Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All-Kruk Team

The All-Kruk team? Well, anyway, Karl Ravech and John Kruk are hosting it. To be considered, the criteria are appearance/personality, hair, talent, and the golf game.

1B - Sean Casey (Ravech suggests Pujols, Howard, Berkman)
2B - Orlando Hudson
3B - Jose Reyes (Derek Jeter)
SS - Brandon Inge (Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman)
LF - Manny Ramirez (Barry Bonds)
CF - Eric Byrnes (Andruw Jones)
RF - Nick Swisher (Ichiro)
C - A.J. Pierzynski
RHSP - Roger Clemens
LHSP - David Wells
LHRP - Dennys Reyes
RHSP - Joel Zumaya
CL - Bob Wickman
DH - Adam Dunn (David Ortiz)

Bench:
IF - Nick Punto
OF - Garry Matthews, Jr.
Manager: Ozzie Guillen

Lineup order: SS, RF, 1B, LF, DH, CF, C, 3B, 2B

David Eckstein on Tonight Show Transcript

Jay Leno: Alrighty, my next guest helping the St. Louis Cardinals to their worst, uh, their first World Series in 24 years, crushing Detroit, ladies and gentleman. Here he is in action. Take a look.

Video footage - Joe Buck: Eckstein flies one into left, Monroe is ... not gonna get it. And the Cardinals lead it 5-4 here in the 8th inning of game 4.

Please welcome the Most Valuable Player of the World Series, David Eckstein! Good to see you, have a seat. Now, this is your second world series win. Different than the first?

David Eckstein: Um, A little bit different. You know, in Anaheim, we really got on a roll and we played well throughout the whole year, and were able to get it done. But in St. Louis, we had almost the worst, um, dropoff.

Jay Leno: Yea, there was a streak of like 13 or 14 in a row.

Eckstein: Yea, at the end of the season when we just couldn't win a game. And it would have been the worst, um, drop off in ever in sports history probably, and we found a way to make the playoffs thanks to the Atlanta Braves. And, um, and um, we got in and we found a way to turn it around, and it was unbelievable.

Leno: Cause I know the people didn't give you much of a chance. I mean, the USA Today said Detroit would win it in 3.

Eckstein: Hmm, definitely which...

Leno: Did you guys see that?

Eckstein: Umm...

(Tim Allen moved over and David hands him a kleenex.)

(To Tim) There you go. (To Jay) Umm, I'm the type of person that does not read the papers.

Jay: Right.

Eckstein: But in our meeting, it was definitely brought up that that was said about us. You know because we always tried to look for something to give us an edge to go out there and that means the sportswriters definitely gave us an edge.

Leno: But you know it's funny you say cause, cause I mean, obviously, a lot of people go after the but that one thing winning in three that seems to affect you more...why?

Eckstein: Without a doubt because it's pretty much saying you don't have a chance. I think the last, you know winning in three and the last one is a laugher. And so, umm, you know when we play this game, you know, I mean, you kinda take that a little bit to heart because you only need to play four games.

Leno: Now, because you're won the MVP award, and you won a brand new car. What did you win?

Eckstein: I won a barnd new corvette.

Leno: It's a great car. Terrific car. There you go, beautiful car. Is it a stick shift or automatic?

Eckstein: It is a stick shift.

Leno: Excellent.

Eckstein: Yea, right, yes. The only problem is, of course, can't drive a stick.

Leno: Okay, my next guest is one of the biggest stars...wow. Telling somebody from Detroit you can't drive a stick. So what?

Tim Allen: Geeze.

Leno: But you know you might be able to work on your exteriority (I think), you might be able to pick it up.

Eckstein: Yea, you know the funniest thing is off the baseball field, I'm probably the most uncoordinated person you ever want to see.

Leno: Really?

Eckstein: Like today, I was getting on the plane and I was getting up to use the bathroom and I come back I just drilled my head because I didn't duck to get underneath it to get into my sign. You know, so, I'd probably wreck it.

Leno: That's amazing.

Allen: You can't drive a stick, huh?

Leno: Well, what's amazing - this is your first new car? You've never had a new one? You've been making big dough for a long time, and are you just like a cheap @$$?

Eckstein: Pretty much...

Allen: But it looks like he lives with his parents. You're like...you're like

Eckstein: They live in the house.

Allen: Do they really?

Eckstein: They do. No, they, um, growing up, we never really had money. Going to college, and there's five of us. We all went to the same college. And so, um, they bought a car for the family and...

This is all I was able to transcribe so far.

Hemond had a large role...

Now that the season is over, a perfect question to now ask is who will play Cardinals manager Tony La Russa in Three Nights in August.

The Post-Dispatch compares 1982 to 2006. One difference: I was not alive in 1982.

Adam Wainwright's status as a Cardinal is most definitely on the rise. I had the chance to meet him in May at Great American. He's a nice guy and along with most of the bullpen, he was signing autographs for everyone that day.

It is kind of sad that former Cardinal outfielder Andy Van Slyke does not have a ring in his career, whether it was as a player or as a coach. If Jose Oquendo does actually leave to manage somewhere, they should bring in Van Slyke as a coach.
The downside, of course, is that Van Slyke still does not have a ring, having lost as a Cardinal in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series and as a Pirate in three consecutive National League Championship Series from 1990-92.

"I don't know how to describe it," said Van Slyke, who rarely is at a loss for words, and then he found some. "It's like you get to a championship fight and you get knocked out. It ain't no fun."

This isn't at all what Van Slyke, nor his friends, many of them Cardinals fans, had expected.

His friends are "shocked, and happy," Van Slyke said. "From our conversations before this week, it was like, 'Don't beat up on us too badly.'"
It is interesting to note the role that former Diamondbacks executive Roland Hemond had in all of this.
Hemond has been in professional baseball since 1951 when he joined the front office of the Hartford Chiefs of the Eastern League. He moved to the majors the next season with the Boston Braves and has been one of the best and brightest in the game since.

These days, he is special assistant to White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams, who has the job Hemond held in Chicago from 1971-85. Hemond also was scouting and farm director of the expansion Angels from 1961-70, general manager of the Baltimore Orioles from 1988-95 and senior vice president of the Diamondbacks from 1996-2000.

It was during his time as GM of the White Sox that Hemond set the Cardinals and Tigers on the path to this year's waterlogged World Series. He did it by hiring the best baseball minds he could find and giving them the freedom to grow.

His manager was Tony La Russa. His third base coach was Jim Leyland. His assistant GM was Dave Dombrowski. And working for Hemond at the team's Triple-A affiliate before that was Walt Jocketty.
For Scott Rolen of Jasper, it couldn't have been much better.
"I don't think it gets any more special than this," Rolen said.

For the third baseman, a 31-year-old Jasper native, the Cardinals' World Series clincher against the Detroit Tigers on Friday night couldn't have tasted any better. The Cardinals, and Rolen himself, had tasted enough failure in this season, they probably would like to spit it out. But that was all gone amid a champagne and beer hurricane that quickly engulfed the locker room after the players charged off the field.

"A lot of people said we backed into the playoffs," Rolen said. "We didn't care about that. We cared that we made playoffs, and we turned it around and started playing good baseball."
Who has the recipe for wins? None other than catcher turned pitching coach Dave Duncan.

David Eckstein on Tonight Show

David Eckstein was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He re-iterated what I've been trying to tell folks for a while now: St. Louis Cardinals short stop David Eckstein is not Jewish.

Anyway, some notes from the appearance this evening:
Sitting next to Tim Allen of Detroit. He's talking about the late collapse. Talks about the USA Today winning in three. Tim Allen moved over and David hands him a kleenex. The sportswriters were able to give them an edge. Talking about the yellow corvette. It's a stick shift and he can't drive a stick.

Off the field, he's very uncoordinated. He drilled his head on the plane. He's cheap...

What?!? He lives with his parents? He drove a Nissan centra and Nissan Maxima. All the cars were handed over to him. He bought his mom a new car and took her Toyota.

Talking about the Jewish All American team. He was yelled at for playing on Yom Kippur. He's says he's not Jewish and the crowd laughs.

