Easily the most exciting game of the 4 played to date. And I'm not just saying that because the Cardinals won it on a run in the bottom of the eighth. Three lead changes and a lot of tension throughout.
First, let me dig into this big plate of crow for ever implying Preston Wilson can't play defense. My bad. One dazzling play in LF, and a great job cutting off Pudge's 8th inning double on a wet field. I hope he starts out there tomorrow. I don't expect Encarnacion will see any more action in the starting lineup this season, so Duncan will probably be in RF the rest of the way.
Talk about some self-destruction out there on the mound. Detroit's pitchers are killing them, but not because they're leaving fastballs up or letting breaking balls back up over the heart of the plate. These guys either don't know how to field their position (Jones), don't know how to play their position (Zumaya) or just run into bad luck (Rodney). Really too bad for Rodney, he was filthy in the 6th inning (albeit against Miles and J-Rod), but will be remembered for shot putting the throw to get Taguchi's down the RF line.
Getting the sense that this is the Cardinals year? Ever since Game 2 of the NLCS I've had a feeling. Not the gnawing hunger or 'what is the name of the girl next to me' sinking feeling, but, a slowly forming on the edge of my consciousness feeling that we're destined to win this one. Off-days line up to give Carpenter 2 starts in 4 games against San Diego. Taguchi homers off Wagner (who hadn't blown a save against StL since 1998). Suppan divines Gibson (1ER in 15 innings) in the NLCS. Duncan homers off a lefty (Feliciano). Chavez makes a rip-your-heart-out catch in Game 7, and the Cardinals win anyway. Reyes sets down 17 in a row. The Tigers start helping the cause with key miscues that lead to runs. Now Granderson falls down in CF chasing an Eckstein fly ball that leads to 2 runs, and Eckstein's next batted ball is juuuuuuust out of Monore's reach.
I won't count chickens before they hatch. There's still a lot of baseball to play, and I think La Russa is really rolling the dice moving up Carpenter to Game 6 (if it gets that far - boy that feels good to say), but that feeling won't go away. My 'Retire #51' shirt remains safely unwashed in my room, the 1968 World Series Press Pin I broke out has brought luck (we've won both games I've worn it), and even Will Leitch can't jinx us.
Of course, to bring me back to reality, Fox runs the 'last time StL held a 3-1 series lead: 1985' graphic. Thanks. Somewhere Don Denkinger's phone rings. Cardinal fans the world over would like to thank Fox for picking at that old emotional wound.
High probability of thunderstorms tomorrow. We'll see if the weather cooperates to allow Game 5.
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