Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cards/Tigers - Game 4 preview

Don't pinch me. Don't revive me, snap your fingers to clear my hypnotic state, take me off the demerol drip, do anything that will put my conscious mind back in charge. Leave me alone.

Carpenter was dealing last night. That's your 2005 (2006?) NL Cy Young Winner. That's the pitcher I wish the Cardinals had available two years ago against Boston - it might not have changed the final result, but StL might have avoided the sweep.

Odds and Ends from last night:

- Gotta love a team who's lineup introductions are done to the old Budweiser theme. Awesome.

- Couldn't believe Wilson was starting - until the 'vs. Robertson: 5 for 5, 2 HR' graphic appeared. Good call, Tony! And reminds me: is there anywhere on line I can find these types of statistics? Say I want to know the batting average, after the seventh inning, of sons of former major leaguers. Where can I find this information? If I have to break down and buy the Elias Sports Book, I will, but since people can find porno of virtually any mammal combination copulating on the internets I should be able to find out Ronnie Belliard's career statistics against Bonderman.

Wilson did strike out once (it's in his contract to strike out once per game, I'm sure), but he lined out hard to second and started the 4th inning rally with a sharp single.

- My boy So started! He made 2 good plays in RF (he didn't overrun the ball Ordonez hit; righties with an inside/out swing who hit to the opposite field will impart enough spin on the ball so that it tails back towards the line, and that's what happened on that ball), and was involved in the eighth inning rally. Wish he'd done more than pop-up to short in the 4th with the bases loaded, but oh well.

- Explain to me again why Belliard hit fifth? Nice o-fer. Belliard tore the cover off the ball in the NLDS but has disappeared since. Belliard should not hit higher than seventh the rest of this series, and with Molina hitting the ball pretty well Belliard should probably hit eighth.

- I don't share the hate for Tim McCarver found in other corners of the blogosphere, but no one can beat a dead horse like McCarver. Tim: I know Zumaya made a bad play. You don't have to tell me 60 times for me to get it. Move on. Or, stick to color commentary from the catcher's perspective, which I always find insightful.

- Do you think someone had the 'last time the 1-5-3 DP was turned was 1923' factoid at their fingertips, or was it a look-up? I envisioned they contacted some monk in a cubicle, bent over a book, researching obscure baseball facts by candlelight, as the source for that gem.

Let's not get too comfortable with this 2-1 lead. The boys in red were 2-13 last night with RISP. Looking deeper into the numbers, StL has scored 13 runs this series, with 5 a direct result of Detroit miscues (2 on Inge's error, 2 on Zumaya's, 1 on Miner's WP), and another as an indirect result (Jones' error in the ninth of Game 2 allowed Encarnacion to reach and the inning to continue). Cards need to hit better in run scoring situations, because if Detroit tightens up their defense it may get dicey.

Rain is forecast tonight. I think a rainout will hurt the Cardinals more than Detroit; StL has all the momentum in the world right now; hopefully Mother Nature will not give the Tigers a chance to re-group with a rain day.

Suppan is the man on the bump for Game 4. He's 8-2 at home this season, and 1-1 in the playoffs. I would expect Encarnacion to be back in the lineup tonight, and probably also Duncan's left handed bat against Bonderman. So here's my projected line-up tonight (this is fun, that's why I've started doing it):

Eckstein SS
Duncan LF
Pujols 1B
Rolen 3B
Edmonds CF
Encarnacion RF
Molina C
Belliard 2B
Suppan P

See you after the game.

1 comment:

Liam said...

I can't help with the sons of former ballplayers question, but Ronnie Belliard's stats vs. Bonderman (and all other of Detroit's pitchers) are given here. (Regular season only).