Looks like he's talking about Ashley Drane now, who looks young. Tim says 11? David says she usually plays someone around 15. He got accused of being a pedophile. Tim asks if she worked at a Nissan dealership. She got a Honda Civic two years ago.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Jimmy Hollywood.

Bernie reports that the Cardinals are trying to work out a two year deal with gold glove center fielder Jim Edmonds.

I'm pleasantly pleased to read this. The club has an option in his contract for 2008.

Obviously, here are the choices available. Buyout his contract for $3 million by declining the option. Picking up his option for $10 million. Decline the option by buying it out and renegotiate a new contract.

From ESPN, I've learned that Scott Spiezio, Jason Marquis, and Ronnie Belliard have all filed for free agency.

Quote of the Day

"I would also like to say that I was not personally responsible for the actions of Tyler Johnson and Chris Duncan between the hours of midnight and six on Saturday morning."
--Tony La Russa at the Cardinals celebration, October 29, 2006

A look at salary...

From the Baseball Analysts:
Albert Pujols - $15.00M - Signed thru 2010 (club option for 2011)
Scott Rolen - 12.00 - Signed thru 2010
Jason Isringhausen - 8.75 - Signed thru 2007 (club option for 2008)
Chris Carpenter - 7.00 - Signed thru 2007 (club option for 2008)
Juan Encarnacion - 5.00 - Signed thru 2008
Braden Looper - 4.50 - Signed thru 2008
David Eckstein - 4.50 - Signed thru 2008
Ricardo Rincon - 1.45 - Signed thru 2008
2007 Total so far - $58.20M
The Cardinals also control a number of players, including pitchers Randy Flores, Josh Hancock, Tyler Johnson, Josh Kinney, Anthony Reyes, Brad Thompson, and Adam Wainwright; catcher Yadier Molina; infielder Aaron Miles; and outfielders Chris Duncan, John Rodriguez, and So Taguchi. Other than Taguchi ($825,000), all of the above players earned no more than $400,000 (with 10 of the 12 within 10% of the minimum salary of $327,000). Only Taguchi and Miles are eligible for arbitration.
So Taguchi - $1.000M
Yadier Molina - 0.800
Adam Wainwright - 0.650
Anthony Reyes - 0.500
Chris Duncan - 0.500
Aaron Miles - 0.500
John Rodriguez - 0.425
Randy Flores - 0.425
Josh Hancock - 0.425
Tyler Johnson - 0.425
Josh Kinney - 0.425
Brad Thompson - 0.425
That total comes up to $6.500M

From their site, this is an easier way of showing who is locked up for next season as a Cardinal:
C: Molina
1B: Pujols
2B: Miles
3B: Rolen
SS: Eckstein
LF: Duncan
Rodriguez
CF: Taguchi
RF: Encarnacion
SP: Carpenter
Reyes
Wainwright
RP: Isringhausen
Looper
Rincon
Flores
Hancock
Johnson
Kinney
Thompson
We are still awaiting to see what happens with Jimmy's option, which will affect what pitching we go after.
OK, let's see where St. Louis stands with respect to that $25M in discretionary funds. Give $7M net to Edmonds and $7-8M to Suppan, leaving $10-11M for three other players - a starting 2B, a #5 SP, and perhaps a LF (to replace Duncan if traded).

Ronnie Belliard made $4M last year. I don't think the Cardinals will allocate more than that for a second baseman. Belliard didn't hit too well in his stint with the 'Birds but should be good for .270/.330/.400 type production. Other options include Craig Biggio, Ray Durham, Adam Kennedy, and Mark Loretta. Biggio, Kennedy, and Loretta all made between $3-4M last year.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Offseason: Free Agency Moves

Gary Bennett, crucial in sweeping the Cubs in August at Busch, has filed for free agency. Yadier will need a backup catcher. Will they go after Mike Matheny if he's healthy enough?

Parade of Champions

If you are unable to be in St. Louis for the parade, do what I am. Watch the streaming video online at KSDK. It's the next best thing to actually being in St. Louis on this lovely day.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

2006 Free Agents

You can track the 2006 Free Agents and where they end up signing over here.

Here's the list of free agents on the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ronnie Belliard
Gary Bennett
Jim Edmonds (club option)
Jason Marquis
Mark Mulder
Mike Rose (minor league free agent)
Scott Spiezio (club option)
Jeff Suppan
Jose Vizcaino
Jeff Weaver
Preston Wilson (club option)

Mark Buerhle wants to be a Cardinal

Rivalfish reports that Mark Buerhle would prefer to be on the Cardinals to start the 2007 season.
John mingled with the Buehrles throughout the game, and at one point was part of a conversation between Jamie Buehrle (Mark's wife) and one of her girlfriends. Jamie expressed that Mark hopes that Kenny Williams will opt-out of his $9.5 million Club Option in the coming week, allowing Buehrle to seek a new team. Buehrle (above in Cardinals hat), a native of St. Charles, MO, is a long time fan of the Redbirds. Jamie confirmed that he has already spoken to the Cardinals, and is hoping to start next season in St. Louis. Ultimately, where he ends up is up to Kenny Williams. Mark Buerhle himself agreed that it was "out of his control" on Tuesday night. The deadline for this decision is Nov. 1.
I'd love to see that happen.

Being the best when it matters most

With the worst record of any team in the playoffs, the St. Louis Cardinals have won the World Series. Cue Jayson Stark:
Eight teams in the American League alone won more games this year than the Cardinals. Five teams that didn't even make the playoffs won more games than the Cardinals. Twelve teams altogether won more games than the Cardinals. And no World Series winner in the history of the universe could ever make that claim.

But we'll ask again: Why is that a bad thing? Why did all those cities out there that weren't named Detroit and St. Louis act so appalled and disinterested by a World Series matching a wild-card team on one side and an 83-win team on another?

"Isn't this a way better story line," asked Detroit's Todd Jones, "than 'Why aren't the Yankees here?' "
Damn right, it is. The Yankees weren't there because they weren't the better team when it mattered.

About the Weaver deal

He proved us wrong and got us our tenth ring! Right?

KTRS 550: Mike Shannon's Call of the Final Out

2 on, 2 out, an oh-2 pitch
Wainwright has the sign he wants
he brings it home
Inge

SWING...AND A MISS!!!
The Cardinals are World Champions for 2006 as Wainwright greets the catcher and they mob the pitcher and catcher on the mound here at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals are the World Champions for 2006.
The 10th World Championship in their illustrious franchise history and it goes to number 10, the Cardinal manager, Tony LaRussa

Your 2006 St. Louis Cardinals World Champions

They all played for the Cardinals at some point in the season.

Pitchers
Chris Carpenter
Jeff Suppan
Jeff Weaver
Mark Mulder
Anthony Reyes
Randy Flores
Josh Hancock
Josh Kinney
Brian Falkenborg
Jason Isringhausen
Tyler Johnson
Braden Looper
Jason Marquis
Chris Narveson
Ricardo Rincon
Jorge Sosa
Brad Thompson
Adam Wainwright

Catchers
Yadier Molina
Gary Bennett
Mike Rose

Infielders
Albert Pujols
Ronnie Belliard
David Eckstein
Scott Rolen
Aaron Miles
Scott Spiezio
Jose Vizcaino
John Nelson

Outfielders
Jim Edmonds
Chris Duncan
Juan Encarnacion
So Taguchi
Skip Schumaker
Larry Bigbie
John Rodriguez
Preston Wilson

Gone but not forgotten
Hector Luna
John Gall
Sidney Ponson

Congrats, guys!

Friday, October 27, 2006

THAT'S A WINNER!!!!!

THAT'S A WINNER!! A WORLD SERIES WINNER!!! St. Louis has just knocked off the Detroit Tigers to take home the 2006 World Series Championship.

Unfortunately for us, it came at the expense of the lack of defense from Tiger pitchers.

The Cardinals got lucky with some botched key plays by the Tigers. In the second inning, David Eckstein drove in Yadier Molina on a bad throw from Brandon Inge to first.

