Dodgers/Cardinals reaction

T.J. Simers, L.A. Times: This is why [Torre] gave it another run after a disappointing finish in New York, why he travels from city to city, 162 games in 180 days at age 69, still amazed at what young people can do when given the opportunity and a little direction. “Different contributions,” he says, and he says it over and over as he shakes off the champagne chill, the reward for sweeping the Cardinals in the NL division series. He’s still talking about Casey Blake’s amazing at-bat in Game 2, Manny Ramirez coming up huge with two out not once but twice in Game 3, “this amazing kid here” in Andre Ethier, and Vicente Padilla living up to the faith Torre has put in him.

Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “I don’t like the stigma attached to being swept — but that’s what happened,” La Russa said upon exiting his office more than an hour after the loss. “The series was more competitive than that. But that’s what it is.” The Dodgers, who finished with the league’s top record but lost five of seven to the Cardinals during the season, emerged after handing Chris Carpenter his roughest start of the season in Game 1 and then exploiting left fielder Matt Holliday’s ninth-inning error in Game 2. Saturday’s win was more thorough, as they jumped Cardinals starter Joel Piñeiro for four early runs and never offered an opening to a struggling offense.”They came out on fire, and we didn’t,” Piñeiro said. The sweep concluded a stretch in which the Cardinals lost 11 of their last 13 while futilely searching for an offensive spark.

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