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View Count: 124 |  Publish Date: October 19, 2013
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Cards thrash L.A., Kershaw 9-0 in NLCS clincher

ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Beltran, Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals are going to the World Series, and not even Clayton Kershaw could stop them this year.
Beltran and the Cardinals stunned the Dodgers ace with a four-run third inning, Wacha was again magnificent on the mound and St. Louis advanced to its second World Series in three seasons by roughing up the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series Friday night.
Wacha, a rookie, was selected MVP of the series after throwing 13 2/3 scoreless innings and beating Kershaw twice in the NLCS.
Matt Carpenter sparked St. Louis big third inning with a one-out double on the 11th pitch of his at-bat. Beltran singled him home and the Cardinals quickly removed all the suspense surrounding a team that squandered a 3-1 series lead in the NLCS last fall against the Giants.
Im so happy right now. We did it as a team, Beltran said. We fought hard, we worked hard all season long, and thank God were here.
Game 1 of the World Series is Wednesday at the winner of the ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. The Cardinals won their 19th NL pennant and will be trying for their third title since 2006, last winning in 2011.
The glamorous Dodgers, with the second-highest payroll in baseball at $220 million, sought to reach the World Series for the first time since winning it all in 1988.
After losing Game 5 in Los Angeles, the Cardinals turned to Wacha once again. The right-hander was even better in outpitching Kershaw for the second time this series. He allowed two hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings.
It was 52 degrees at game time, a 23-degree drop from the Kershaw-Wacha matchup in Game 2 six days earlier, and Kershaw never warmed to the task.
The top NL CY Young Award candidate was knocked out of a start for the first time this season without finishing the fifth.
Beltran had three hits and drove in two runs while facing Kershaw and made a spectacular catch in right field, helping him advance to the World Series for the first time.
The Cardinals jumped on Kershaw in the third, batting around. After Wacha grounded out, Carpenter doubled in a gritty at-bat. Beltran singled him home for the games first run. With two outs, Yadier Molina added an RBI single, Shane Robinson drove in two runs with a single in his first career postseason start after replacing slumping Jon Jay - and advanced to second base on Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puigs first of two errors.
The Cuban defector also struck out twice and was booed lustily. Hanley Ramirez, a late addition to the Dodgers lineup, went 0-for-3 while playing with a broken rib.
Kershaw needed 48 pitches, the most pitches of his career in one inning, in the third.
The Cardinals knocked Kershaw out in a five-run fifth. Matt Adams doubled in a run to chase Kershaw. Wacha drove in one with a fielders choice grounder and Carpenter had a sacrifice fly.
Wacha has a minuscule 0.43 ERA in three postseason starts, one of the gems coming in Game 4 of the Division Series to keep the Cardinals alive. In his last regular-season start with the NL Central up for grabs, he no-hit the Nationals for 8 2/3 innings.
Theres not anything you cant say about him, teammate Joe Kelly said of Wacha. Hes just going out there and pitching his butt off right now and as you can see hes just a pretty damn good pitcher.NLCS Dodgers vs. Cardinals
Game 1: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2*
Game 2: Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0
Game 3: Dodgers 3, Cardinals 0
Game 4: Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2
Game 5: Dodgers 6, Cardinals 4
Game 6: Cardinals 9, Dodgers 0
* 13 innings

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 Beltran   Cardinals   Dodgers   first time   hes   inning   innings   Kershaw   pitch   right   season   series   single   singled him home   Wacha   world   World Series 

Picture Keywords
 Beltran   Cardinals   Dodgers   first time   hes   inning   innings   Kershaw   pitch   right   season   series   single   singled him home   Wacha   world   World Series 
Time: 8:10  |  News Code: 333505  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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