The Cardinals led 1-0 before Chris Duncan made an error on a routine flyball which led to a Sean Casey HR and the Tigers took the lead, 2-1.

In the fourth inning, Verlander botched a play and Molina scored again when Weaver reached on a fielder's choice. Eckstein grounded out and So Taguchi scored. The Cardinals took the lead again, 3-2.

Duncan was removed in the seventh as a result of a bad play in the sixth.

In the seventh inning with two on, Pujols flied out. Edmonds, in what could have been his final at bat as a Cardinal, flied out. Rolen hit a two-out hit to shallow right field and Eckstein comes home easily. That hit may have given Rolen the rights to series MVP as he is batting .421 during the series.

The Tigers handed it to the Cardinals by way of errors, eight alone in the series so far after the two tonight. For the first time since 1979, pitchers had made at least one error a game.

In January, if I was asked, I never would have though the crowd would be chanting: "WEAVER! WEAVER! WEAVER!" He's an unlikely postseason hero. Here it is, in Game 5 of the World Series, Weaver is the starter and going deep into the 8th inning, striking out 9 batters. Jered Weaver was on hand, in Cardinals gear, rooting for his older brother. I tip my cap and salute Jeff Weaver on his amazing performance in the month of October!

Adam Wainwright gets the save and Brandon Inge is the final out.

For 1985. 1987. 1996. 2000. 2001. 2002. 2004. 2005. More importantly, for Jack Buck and Darryl Kile, who we lost en route to clinching the division in 2002.

Some highlights from Edmonds: "I think we shocked the world." On La Russa's management: "With these idiots we've got."

The World Series MVP is David Eckstein!

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers - Game 5

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver
Reporter: Chris Meyers, Ken Rosenthal

Singing the national anthem is Bill Ray Cyrus.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Chris Duncan RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Scott Rolen 3B
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Yadier Molina C
So Taguchi LF
Jeff Weaver P
-------------
Jeff Weaver

Tigers
Curtis Granderson CF
Craig Monroe LF
Carlos Guillen SS
Magglio Ordonez RF
Sean Casey 1B
Ivan Rodriguez C
Placido Polanco 2
Brandon Inge 3B
Justin Verlander P
-------------
Justin Verlander

I'll update the lineups when I get them.

Despite the weather, I expect a game to be played tonight, and I am praying that it is the final game of the 2006 postseason.

This postseason, Jeff Weaver is 2-2 with a 2.94 ERA in his four postseason starts so far. Since being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Terry Evans on July 5, Weaver went 5-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 15 Cardinal starts. Good news for Cardinal fans, Weaver is due for a win as he picked up a loss in the last game.

Rookie pitcher Justin Verlander will take the mound for the Detroit Tigers in Game 5. Verlander went 17-9 with a 3.63 ERA this past season. In the postseason, not so much, going 1-1 with a depressing 7.47 ERA. In an elimination game, Leyland is going with Verlander rather than their ace, Kenny Rogers.

Some stats to note, Albert Pujols is 2-12, with a home run. Magglio Ordonez is 2-15, both coming off of Jeff Weaver.

I'm feeling confident and optimistic about tonight's game. Let's win one tonight for Jack Buck and Darryl Kile, members of the Cardinal family who passed away in 2002.

St. Louis 4, Detroit 2
Winning pitcher - Jeff Weaver (1-1)
SV - Adam Wainwright (1)

Jim Edmonds Update

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.com reports with what looks to be some great news on the best outfielder in MLB Baseball.
Will Edmonds return to Cards?
Jim Edmonds' post-season revival increases the likelihood of the Cardinals picking up his $10 million option rather than paying a $3 million buyout.

The free-agent market for center fielders is thin beyond Gary Matthews Jr. and Juan Pierre, the trade prices will be high for players such as the Blue Jays' Vernon Wells and Devil Rays' Rocco Baldelli and the Cardinals lack a top center-field prospect in his system.

Edmonds, 36, has pondered playing only one more season, but he has a chance to become only the fourth player in history to win 10 Gold Gloves and hit 400 homers.

The others: Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt and Ken Griffey Jr.
It's great news to me.

Ya think the radar gun is working?

From today's Post-Dispatch:
Velocity conspiracy?

Some Detroit pitchers hinted at a conspiracy when the Busch Stadium scoreboards showed lower-than-usual radar-gun readings for reliever Joel Zumaya. In truth, the system appears to be on the fritz. The first clue came when the scoreboards showed Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman throwing a 50 mph fastball past Albert Pujols. If the numbers are going to be that far off, or not registering at all, better to shut off the toy until it works properly.
Go figure.

One more

Folks, we're up 3-1 against the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.

Tomorrow night is game 5. Don't take anything for granted...YET.

It's one out at a time.

The Detroit Tigers are 27 outs away from elimination.

GO CARDINALS!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers - Game 4

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver
Reporter: Chris Meyers, Ken Rosenthal

Today, assuming the game is not rained out, Billy Ray Cyrus with his daughter Miley (both of Hannah Montana) will be singing our country's National Anthem. Singing "G-d Bless America," is the band, Sugarland. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch is Hall of Fame member and Cardinals legend Stan "The Man" Musial. Or not. It might be Bruce Sutter instead. Scratch both, it's Lou Brock. Colleen Schoendienst ended up singing during stretch time.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Chris Duncan RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Scott Rolen 3B
Preston Wilson LF
Yadier Molina C
Aaron Miles 2B
Jeff Suppan P
-------------
Jeff Suppan

Tigers
Curtis Granderson CF
Craig Monroe LF
Carlos Guillen SS
Magglio Ordonez RF
Sean Casey 1B
Ivan Rodriguez C
Placido Polanco 2B
Brandon Inge 3B
Jeremy Bonderman P
-------------
Jeremy Bonderman

Lineups are corrected now. Jeff Suppan's throwing today and I feel good about it. In his career, Suppan is 3-3 with a 3-3 record with a 2.91 ERA in eight postseason starts. Suppan was the MVP was the 2006 NLCS against the Mets thanks to two very great starts. On the other hand, against the Tigers in his career, he's 8-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 20 starts. That said, this postseason, he's been fantastic. In his last 15 innings, he's only allowed one run. The key to Suppan's pitching tonight will be to shut down Magglio Ordonez (17-43) and Pudge Rodriguez (.500) in the game.

Looking at Bonderman's stats, he's 0-0 against the Cardinals in his career with a 1.29 ERA. This postseason, he's 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts. Bonderman is a lefty. A piece of trivia, he's the player that was sent by the Athletics to the Tigers as a result of a three-team deal in 2002. Cardinal hitters have rarely seen him in their career. Belliard, who as 21 at bats against him, is only .143 against him. Wilson and Miles are both 3-6, so we could see Miles tonight even though we need Belliard's defense in the game. Eckstein is 4-10 against him. Spiezio is .267 in 15 at bats. The last time we faced him, it was a game that Sidney Ponson started for us. The Cardinals went 9-35 that day.

In a piece of trivial news, former Cardinals pitcher Sidney Ponson, who was designated for assignment earlier this season, is pulling for us to win it all. Hey, anyone who played for us this season, gets a ring!
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 24 -- Don't expect pitcher Sidney Ponson to sulk over the fact the St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series and he is not. Ponson, who signed with the Cardinals this offseason but was released during the season, is happy to see his former team in the postseason, according to agent Barry Praver.
Speaking of offseason deals, remember the J.D. Drew trade? Anyway, Walt Jocketty would not make that deal without Adam Wainwright being a part of it. Just to think what could have been.

St. Louis 5, Detroit 4
Winning pitcher - Adam Wainwright (1-0)

Unbelieveable! Words cannot express how I feel right now. The Cardinals now lead the World Series with a record of 3-1 with Game 5 at Busch Stadium tomorrow night. David Eckstein, who was slumping, had a huge night, going 4-5. Eckstein had a clutch hit in the 8th inning when Craig Monroe extended his glove but it went off the webbing. Eckstein had three doubles alone. Rolen also had a big night, going 2-4 with a run. Miles went 1-3 with two runs and a walk. Remind me to thank Atlanta for Adam Wainwright.

