Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Destiny vs. Dynamite: A World Series Preview

The Fall Classic couldn’t possibly match-up two teams who took more different paths to get to October. The Cardinals flew out of nowhere from ten back in the wild-card race to catch and pass the Braves on their road to a date with the Rangers. Texas was chosen by many to repeat as the American League Champions and after winning the west, they powered their way past Tampa and Detroit. Two different journeys: two different styles, and of course two different teams.

The Cardinals birth in the 2011 World Series marks the fourth decade in which manager Tony LaRussa has guided a team to the National or American League Championship. That in itself is a remarkable achievement so it’s no wonder his Cardinals never game up and continued to believe, because he’s done it so many times before. St. Louis reached this point on the strength of some hot bats but hotter relief pitching. The Red Birds go six or seven deep in the pen and then turn Jason Motte loose to seal the deal. He’s been outstanding, pitching a combined seven innings versus the Phillies and Brewers in the playoffs. The right-hander has struck out seven, surrendered just one hit, walked no one and allowed zero runs. But the Cardinals are hoping on Wednesday they won’t even need him to break a sweat! Chris Carpenter steps on the bump in game one and he has been unbeatable so far. In three post-season starts, he beat favored Philadelphia twice, including a 1-0 shutout and also handled Milwaukee giving up three earned runs on six hits. His second start against the Phillies in the close-out game was the most impressive however. A 1-0 shutout complete game victory in which he gave up just three hits! If he has anywhere near that type of stuff in game one, those Texas bats could be silenced. Another advantage the Red Birds possess is they can stack their line-up with right-handed bats against those lefty Rangers starters. Texas will start C.J. Wilson in game one, Derek Holland in game three and Matt Harrison in game four. None of these three have made a quality start since the divisional series and none of the Rangers starters including Colby Lewis won a game in the ALCS. They’ll be facing Rafael Furcal, David Freese, Albert Pujols, Yodier Molina, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday and Ryan Theriot all right-handed hitters.

But speaking of hitters the Rangers made their point by putting up a nine-spot in the 3rd inning of game six of the ALCS in which they sent Detroit packing. This Texas line-up will be a terror for the Cardinals starters to deal with. Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Edwin Jackson and Kyle Lohse will have their hands full as only Carpenter possesses World Series experience. The Texas hitters will not be gun-shy, especially after having to deal with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner in last years World Series loss.
If St.Louis pitching is not around the knees, let the fireworks begin. Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Michael Young Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz will be handing out souvenirs in the bleachers like it’s a December Fall Classic. This Rangers wrecking-crew is hitting .259 in the post-season, with 20 double and 54 runs batting in. They’ve also stolen seven bases to their opponents three. But nothing sets Texas up like losing last year to the Giants. This time around they’ll be loose, fully know the Cardinals pitching is not nearly as good was what they saw last October and will not be intimidated. So our prediction for the next six games? As one infamous sportscaster once coined….”Boom Goes They Dynamite”! Texas in six.

No comments:

SmacChat Ready to Start Talking Smack Sports Fans? SmacChat is the premier online sports entertainment site. Live chat rooms for every game in the country, with fans from both sides, sports blogs, live scores, betting lines, and much more. No cost to join, so log in and let the nation know what you've got to say! Visit our parent site http://www.smacchat.com for live chats, videos, and latest news.