manager said. "It's a matter of getting that key hit. We've talked about it. We could go into lots of things, but it always comes back to, can you get that key out and can you get the key hit?"
Former Dodgers official part of Cards' scouting team
LOS ANGELES -- If the Dodgers get out-scouted in the National League Championship Series, they have a past member of the organization to blame.
Former Dodgers official Matt Slater and Jeff Ishii are the St. Louis scouts that followed the Dodgers through the NL Division Series against the Braves and prepared the scouting reports the Cardinals are using for the series, which they lead after winning the first two games.
Slater is St. Louis' director of player personnel, joining the franchise after an eight-year stint with the Dodgers as director of scouting operations, director of baseball operations and director of professional scouting.
He joined the Dodgers when Kevin Malone was general manager, having previously worked together with Baltimore.
"For me to walk back into this stadium, I really have mixed feelings," Slater said Sunday as the Cardinals worked out at Dodger Stadium. "I have a lot of good friends here."
Slater said he credits Cardinals ownership for "creating an environment of stability" that translates into the success the organization has had in recent years.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.