The Tigers made a Curt Flood-esque mistake when Granderson fell over in the 7th and Eckstein gets a double.

How we scored:
David Eckstein doubled to left center, driving in Aaron Miles (3rd inning)
Yadier Molina doubled to left, Scott Rolen comes home (4th)
So Taguchi was safe at first on Fernando Rodney's throwing error to first, scoring Eckstein and Taguchi advances to second (7th)
Preston Wilson singled to left, scoring Taguchi, and Pujols tagged out between second and third (7th)
David Eckstein doubled to left, Aaron Miles scored what would be the game winning run (8th).

The stats to note, other than Eckstein breaking out of the slump, is Yadier Molina is hitting .308 in the series and Rolen's batting .438. Edmonds is up around .308. Eckstein's hitting .333 in the series.

When Rodney made that bad throw to first, the thought going through my mind at the moment when the Tigers made an error by the pitcher for the fourth straight game was the remarks that the late Jack Buck made in 1988: I DON'T BELIEVE...WHAT I JUST SAW. I DON'T BELIEVE WHAT I JUST SAW.

We'll see you tomorrow night.

We have a game!

At least we should have a game tonight.

In the event that we don't, Jose de Jesus Ortiz with the Houston Chronicle argues in the defense of the roof.

I don't mind a roof, as long as it's retractable. But, to keep the roof closed for most of the season, despite fantastic weather outside, that's just wrong!

2009: Busch Stadium chances of hosting All-Star Game in doubt

MLB cites open air press box.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America moved Wednesday to request that Major League Baseball withhold awarding the 2009 All-Star Game to the Cardinals until significant improvements are made to a press facility the organization considers unacceptable to host a special event.

Commissioner Bud Selig described the matter as "a real and valid" issue Wednesday and acknowledged being made aware of the writers' concerns.

"It's always a significant issue. I'm sensitive to it, and I know the issues are real and valid," Selig said. "The question is what can be done about it, and I don't have an answer about it right now."[...]

The Busch Stadium press facility has been criticized by media since the park opened this April. During construction of the stadium, Cardinals officials waived architect HOK's standard design, opting for a less costly, exposed press box offering neither air conditioning nor heat. The club originally intended to locate the press facility down the right-field line until Major League Baseball mandated that it be situated behind home plate.

Journalists weren't the only ones subject to the spartan conditions. The club placed its public relations offices in a windowless cinder block space also lacking heat and air conditioning.

Other complaints include poor sight lines from the box's second row. Media members not sitting in the front row are unable to see the stadium scoreboard or follow fly balls unless they lay their heads flat on the table.

Rotation scenarios

I blame Will at Deadspin!! No, seriously, it's the fault of the weather.

If it rains tomorrow and postpones game 4 again, games 4 and 5 would be on friday and saturday. If the weather's that ugly on Friday, games 4 and 5 would be in St. Louis on Saturday sunday. Here's some rotation scenarios:

Thursday: Suppan
Friday: Reyes or Weaver

Thursday: PPD
Friday: Suppan
Saturday: Reyes/Weaver

Thursday and Friday: PPD
Sat: Suppan
Sun: Carp

Your thoughts?

In the mean time, I'm keeping the game 4 post where it is since I fear that we could have more than one rainout this week.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers - Game 3

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver
Reporter: Chris Meyers, Ken Rosenthal

Trace Adkins will be singing the National Anthem and Jo Dee Messina will sing "G-d Bless America" during game 3. For Game 4, it's Billy Ray Cyrus (with his daughter, Miley) and Sugarland, respectively. All this per Tim McKernan.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Preston Wilson LF
Albert Pujols 1B
Scott Rolen 3B
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Jim Edmonds CF
Yadier Molina C
So Taguchi RF
Carpenter P
-------------
Chris Carpenter

Tigers
Curtis Granderson CF
Craig Monroe LF
Placido Polanco 2B
Magglio Ordonez RF
Carlos Guillen SS
Ivan Rodriguez C
Sean Casey 1B
Brandon Inge 3B
Nate Robertson P
-------------
Nate Robertson

Chris Carpenter takes on Nate Robertson in the first of three games to be played at Busch Stadium during the World Series. Carpenter is 3-4 in 11 starts against the Detroit Tigers with a 7.03 ERA. I'd wager to say that most of those starts were while he was with the Blue Jays. Fungoes has the career OPS records against each pitcher. Nate Robertson has never faced the Cardinals although he has faced David Eckstein, Preston Wilson, and Ronnie Belliard in prior years. Preston Wilson will likely start in the game today given his numbers against Robertson (5-5 with two home runs).

Tiger hitters vs. Carpenter:
Pudge Rodriguez 9-26
Magglio Ordonez 5-18
Neifi Perez 3-14
Sean Casey 6-13
Carlos Guillen 3-11
Placido Polanco 2-7
Brandon Inge 3-5
Curtis Granderson 2-4
Craig Monroe 1-3
Marcus Thames 1-3
Vance Wilson 1-2

Carp has to be the most careful with Pudge, Mags, and Casey.

That's a winner and the St. Louis Cardinals take a 2-1 series lead as Chris Carpenter and Braden Looper combine shut out the Tigers 5-0, thanks to some bad defense on the Tigers part.

We'll see you tomorrow night!

How we scored tonight:
In the bottom of the fourth, Jim Edmonds doubled to right, scoring both Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols scored.
In the bottom of the seventh, Albert Pujols reached on a fielder's choice but Joel Zumaya bad a bad throw to third, scoring both David Eckstein and Preston Wilson.
In the bottom of the eighth, with bases loaded for Albert Pujols, So Taguchi scored on a wild pitch.

We've managed to shut down Curtis Granderson (0-13), Pudge Rodriguez (0-11) and Placido Polanco (0-10) during the World Series. Carp was dealing, going 8 strong innings, fanning 6, and giving up 3 hits and no runs. Carp only through 82 pitches the whole game.

In the World Series, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen have brought their bats with them and are batting a combined .429 through three games. Rolen has an 8 game hitting streak. Jimmy Hollywood's career is definitely winding down and it would be sad to see him retire after this season, or sign with another team. I'd like to see another season or two from Jim Edmonds as a Cardinal but check out this article from Yahoo.
Jim Edmonds' nickname is "Hollywood," a reference to the 36-year-old center fielder's uncanny knack for coming through when everybody is watching.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa surely had that in mind when he kept putting Edmonds in the lineup against lefties this year, despite a puny .156 batting average against them.

Sure enough, facing Detroit Tigers southpaw Nate Robertson in Game 3 of the World Series, Edmonds put his name in lights yet again.

The St. Louis Cardinals' elder statesman, prone more to musing about retirement in a season plagued with injury and struggles at the plate, lined a key double down the first-base line off Robertson in the fourth inning Tuesday night for the first runs in St. Louis' 5-0 victory.
Here's a line from his press conference after the game: "I knew it might be one of the last times I played here."

In the post season, Carp was 2-1 with 3.70 ERA and 17 K. I'll have the stats updated tomorrow on here to reflect the new numbers.

St. Louis 5, Detroit 0
Winning pitcher - Chris Carpenter (1-0)

The last World Series shutout by Cardinal pitching was 1985's Game 4 against the Royals. Gibson shut 'em out in 1968 and Dizzy Dean did so in 1934.

We can win this thing. I know it. You know it. Cardinal Nation mot definitely knows it. Especially with the defense of the Tigers, or lack there of.

Letterman: Top Ten Signs A Baseball Player is Cheating

This is the top ten from Monday's Late Show with David Letterman
Top Ten Signs A Baseball Player Is Cheating

10. Tested positive for uranium
9. Always asking fans for clean urine
8. After each win, receives congratulatory phone call from Balco founder Victor Conte
7. Name on back of his uniform is "Bonds"
6. You can find him in the club house corking himself
5. Distracts opponents by throwing out the frozen head of Ted Williams
4. Somehow got 3 RBI's during the seventh-inning stretch
3. You haven't seen someone with that much Vaseline on them since the last Paris Hilton video
2. Pete Rose called him a disgrace to the game
1. His nickname is "Needle @$$"

On Dan Patrick

TLR was ready to order Jose Oquendo to have the umpires search KR and that in the end, he said no. Some of it may have had to do with his friendship with Jim Leyland.

