Dodgers Team News

Dodgers-Cardinals NLCS Series Q&A With MLB Network’s Al Leiter

Q: Donnie said that he was really proud of Puig in the NLDS series. Did you see a maturity in him? 

Leiter: No doubt. Yasiel Puig, barring injury, is going to be one of the most exciting players for the next eight-to-10 years. He needed to reel it in and be taught. And there’s a fine line about how you do it. I think enough was viewed and talked about how it cost them (Dodgers) some ball games.

Slowly but surely, you grow up and mature. No doubt he’s taken the advice and reigned it in.

Q: Allen Craig is yet again left off the Cardinals roster with an injury. How do you think that affects them? 

Leiter: Craig’s a great player and no doubt he’ll be missed. The Cardinals are a deep organization and they’re able to plug in a guy like Matt Adams. He had a heck of a series against the Pirates with the home run and hitting over .300. Only thing is, St. Louis struggles against lefties, so Craig won’t be easily replaced.

Q: Name one below the radar guy on the Cardinals and Dodgers that’s the X-Factor for the series. 

Leiter: For both teams it’s hard to be under the radar, but for the Cardinals it’s hard not to look at the guy who led baseball with the most hits and that’s Matt Carpenter. He has to do better as he struggled against the Pirates. The top of the Cardinal lineup, the 1-2 guys, have to do better.

Beyond that, Wacha, Joe Kelly and then the pen arms of Trevor Rosenthal and Kevin Siegrist will both be factors. For the Dodgers, I’m going to have to go back to Ryu.

He has a critical start against Wainwright and it would just put the nail in the coffin if he pitches well especially if Greinke or Kershaw falter and it’s 1-1. Going up 2-1 is a huge difference from being down 2-1 and again, the Cardinals struggle against lefties so it’s big.

Also, is Ethier going to play? With him back, Donnie could move down Ellis and stretch the lineup even more.

Q: With all that being said, what’s your series prediction? 

Leiter: I think it’s going to be a great series, but for me, it’s the Dodgers in 7. The options are better for them to start, but the Cardinals do scare me. The Cardinals set-up well for Games 3 and 7, but having Greinke and Kershaw to start is a huge advantage.


In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS!

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Ross Gasmer

Ross Gasmer is a Social Media Producer for @TheHerd and was a contributing writer and editor for Dodger Nation. Follow him on Twitter @Ross_Gasmer12

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