Clayton Kershaw was long gone. Michael Wacha kept Dodgers hitters down, ignoring the surprisingly big lead and pitching as if the opposing ace was still dealing. The rookie left no doubt in a 9-0 rout last night that put the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series for the second time in three years and kicked Los Angeles' high-dollar roster to the curb. "Yeah, anytime you're going to face Clayton Kershaw, you're probably going to have to match zeros against him," Wacha said after getting the best of Kershaw for the second time in the series. "You know, our guys just battled out there today. It was so much fun to watch in the dugout."
Wacha was named MVP of the series. He threw seven innings of two-hit ball in the clincher and totaled 13 2-3 scoreless innings. The Cardinals rebounded from a Game 5 loss and early on removed tension from last fall when they squandered a 3-1 NLCS lead and faded badly against the Giants. They won their 19th NL pennant and will try for their third World Series title since 2006. The opener is Wednesday at the winner of the ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. (Read more St. Louis Cardinals stories.)