DP: "How do you protect the integrity of the game when you let someone cheat during the game?"

"CSI: MLB" - Pitch it to CBS and you have another hit show!!

Whoever is on his show (Randy Cunningham?) around 1:30 believes that the umpires should be replaced or fired.

The thing is, it has to be ordered by the manager, not a bench coach. I just hope this does not come back to harm us.

The Clydesdales are coming tonight! Joe Morgan is now on and I'll summarize as best as possible.

Morgan thinks it should not be pushed under the rug. KR took advantage of Jeff Weaver as well. As to TLR, TLR did not want an uproar. From a mgr standpoint, he's to protect his players and pitchers.

DP: Did Kenny Rogers cheat?
KR: Yes

The World Series is a bigger issue than his relationship with Leyland.

Talking about Hal McRae's article in the USA Today and the scuffmarks in the same spot.

Does not think it's a coincidence about the postseason record now.

Gives Carpenter the edge but doesn't think he's the same pitcher now than he was midseason.

HItting coach Hal McRae calls KR out

USA Today:
"It was so blatant," Cardinals hitting coach Hal McRae told USA TODAY on Monday. "What was so strange about it was how obvious it was, in the World Series. It's a shame a guy would cheat in a World Series game. It hurts the integrity of the game.

"He wasn't just cheating by using pine tar; he was scuffing balls, too. We collected about five or six balls that are scuffed. He had to be using his fingernails or something."

Rogers, whose eight scoreless innings helped tie the series at one game apiece with Game 3 scheduled Tuesday at Busch Stadium, adamantly denied he cheated. Rogers, answering questions for nearly 30 minutes Monday, said he had only mud, dirt, rosin and spit on the base of his left thumb.

"Maybe it looked like pine tar; I don't know," said Rogers, who has pitched 23 scoreless innings in this postseason. "I'm skeptical of a lot of stuff (in baseball), too, but I'm not skeptical of my ability to pitch. My pitching isn't that dominant. ... I just know how to pitch."

Major League Baseball has no plan to investigate, according to spokesman Rich Levin, saying the issue was addressed Sunday night.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who said Monday, "I don't believe it was dirt, didn't look like dirt," met with his team before the workout to explain his reasoning for not having the umpire crew inspect Rogers.

"I was not going to be part of the BS where I was going to ask the umpire to go to the mound and undress the pitcher," La Russa said. "I alerted (plate umpire Alfonso Marquez). I said, 'I hope it gets fixed. If it doesn't get fixed, then I'll take the next step.' "

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kenny Rogers: You're being placed on notice

Umpire confirms it was pine tar

JxMetal makes a comment at VEB that he knows an umpire in Double A ball. The AA umpire called the home plate umpire to find out what went on last night. The umpire confirmed what everyone else has been speculating: Kenny Rogers had pine tar on his hand and only recieved a warning.
So I have a guy in my class who is an umpire. This season he was in double AA ball. To protect his privacy I guess I'll just give his first name, Mike. Anyways, he's friends with the home plate ump from last night.

So last night he called him up and asked him what was on the hand and the ump said it was definitly pinetar and told Rodgers to "f***ing clean his hand" He said this to him as Rodgers was walking off the field after the first inning. I didn't catch his whole conversation, but he didn't kick him out because he said it to Rodgers before LaRussa talked to the umpire.
There ya go, because Tony La Russa did not come off the bench sooner, Kenny stays in and we don't have a bullpen game for game two.

PTI on Smudgegate

(Hi. I'm Brian. You probably don't know me from Obsessions of a Cardinal Fan but you might know me from the comments section at Viva El Birdos. I'm the newest team member here at Redbirds Fun.)

PTI opened with Rogers, as you might expect.

Wilbon would have made a bigger deal of it during the game, if for no other reason than to mess with his psyche.

TK wanted La Russa to have Rogers searched on the mound.

Wilbon's right. Even if you don't find anything on Rogers, it still gets inside his head. Suddenly, he's rattled and maybe he makes some mistakes to Cardinal hitters. La Russa is a master of playing head games with the opposing team, so for him to pass up the opportunity last night was curious.

Around the Horn Coverage of Smudgegate

Due to a night class, I won't be able to focus on coverage on Pardon the Interruption unless it's in the first five minutes of that show.

On Around the Horn today is J.J. Adande, Tim Cowlishaw, Woody Paige, and Jay Marriotti. According to Jay, Obama flies coach.

The Rogers story leads off. The arguments:
Jay - Accuses MLB of covering up the story and brings up ESPN's coverage. Credits McCarver and wants to know why TLR let it go. Wonders whether we can trust baseball again. Where's Bud Selig in all of this?

Cowlishaw - Not calling it cover up. Doesn't know if it is dirt. Not a huge scandal. Gaylord Perry.

Adande - Have to ask why is cheating a part of baseball. Throw out all the players in the HOF who violated any rule. Says we shouldn't be so upset. Says he should have been ejected and that baseball is hypocritical.

Woody - Hid the pine tar, which is sticky, and when he held the rosin bag, it stuck to the hands, so he had to wash it off. He was cheating. Woody even illustrates the thing.

On PTI:
They start off with Kenny Rogers so it looks like it's dinner after this. Wilbon says it should have been important since it's the World Series and that Tony La Russa should get into his head.

Tony Kornheiser says to check his hat and glove. He says to get into Kenny Rogers' head.

Wilbon says it doesn't help that it was discovered in the second inning.

The day after...

There's no doubt in my mind that Kenny Rogers was cheating.

ESPN is making a story out of this. MLB is covering up the issue.

I wish that TLR would have gone out there to argue during the inning AS SOON as Tim McCarver had mentioned it during the broadcast. For all the flack that McCarver gets from viewers, he gets major kudos for noticing this case.

I hate that Bernie is making this a non-issue. It's an issue that won't go away. The Cards will clinch at Busch on Thursday with three straight wins.

As hot as Yadier's bat has been lately, I would have pinch hit for him in hopes of getting two runs to tie the game and go to extra innings.

In other news, anyone remember this play where Albert Pujols tagged out Chris Burke, yet Burke was called safe?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Kenny Rogers caught with Pine Tar



Photo provided by Hardcore Legend at VEB.

MLB better do something about this since the umpires should have ejected him.

Postgame updates:
Kenny Rogers is clearly a liar that's gotten in trouble once and when he gets in trouble again, he gets away with it. He states that it was just a "clump of dirt."

Any foreign substance should have been cause for ejection. Why, oh umpires, why did you not eject Kenny Rogers when he CLEARLY cheated it not 1, not 2, but 3 series now!!

When all that is Steve Phillips states that this was a missed opportunity by the Cardinals, you know something is up. I'm surprised that Tony La Russa did not make any charges of the pine tar during the press conference after the game.

Here's an article from ESPN on the issue of whether or not it was pine tar.
"It was a big clump of dirt," Rogers said after the game. "I didn't know it was there. They told me about, but it was no big deal."

When asked how he could have a big clump of dirt on his hand, Rogers replied, "It was dirt and rosin put together. That's what happens when you rub it up. … I just went and wiped if off. I didn't think it was an issue. After the first inning, it was fine. I felt I was pretty comfortable after that."[...]

After the substance was noticed, ESPN reviewed tapes of Rogers' pitching performances earlier in the postseason. The tapes revealed that, in starts against both the Yankees and Athletics, a similar-looking brown substance was spotted on Rogers' hand.
It's most likely pine tar and not a clump of dirt as the lying Rogers states.

MLB Rule 8.02
(b) Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game. In addition, the pitcher shall be suspended automatically for 10 games.

Kenny's post-game press conference:
Reporter: What was it on your hand in the first inning? How did you take it off? And, why?

