Thursday, October 20, 2011

All the pressure shifts to the Cards for more reasons than one

It’s no secret, St. Louis the heavy underdogs needed to win the first two games at home to really be competitive in this World Series. On Wednesday night they got halfway there with game one win that was very competitive and well played. On Thursday they were three outs away and couldn’t have asked for a better scenario as their closer was on the bump who has been unhittable thus far in the post season. Then the wheels fell off. A flair with eyes, a stolen base, a base knock with one of the few bad plays you will ever see phat Albert make as his deflection of the ball allowed Elvis Andrus to take another base. Normally no big deal but two sac flies later and the Rangers have two runs off of one solid and one that would looked more like it belonged in Williamsport than Busch Stadium. The Cards laid down in the bottom half of the 9th, not giving the Texas closer a chance to wilt under the pressure as they swung and almost every pitch, regardless of location, not forcing him to master his control. In the end the takeaway is not so much that the Cards dropped one of the first two games, that may have been expected but now in addition to the normal pressure of the series the Cards have to keep a small companion on their back for the rest of the series and their lives if they don’t find a way to win three more games. The monkey is now solely on backs of the birds as they know they let a 2-0 series lead slip away, not quite as bad as a ball through the legs, but one that hurts just as much as Texas may be better but not so good they could take 4 out of 5, and it will be an endless summer of contemplation in LaRussa can pull one more rabbit out of his hat but this gambler may have finally crapped out.

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