St. Louis Cardinals 3, Dodgers 1: ‘Terrible’ strike zone, bullpen blowup, season on the brink.

Scott Elbert

Dodgers pitcher Scott Elbert reacts after giving up a two-run home run to St. Louis Cardinals’ Kolten Wong (background) during the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 3-1 loss in Game 3 of the NLDS on Monday. (Associated Press photo)

ST. LOUIS >> The Dodgers find themselves in a familiar position after a 3-1 loss in Game 3 of the NLDS. As Mark Whicker writes, we all know how it ended last year. Clayton Kershaw acknowledged the gravity of moment after being officially named the Dodgers’ Game 4 starter.

Matt Kemp called home plate umpire Dale Scott’s strike zone “terrible,” but the Dodgers’ bullpen was at least as bad.

The box score is here.

Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2: Matt Kemp’s home run saves the day.

Dodgers bubble machine

Matt Kemp is greeted by teammates and bubbles in the Dodgers’ dugout after his eighth-inning home run beat the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, 3-2. (John McCoy/staff photographer)

With one swing of the bat, Matt Kemp evened the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and Cardinals at one game apiece. The box score is here.

Like they have all season, the Dodgers got their money’s worth from Zack Greinke, writes Mark Whicker.

Don’t be fooled when MLB Network trumpets its ratings victories for this game tomorrow, writes Tom Hoffarth.

Harold Reynolds might believe the Cardinals are stealing signs, but he’s probably wrong.

Dodgers announce NLDS roster; Paco Rodriguez, Joc Pederson, Darwin Barney cut.

The Dodgers will carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players on their roster for the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Among the final cuts were left-hander Paco Rodriguez, outfielder Joc Pederson and infielder Darwin Barney.

The Dodgers will carry four starting pitchers and eight relievers, including two left-handers: Scott Elbert and J.P. Howell.

Here is the complete roster:
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Reports: Dave Stewart will be the next general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Dave Stewart

Dave Stewart is reportedly in line to become the next general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Getty Images)

Former Dodgers pitcher Dave Stewart, the agent to current Dodgers Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley, will soon be named the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com was first with the news this morning, followed by a tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the two parties still needed to iron out the terms. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Stewart expected to hear a formal decision from the Diamondbacks’ top executives by the end of today. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that Dodgers farm director De Jon Watson, who also interviewed for the job, “could also join the club to work with Stewart.”

That last nugget should be of interest to Dodgers fans. Even if Watson remains with the Dodgers, here are some things to consider:

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Russell Martin, Jonathan Broxton help Dodgers secure playoff berth.


Jonathan Broxton allowed a three-run home run to Russell Martin in the eighth inning, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.

The Pirates’ victory means the Dodgers can finish no worse than in a tie with the Milwaukee Brewers for the final wild-card position.

Coincidentally, it was two former Dodgers who combined to get their former team into the playoffs.

The current Dodgers had no interest in celebrating Friday night.

“We want the NL West,” outfielder Matt Kemp said. “I wouldn’t mind having the best record in the National League.”

Dodgers 11, Colorado Rockies 3: Today’s game story.

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp points to the sky after hitting his 21st home run of the season Monday against the Colorado Rockies. (Getty Images)

DENVER >> The Dodgers won. Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig had a little kerfuffle. Carl Crawford hurt his hamstring. Read all about that here.

Two things I want to emphasize that might not be clear on the surface:

1. Crawford wasn’t removed for precautionary reasons tonight. As he explained in my story, he was in genuine pain.

2. It’s really difficult to know what to make of the Puig-Kemp thing. Could be something, could be nothing. Could be something that happens all the time between closed doors, could be something that never happened before today. Again, we don’t really know. The truth is probably somewhere in between; if it was nothing it wouldn’t have gotten caught on camera and Don Mattingly wouldn’t have been nervously laughing and sipping water after the game:

That’s not good however you paint it, but it’s not enough to draw broad brushstrokes about the Dodgers’ team chemistry. It’s two emotionally charged teammates who didn’t see eye-to-eye in Game 150. Maybe it lingers, maybe it doesn’t. We’ll see.

Joc Pederson’s strong play could upset the apple cart.

Yasiel  Puig

Yasiel Puig went 0 for 3 with a walk and scored a run Monday night against Washington. (Getty Images)

Yas or Joc?

Puig or Pederson?

The debate existed only in theory two days ago, when Yasiel Puig was batting second and playing center field in San Diego, and Joc Pederson was still biding his time in Triple-A.

Now Pederson is here at Dodger Stadium, starting in center field while Yasiel Puig sits for the second time in his last five games.

Puig has two hits in his last 30 at-bats coming into Tuesday night’s game, with a right-hander (Doug Fister) on the mound for the Washington Nationals. Pederson — who struck out to end Monday’s game in his first major-league at-bat — is the reigning Pacific Coast League rookie of the year and MVP.

Mattingly downplayed the long-term debate by saying he would “pull (Puig) off and help him a bit, then give him a chance to get back in the water.” He said that Puig wouldn’t have to prove that he deserves the everyday center fielder’s job, but neither did he say when Puig’s next chance would come.

“I haven’t really thought about tomorrow,” Mattingly said. “Just putting it up today and see where we’re at.”

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