Pitching-dominated NLCS echoes 1966 World Series

Pitching-dominated NLCS echoes 1966 World Series

Pitching-dominated NLCS echoes 1966 World Series

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."

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.