I'm quite sure Cardinal Nation's collective heart was in its collective throat during the top of the first. To escape that situation with only 2 runs allowed was very fortunate. Frankly I expected Carp to only last 5 innings tops, and then leave the Redbirds to take their chances (in what hopefully was either a tie game or StL with a small lead) on how their bullpen fared.
Instead, Carp made it to the 8th. And thanks to a wholly unexpected Cla Meredith meltdown, StL had a 6-2 lead at the time.
Well done, boys. Cards 6, Pads 2. St. Louis wins series 3-1.
So it's on to NY and a date with the Mets. Once again, the starting rotation is the hot topic of concern going into the series. I would expect the two Jeffs - Weaver and Suppan - to start Games 1 and 2, respectively. LaRussa might try and bring Carp back on 3 days rest for Game 2, taking into account Soup's record at home this year, but I doubt it. Will Anthony Reyes see any action in this series? Of course, he'd have to be activated first. I fully expect he will be, which means Jason Marquis won't be - and we're a better team that way. Reyes might - MIGHT - pitch game 4 of the series. I would think either StL would be up 3-0 or down 0-3 for that to happen. There's really no pressure in either of those situations; lose Game 4 when up 3-0 and you still have game 5; lost Game 4 when down 3-0 and you get swept (since only 1 baseball team has ever come back from 3-0 down to win the series, you have to expect you're going to lose it anyway).
Other news and notes from the baseball day:
- Glad to see Scott Rolen finally admitted his shoulder was bugging him. He fouled out to first twice in Game 2, and it was pretty clear to me sitting in that park that he wasn't right. Game 3 he actually squared around to bunt. I remember him trying to do that last year in June (after he came back from the first failed surgery) because he knew he had no chance to drive the ball. He also didn't hit a ball out of the infield yesterday. So good for him to tell his manager he had a problem.
However, shame on him for playing 'I have a secret' with LaRussa. And additionally shame on him for whining about the day off he got a few weeks ago (even though it obviously helped him). I'm sure that made it harder for LaRussa to consider holding him out of the lineup. I hope LaRussa's gut has been screaming at him all this time to sit Rolen. If it wasn't, he is an even shittier leader than some think he is already. How can you not know when your people are in trouble? How can you not be willing to make the tough call here? You're the MANAGER. It's your job.
- If the Yankees fire Torre (9 straight AL East titles? 4 World Series titles?), Stienbrenner is an IDIOT. Oh, never mind - he already is.
See you Wednesday for NLCS game 1.
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