Rogers: It was a big clump of dirt. And, I went and wiped it off after the first. I didn't know that it was there until afterwards. And, then they told me, and I took it off. No big deal.

Reporter: Did somebody complain?

Rogers: No. I just saw it. No. I saw it. I didn't it was there until after the inning. And, then I went and took it off. And, it was good.

Reporter: So the umpire didn't mention it all to you?

Rogers: No

Reporter: Kenny, you say you had a clump of dirt on your hand. How can you have a clump of dirt on your hand?

Rogers: Well, it's dirt and rosin and all that stuff. Whatever is put together. So, when it's moist out there, you're going to rub up the baseballs, and it left on my hand when I rubbed them up.

Welcome readers from USA Today and Deadspin

Sunday, October 22, 2006

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers - Game 2

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver
Reporter: Chris Meyers

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Scott Spiezio DH
Albert Pujols 1B
Scott Rolen 3B
Juan Encarnacion RF
Jim Edmonds CF
Preston Wilson LF
Yadier Molina C
Aaron Miles 2B
-------------
Jeff Weaver

Tigers
Curtis Granderson CF
Craig Monroe LF
Placido Polanco 2B
Magglio Ordonez RF
Carlos Guillen 1B
Ivan Rodriguez C
Sean Casey DH
Brandon Inge 3B
Ramon Santiago SS
-------------
Kenny Rogers

Taking a look at the pitching matchups, it should be noted that Jeff Weaver is a former Tiger. Kenny Rogers was knocked out by the Cardinals back in June during interleague play, a game the Cardinals would have won had it not been for Isringhausen's hip condition. In two career starts against the Cardinals, Rogers has a 9.72 ERA with no wins in only 8.1 innings pitched. In Weaver's career against Detroit, he is 1-2 in three starts with a 2.53 ERA. From 1999-2002, Weaver played for the Tigers where he accumulated a 14-24 record with a 4.01 ERA. However, neither have fared so well in the World Series being that Rogers pitched only two innings when the Yankees faced the Braves in 1996. Weaver is 0-1 in only one inning pitched (2003 Game 4). In this year's postseason, Weaver is 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA. Rogers is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA.

Lineups are up. I don't like the idea of Jimmy batting in the 6 spot. He needs to be batting clean up.

Kenny Rogers was most definitely using pine tar. Or some other substance. The umps have spoken with TLR, Leyland, and KR. No idea why he has not been ejected yet.

Wow, what a late inning comeback. It just was not meant to be. I just watched TLR's press conference. He doesn't want to talk about it.

St. Louis 1, Detroit 3
Losing pitcher - Jeff Weaver (0-1)

Joy in Gotham?

David Boaz at the Cato Institute takes a moment from his regular policy-bloggin' to offer this gem. Boaz is a Western Kentucky native ... and is therefore morally bound to his allegiance to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Finally, the media gives us respect

Gregg Doyel at CBS Sportsline thinks the Cardinals might need the brooms ready for a celebration after Game 4 at Busch Stadium III.
This is big and bold and blunt, but so was what happened Saturday night at Comerica Park. There it was, so here it is: Detroit cannot beat this St. Louis team.

Now, look. I didn't say Detroit can't beat any St. Louis team. But Detroit cannot beat this one. Not the one that got all its offensive weaponry together in time to detonate against Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

The St. Louis team that showed up for Game 1 of the 2006 World Series got MVP-like production from the three MVP-caliber players in the middle of its batting order, and used that production -- and some surprisingly good pitching from rookie starter Anthony Reyes -- to hammer the Tigers 7-2.

San Diego didn't see this St. Louis team in the National League Division Series, but the Padres lost anyway. The New York Mets didn't see this St. Louis team in the NLCS, but they too were eliminated. There are reasons for that. Whether its offense is going or not, St. Louis is going to get Gold Glove defense from catcher, center field and third base -- and solid defense from everywhere else. Whether its offense is going or not, St. Louis is going to get decent starting pitching and a better bullpen.

But if St. Louis' offense is going like Saturday night? In that case, the experts will turn out to be correct: This could be a short series. Just not in the way the AL-loving seamheads have led us to believe.

On paper and on the back of a baseball card and, most importantly, in the batter's box, the heart of the St. Louis order is better than the heart of the Detroit order -- and it's not close. Don't give me that Placido Polanco nonsense. He had a great AL Championship Series, but he's still more likely to be confused for Third Tenor Placido Domingo than for great third batter Placido Polanco. Magglio Ordonez, a No. 5 or No. 6 hitter in a good lineup, hits cleanup. Carlos Guillen, a quality No. 6 hitter in a good lineup, bats fifth. Detroit didn't get here by bludgeoning anyone, is what I'm saying.

St. Louis, on the other hand, can bludgeon -- and did on Saturday night.
Anthony Reyes irons his bill and shows off the socks.
“I’m not a real stylemaster,” Reyes’s manager, Tony La Russa said, “but that style is not that attractive. I don’t think it’s going to be copied widely by the kids of America.”

Reyes also wears his uniform pants high, old style, so that his socks show.

“The socks I’ve had up since Little League,” said Reyes, a 25-year-old right-hander. “I saw no reason to change now.” And the cap? “It helps me see better; I see the signs a little better.”

One more fashion note: The bill of the cap is flat, unlike other players’ bills, which are stylishly curved. “It comes out of the box flat,” Reyes said. “I just don’t bend it.”

Reyes’s cap and socks became topics of discussion last night because he pitched brilliantly in the St. Louis Cardinals’ surprising 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers in the opening game of the World Series.[...]

The Tigers drafted Reyes in 2002, but he didn’t sign with them. The Cardinals drafted him a year later, and he signed with them.

“I came off an injury in college when they drafted me,” Reyes said of the Tigers, “so I just figured, take the summer off and just heal up and try to go back to my last year of college.”[...]

The Cardinals have experienced a constant turnover of starting pitchers, economically motivated moves.

Two of the four pitchers who started for the Cardinals the last time they were in the World Series, only two years ago, are gone. None of the nine pitchers who started the Cardinals’ 162 games in 2003 are on this year’s World Series roster either.

The turnover rate has been high, not only among pitchers but among position players as well. Only eight players who played in the 2004 World Series roster were on the roster last night. Yet the Cardinals continue to win division championships — they have won four in the last five seasons — and sometimes get to the World Series; they have gone twice in the last three years.

They do it with skillful signings in their orchestration of the annual turnover, which is prompted largely by economic necessity. But they also do it by retaining the core of their team. Both facets played prominent roles last night.

By comparison, Scott Rolen, Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds are long-time members of the team, and they provided the punch that produced the outcome.

Rolen and Pujols each slugged a home run, accounting for three of the Cardinals’ first four runs. Edmonds singled home the fifth run and Rolen added a double that led to two more runs.

•“We’ve managed to keep our core players, which are very important to our club,” General Manager Walt Jocketty said. “The key is our core players and finding the right guys to fit around them.”

Four starting pitchers can become free agents next week: Jeff Weaver, Jeff Suppan, Mark Mulder and Marquis.

“We decided in spring training we were going to go through the year, and at the end of the season we’d decide who we wanted to sign,” Jocketty said.

Whichever pitchers they sign, the Cardinals will have Reyes back.
Walt Jocketty is not keen on the idea of the All-Star game deciding the home-field advantage for the World Series.
"I don't think it's right. I'll probably get reprimanded for saying that, but I don't care," Jocketty said before Saturday's Game 1. "I didn't think there was anything wrong with the way it was (alternating each year). It was more fair."

Move Along

I've been told that this song by the All-American Rejects is the playoff anthem for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2006 postseason. I've been playing this and several others, including all the Paul Harris songs, in my media player since the postseason began in early October.

Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking
When you fall everyone sins
Another day and you've had your fill of sinking
With the life held in your
Hands are shaking cold
These hands are meant to hold

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along
Move along

So a day when you've lost yourself completely
Could be a night when your life ends
Such a heart that will lead you to deceiving
All the pain held in your
Hands are shaking cold
Your hands are mine to hold

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along
(Go on, go on, go on, go on)

When everything is wrong we move along
(Go on, go on, go on, go on)
When everything is wrong, we move along
Along, along, along

When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
[x3]

(Move along)
(Go on, go on, go on, go on)
Right back what is wrong
We move along

Mayor Francis Slay bets against Kwame Kilpatrick

It's the custom of the mayors of the two cities in the championship game of any sport to make a friendly bet.
Detroit's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, doesn't believe St. Louis's team can stand up to his. The Tigers won seven straight games leading up to the World Series.

Mayor Francis Slay from St. Louis said his city is in a frenzy. The Cardinals' recent win against the New York Mets has every fan pumped.[...]

Though the Cardinals are coming into the World Series as the underdog, Slay believes they can stay strong.

Kilpatrick sees the Tigers as emblematic of a rejuvenated Detroit: like the city, the team has struggled before but is now succeeding in ways no one could predict.

"It's a serious energy here. We have pent up demand for a champion in baseball," Kilpatrick said. "Everyone in the region can remember their grandfather or grandmother talking them to a game where they were a kid."[...]

Slay offered to send Kilpatrick a case of Budweiser beer, a product of Anheuser-Busch, headquartered in St. Louis, along with Twinkies and other baked goods.

Kilpatrick countered with a case of Vernor's ginger ale, famous to Detroiters. He also threw in local potato chips and Sander's hot fudge ice cream topping.

Both mayors agreed to send a picture of themselves wearing the opposing team's jersey, should their city lose.

Of course, with two cities and teams rearing to go, neither could contemplate anything but victory.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers - Game 1

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver
Reporter: Ken Rosenthal

Lineup
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Chris Duncan DH
Albert Pujols 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Scott Rolen 3B
Juan Encarnacion RF
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Yadier Molina C
So Taguchi LF
-------------
Anthony Reyes P

Tigers
Curtis Granderson CF
Craig Monroe LF
Placido Polanco 2B
Magglio Ordonez RF
Carlos Guillen 1B
Ivan Rodriguez C
Sean Casey DH
Brandon Inge 3B
Ramon Santiago SS
-------------
Justin Verlander P

That's a winner, and the St. Louis Cardinals have won game one of the World Series. One down, three more to go.

A stellar performance from Anthony Reyes. One can only wonder what in the world Steve Phillips is thinking. Rememember him? He's the GM that got fired by the New York Mets and now he's a talking head on ESPN.

Tonight's victory was not just a victory for the Cardinals but a moral victory for the National League given that the NL had not won a World Series game since the 2003 World Series when the Florida Marlins (who had Braden Looper and Juan Encarnacion) defeated the New York Yankees (who had Jeff Weaver) four games to two.

But you know what? I feel good about tonight's victory. We're up 1-0 in the series and even though it's still anyone's game, we've got Weaver on the mound tomorrow, and he's been superb as of late.

St. Louis 7, Detroit 2
Winning pitcher - Anthony Reyes (1-0)
HR: Scott Rolen (1), Albert Pujols (1)

Keep the Faith

Baseball is America's favorite past time and just like March Madness, anything can happen in October. You saw it the past two years when Boston and Chicago won the 2004 and 2005 World Series, respectively.

Look at ESPN's so-called expert, no one thought the Cardinals would be in the World Series. This is a team that only won 83 games when they were expected to win 100 games this season. There were many times that the Cincinnati Reds were trailing us by one or two games in the standings. When we had that bad stretch against the American League in interleague play, fans thought that the Cincinnati Reds would take first place but the National League did terrible in the American League this summer. At the end of the season, the Cincinnati Reds started fading and the Houston Astros were starting to make a comeback at the end of the season. The Cardinals did not clinch the division until the final day of the regular season when the Atlanta Braves defeated the Houston Astros.

No one thought Gary Bennett would be MVP of the series against the Cubs of all teams when Yadier Molina was injured with a sore throwing elbow.

No one thought that the Cardinals would get to the World Series with not one, not two, but THREE seven-game losing streaks that had us at the edge of our seats each time that we watched, listened to, or followed a Cardinals game. Sure, I'm an optimist but I had no idea that we'd actually beat the New York Mets. After the year we had, I thought it would have been a 4-0 sweep. Oy, was I sure wrong.

Who would have thought that Jeff Weaver would play a big role in getting the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series? Certainly not me. No one thought that Ronnie Belliard or Preston Wilson would be on the Cardinals when they won the NL pennant this past Thursday.

Nobody expected Mark Mulder and Jason Isringhausen would be lost for the season.

Nobody thought that the Cardinals would go without Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols, David Eckstein, Mark Mulder, Scott Rolen, Jason Isringhausen, Chris Carpenter, etc. for weeks at a time due to them being placed on the DL for injuries....and still win the NL Pennant.

Nobody expected that Tony La Russa would trust a rookie pitcher, Adam Wainwright, to close games in September and October after Jason Isringhausen was shut down.

I have faith in my Cardinals. I hope you do, too, because we're going all the way!!

If these trends continue ....

From Cardinals Diaspora:
1934
World Cup Champ: Italy
World Series Champ: Cardinals

1982
World Cup Champ: Italy
World Series Champ: Cardinals

2006
World Cup Champ: Italy
World Series Champ: ??
Sounds a little like Jevons' theory of sunspot activity and economic cycles, but I'll take it!

Friday, October 20, 2006

World Series Starting Rotations

MLB has the starting rotations up, which could change with a rain out.

Saturday (at Detroit) - Anthony Reyes vs. Justin Verlander
Sunday (at Detroit) - Jeff Weaver vs. Kenny Rogers
Tuesday (at St. Louis) - Chris Carpenter vs. Nate Robertson
Wednesday (at St. Louis) - Jeff Suppan vs. Jeremy Bonderman
Thursday (at St. Louis)
Saturday (at Detroit)
Sunday (at Detroit)

Position Analysis

Jim Molony of MLB.com takes a look at the World Series and analyzes each position.

In short, here are his picks:
CATCHER: Ivan Rodriguez
Molina doesn't provide much offensively, although he did hit .444 (4-for-9) in the three-game series against Detroit at Comerica Park back in June.
FIRST BASE: Albert Pujols
SECOND BASE: Placido Polanco
THIRD BASE: Scott Rolen
SHORT STOP: Carlos Guillen
Guillen, one of the better all-around middle infielders in the game, hit only .188 in the ALCS.
LEFT FIELD: Craig Monroe
CENTER FIELD: Jim Edmonds
RIGHT FIELD: Magglio Ordonez
DH: Alexis Gomez, Marcus Thames, Omar Infante
BULLPEN: Tigers
Jason Isringhausen is out for the year following hip surgery and the Cards' youngsters have had to learn on the fly. Thus far, right-handers Adam Wainwright and Tyler Johnson and lefty Randy Flores have done a better-than-expected job.
BENCH: Cardinals
MANAGER: Even
INTANGIBLES: Tigers

Cardinal audio calls

Yadier HR - http://www.sendspace.com/file/6e6ld2
Cards clinch - http://www.sendspace.com/file/w721wn

World Series Schedule

Sat, Oct 21 – at Detroit, 8:05 pm EDT (FOX)
Sun, Oct 22 – at Detroit, 8:05 pm EDT (FOX)
Tue, Oct 24 – at St. Louis, 8:05 pm EDT (FOX)
Wed, Oct 25 – at St. Louis, 8:05 pm EDT (FOX)
Thu, Oct 26 – at St. Louis, 8:05 pm EDT (FOX)
Sat, Oct 28 – at Detroit, 8:05 pm EDT (FOX)
Sun, Oct 29 – at Detroit, 8:05 pm EST (FOX)

Even MLB was shocked

LOOK HERE ASAP!! In the event that they change the graphic, just head here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

THAT'S A WINNER!!!!!

The CARDS win! The CARDS win! The Cardinals go back to the World Series for the second time in three years!!

GO CRAZY FOLKS, GO CRAZY!!

