Friday, October 28, 2011

Is it just in the Cards?

They are the team that just won’t die. Like the main character in a character in a B horror flick. No matter how many vampires are inches away from the fatal bite, no matter how many zombies are closing in, no matter how many werewolves are chasing, death is not written in the script. Now, they have re-written the show, as the sun raises forcing sudden death upon The Texas Rangers in a game seven. They are the St. Louis Cardinals.

Last night’s two run comeback in the bottom of the 9th was just the latest act. Of course they couldn’t wait to follow up with another two-run comeback in the bottom of the 10th also down to the final strike of the season. As if those two drama filled rallies weren’t enough, the hometown kid in David Freese finishes off this scene of the World Series with a solo home run in the 11th to close the curtain on game six. But this team’s flair for the dramatic shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. After all, this is the team that was ten and a half down in the wildcard race on August 24th. They then swept the Braves in a three game set at Busch stadium September 9th thru the 11th. Next, they won two of three from the Pirates, then, three of four from the Phillies. We all know how the movie finished up, St. Louis stealing the last playoff breath or should I say birth from Atlanta.

They weren’t supposed to beat Philadelphia in the Divisional series but they did. They lacked home field advantage against the N.L. Central Division Champion Milwaukee Brewers but they clinched the series in six games at Miller Park. Is the theme starting to make sense to the entire playoff picture? These Cardinals take flight just in time when it appears the season is about to come crashing down. Trailing in the series three games to two, St. Louis should have lost game six several times. Back to back homers by Rangers Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz in the 7th on their way to a 7-4 lead should have finished the game with just nine outs left. With two outs and two strikes in the 9th trailing by two runs, the shot Freese hit to right should have been caught by Cruz but it wasn’t. Down by a run again in the 10th with two outs and Jon Jay on second with first base open, Texas Manager Ron Washington should have walked Lance Berkman and pitched to Allen Craig but he didn’t.

So now it all comes down to game seven and you know what? Because of the rain-out postponement of game six, moving it from Wednesday to Thursday, St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter was able to get an extra day of rest. So now instead of him being unavailable for tonight’s deciding game, he’s had three days off and is able to start. Carpenter is the only true ace pitching in this series and now the Cards have a distinct advantage on Friday Night. So even if they have used up every last rally, every favorable bounce or every ticky-tact call that goes their way, they now have the best pitcher in the series on the mound. To win one game that’s all you need. Especially, if it’s already written in the cards.

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jared said...

Easily it was Nelson Cruz. Cruz should have caught that ball, plain and simple. That is called sandbagging it. He was running fine (groin is a lame excuse coming out later), but pulled up out of what looked like fear of hitting the wall. Feliz the goat? Maybe. He is what he is, and the Cards batters were also part of that equation. Cruz had nobody but himself blowing that play, though.

Blaming Washington is asinine. Keeping Holland in to bat was somewhat questionable, but there is no guarantee another batter gets that extra run home. Washington is definitely on the hook for game 7 now after depleting his bullpen. I just don't see how you can blame him for last night.

ag82 said...

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth of a game that clinches the World Series, two men on, and clinging to a two run lead you gotta make the catch. Instead Cruz isn't even looking the ball into his glove, but instead is looking at the wall to see if he's about to run into it. Absoloutely pitiful! One of the sorriest attemts I've ever seen of trying to catch a fly ball. Who cares if you hit the wall -- just catch the ball! It's the World Series! He looked like a Little Leaguer out there. Too bad Hamiltom doesn't play right field. Definitely the most disappointing Rangers' loss ever, and one they'll never live down if they don't win tonight.

mark217 said...

I don't know how Feliz is not the biggest goat in this game. He's paid to close door as the closer. He was one strike away with a two-run lead and can't get it done. Pathetic.

jstonie said...

To coin a phrase from Dandy Don, "If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we would all have a Merry Christmas". If Ron Washington had walked Pujols and Berkman back to back, we would be world champions. What was he thinking pitching to Berkman, who has been their hottest hitter in this series? Craig grounded out to the pitcher after Berkman's at bat. The game would have been over. Stupid move Ron.

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