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NLCS Schedule 2013: Complete Viewing Guide for Game 6

October 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) argues a strike call in the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game five of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIOctober 17, 2013

The 2013 MLB playoffs have provided thrills at every turn, as teams from both leagues have struck with heroics. On Friday, Oct. 18, the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals will meet in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series in a game that could end one team's season.

Here's how you can watch one of the biggest games of the year.

2013 MLB NLCS Schedule
GameDateRoad TeamHome TeamTime (ET)TV
1Friday, Oct. 11Dodgers (2)Cardinals (3)N/AN/A
2Saturday, Oct. 12Dodgers (0)Cardinals (1)N/AN/A
3Monday, Oct. 14Cardinals (0)Dodgers (3)N/AN/A
4Tuesday, Oct. 15Cardinals (4)Dodgers (2)N/AN/A
5Wednesday, Oct. 16Cardinals (4)Dodgers (6)N/AN/A
6Friday, Oct. 18DodgersCardinals8:30 p.m.TBS
7 (if necessary)Saturday, Oct. 19DodgersCardinals8:30 p.m.TBS
via MLB.com

 

Pitching Matchup

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 12:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts at the close of the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium on October 12, 2013 in St Louis,
Elsa/Getty Images

In 2009, Clayton Kershaw burst onto the scene with a 9-8 record and a 2.79 ERA for the lowly Dodgers. Four seasons later, that would be viewed as an underwhelming season for the ace from Dallas, Texas.

Truth be told, L.A. couldn't have asked for a better back-against-the-wall situation than this.

Kershaw started 33 games in 2013, going 16-9 with a 1.84 ERA, 232 strikeouts, a WHIP of 0.82 and a WAR of 7.86. Per ESPN, Kershaw had the fourth-highest WAR of any player in MLB and the No. 1 mark among all pitchers.

Kershaw also led all National League pitchers in ERA, strikeouts and WHIP in 2013. Is there anything to say other than "Cy Young?"

Prior to 2013, Kershaw struggled in the postseason, allowing 10 earned runs in 15.1 innings pitched. In 2013, the left-handed strikeout machine has gone 19.0 innings in three starts, allowing one total earned run to redeem himself.

I'm not sure if it's possible to pitch any better than Kershaw does.

 

Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 12:  Michael Wacha #52 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium on October 12, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri.  (P
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Michael Wacha of the St. Louis Cardinals has been the most pleasant surprise of the 2013 playoffs. He's gone from a 22-year-old pitcher on the rise to an ace in the Cardinals' relatively deep starting rotation.

If you don't believe me, check the numbers.

In two postseason starts, Wacha is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 14.0 innings pitched. He shined when St. Louis defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1, and when the Cardinals defeated L.A. 1-0, he proved that he doesn't need too much run support to take over.

Wacha can create his legacy early by going toe-to-toe with Kershaw in an elimination game and prevailing.

During the regular season, Wacha made nine starts and 15 appearances, going 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 64.2 innings. He'd flashed this upside before, but until the postseason actually rolled around, Wacha was just another promising name.

Now, he's pitching in the biggest game of the Cardinals' and Dodgers' respective seasons.

 

Prediction

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16:  (R) Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates in the dugout with Brian Wilson #00 after Gonzalez hits an eighth inning home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Five of the National League Championship
Harry How/Getty Images

Wacha is going to be an excellent pitcher in MLB and may have enough left in the tank to toss another gem. Unfortunately, the biggest start of his young career is coming against the top pitcher in the National League.

This is the stage on which legends are born, and I'll be quicker to bet on Kershaw joining the ranks of the legendary than Wacha—or any other pitcher, for that matter.

Kershaw has been surgical with his pitches this season, and he hasn't flashed any signs of slowing down in the NLCS. He tossed 6.0 innings without a single earned run allowed during Game 2, and with L.A. facing elimination, he can be expected to do it again.

Busch Stadium will be loud, and the Dodgers will need to be healthy to pull out a win, but this is a story we've heard before. Wacha may match Kershaw for the most part, but when the game is one the line, there isn't a single player L.A. would rather have with the ball in his hands.

Kershaw stars and forces Game 7.

Dodgers 3, Cardinals 1

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