Matt Kemp
Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Matt Kemp (27) hits a solo home run in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game two of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES – It takes a lot to silence 50,000 people. Or it takes one man: Matt Carpenter. The Cardinals third baseman, hit his second home run in as many days in the top of the 8th inning at Dodgers Stadium on Saturday night, stunning the Los Angeles crowd.

For the second night in a row, the Dodgers blew a late lead and it looked like their season was all but over. After a great performance by Zack Grienke, the Dodgers brought in setup man J.P. Howell to hold the game for LA. Instead, Howell gave up the game-tying home run to Carpenter, aka, the Dodgers “kryptonite.” Carpenter thought he had brought the Cardinals back from the brink of death, again.

But there was one player for Los Angeles who would not go quietly into the night, who would not allow the Cardinals to eliminate his team for the second straight year, that man, was the same player who watched the entire 2013 MLB Playoffs from the bench, Matt Kemp. “We gave ourselves a chance to win and that’s what we did,” the hero of the night said.

Kemp hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the 8th to not only save Howell, but arguably save the season for the Dodgers who were on the brink of heading to St. Louis, down two games in the best of five series. Kemp crushed a 2-1 pitch from Cardinals reliever, Pat Neshek, just down the left field line and inside the foul pole.

“I thought it was fair. I just kept looking at it, and I’m thankful it stayed straight.” Kemp told ESPN’s Buster Olney after the game.

Dodgers’ closer, Kenley Jansen, pitched an uneventful 9th for the save, cementing the much needed win for Los Angeles. The series is now tied 1-1 as the two teams head to St. Louis where the Dodgers will try to not have their season end in the same city that it did just over a year ago. Hyun Jin-Ryu will start in Game 3 for Los Angeles, while St. Louis will counter with midseason acquisition, John Lackey.

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