Winning pitcher - Randy Flores
SV - Adam Wainwright (2)

HELLO, DETROIT!!!!
MVP: Jeff Suppan, easily

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Quote of the Day

"If the New York Mets win, we'll let you move to St. Louis, and think you went to heaven."
--Former Attorney General John Ashcroft (R-MO), The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, October 18, 2006

Ashcroft was answering the seat of heat question.

NLCS: Cards vs. Mets - Game 5

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver and Luis Gonzalez
Reporter: Ken Rosenthal

On ESPN's Around the Horn, Jay Mariotti calls it for us. Tim Cowlishaw calls for a game 7. Woody Paige says that TLR has outmanaged Randolph and that we'll win tonight. J.A. Adande thinks we'll lose. Tony Kornheiser on Pardon the Interruption chose the Cardinals since he knows trainer Barry Weinberg. Dan Le Betard, filling in for Mike Wilbon, chose the Mets. ESPN was horrible this postseason.

Chris Carpenter starts against John Maine. Both picked up no-decisions during Game 2 at Shea Stadium this past Friday. If Carpenter's cutter is there, the game is over.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Scott Spiezio LF
Albert Pujols 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Juan Encarnacion RF
Scott Rolen 3B
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Yadier Molina C
Chris Carpenter P

Mets
Jose Reyes SS
Paul Lo Duca C
Carlos Beltran CF
Carlos Delgado 1B
David Wright 3B
Shawn Green RF
John Valentin 2B
Endy Chavez LF
John Maine P

FOX's pregame starts out with The Killers' "All These Things That I've Done." As usual, the pregame show is hosted by Jeanne Zelasko and Kevin Kennedy. It's a quarter after, so we head over to the booth where Jon, Tim and Luis are calling the game.

T1: Eckstein leads the inning off to a large amount of booing. The pitch is in there for a strike and we are underway. Eckstein grounds out to to Wright. Spiezio gets a base hit to right center. The booing continues as Pujols step up to the plate. Pujols takes the first pitch for strike 1. Ball 1. Ball 2. Fouled it back, the count moves to 2-2. Lined fair down the line. Albert's in there for a a single (he advanced on the throw to second) and we have both runners in scoring position. Jimmy's up to bat and he goes down on strikes. That brings up Encarnacion. Bases loaded and Juan gets drilled. Rolen's up. He flies out to Green in right with three left on.

B1: Reyes. Not cool. Reyes goes yard. Carp should make up for that bad pitch. Lo Duca flies out to Jimmy. Beltran grounds out to Pujols. Delgado flies out to Spiezio but the damage is done. Mets 1, Cards 0.

T2: Belliard flies out to Chavez in left. Molina grounds out to first. Carpenter. The count is at 3-2 and Tony thought it was ball 4. Oquendo thought it was ball 3 or 4. The umpires will conference. It's stll 3-2. It's moot now with a flyout to right.

B2: Wright grounds out to Scott Rolen. Green gets a base hit. It should be noted that when the Mets lose, he hits around .150, and he hits .350 when they win. Valentin grounds into a inning-ending double play.

Arwurth points out this good omen at VEB.

T3: Eckstein gets on with a walk. Eckstein steals a base. Spiezio strikes out despite the stolen base. Pujols is up. My guess is that with 1B open, Pujols will be intentionally walked. Edmonds flies out and Eckstein tags up and runners on the corners. Encarnacion goes down swinging. Once again, the Cards leave runners on at the end of an inning.

B3: Chavez just beats the throw on a bunting hit. Maine bunts foul for a strikeout. Reyes grounds to first and the only play is at second since Reyes is so fast. Reyes steals and Yadier throws to second. Belliard doesn't get a good grip on the ball and rolls over Reyes as a result. Lo Duca grounds to third.

T4: Rolen flies out to right center. Belliard goes down on strikes. Molina walks. Carpenter grounds out to first.

B4: In other news, if there is a game 7, expect Oliver Perez to start. Beltran found a hole and singles. Delgado hammers one to Jimmy. Wright singles to center. Runners at first and second. A double play will end the inning. Green grounds just past Eckstein and the Mets are now up 2-0. Runners are on first and second. Valentin flies out to Spiezio in left. Chavez grounds into a forceout at second. Mets 2, Cards 0

T5: Eckstein grounds out to Maine, who almost let it get away. Spiezio pops up to Reyes in shallow center. Unless we got a rally started, we're going to be playing tomorrow night in Game 7. Pujols goes down on strikes.

Chris Duncan or Preston Wilson should have started at the pace we're going today. This is absolutely pathetic. The Cardinals have four more innings to do something.

B5: Maine goes down looking. Reyes hits it to left and is held at first with a single. Lo Duca grounds out to second. Beltran grounds out to short.

T6: Edmonds takes a leadoff walk. Encarnacion flies out to the late-breaking Chavez. Maine is finished for the night and will likely be replaced by Chad Bradford. Rolen grounds into an inning-ending double play.

B6: Delgado pops up to short. Wright checks his swing and strikes out. Green strikes out looking.

The Cardinals have not producced today. Carpenter's been very effective but our offense just isn't there. Braden Looper is warming up in the pen.

T7: Belliard goes up the middle with a base hit. Molina flares one in to center. Chris Duncan will PH for Carpenter and Pedro Feliciano Guillermo Mota will come in now. Duncan grounds into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.

It's stretch time and it doesn't look good for the Cardinals. That said, the last time Carpenter pitched, So Taguchi hit the game winning home run in the top of the 9th inning.

B7: Braden "The Vulture" Looper is now in for the Cardinals and getting booed. Valentin bunts out to Looper. Chavez slapped that one to Spiezio in left. Batting in the pitcher's spot for Mota is Michael Tucker. Spiezio just missed that catch and Tucker gets on. It's ruled a base hit instead of an error. Reyes comes up for what could be the final time. Tucker steals 2nd on a bad throw by Molina. Full count to Reyes, and Eckstein saves a run at the fringe but no outs are made. Reyes steals second and no throw is made. Lo Duca hits it up the middle and it's now 4-0. Tyler Johnson is now in to face Beltran. And that'll be the error. Beltran safe at first. Delgado grounds out to Pujols and the inning finally ends.

Aaron Heilman is warming up for the Mets and likely to come in.

T8: Eckstein grounds to Delgado. Spiezio pops up to short. Pujols gets a bases empty base hit. Here comes Jimmy Edmonds, who goes down on strikes.

B8: Wright pops up to Pujols in foul territory. Green singles. Valentin grounds to third, advancing Green to second. Chavez grounds out to Pujols.

T9: Billy Wagner is now in for the Mets. Encarnacion starts a rally with a base hit to lead off the ninth. Rolen needs to come through with a big hit or risk being benched tomorrow. He came through in the 9th with a double. Runners in scoring position. Belliard grounds out. Molina flies to right. Batting for the pitcher is So Taguchi. So Taguchi is now 4-4 in the postseason with 2 home runs and four RBIs. Taguchi has a two-bagger. Eckstein, the tying run, is at the plate. Eckstein grounds out to second and we'll see you tomorrow night.

To Albert Pujols

I read Bryan Burwell's article and would like to offer my condolences on the loss of your uncle.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Spiezio EARNED his starts

Will he be back next season? I sure hope so!!

Spiezio is stepping up this postseason.
Scott Spiezio's postseason pluck has spawned a legion of admirers in St. Louis, many adopting his signature red soul patch.

Before Sunday's Game 4, Spiezio's five runs batted in during the National League Championship Series led the Cardinals, and the stick-on soul patches started appearing all over Busch Stadium.

Although Manager Tony La Russa has resisted the facial accessory so far, he has stuck with Spiezio in the Cardinals lineup, starting him over Scott Rolen in Game 2, Juan Encarnacion in Game 3 and Preston Wilson in Game 4.

"The reason Preston is not playing left field is that Scott is," La Russa said flatly. "That's what it came down to.

"It's hard … with the lift that Scott has given us in games that he's started."

Batting second, Spiezio walked in the third inning Sunday and later scored the Cardinals' first run.

The Cardinals signed Spiezio to a minor league contract Feb. 17, six months after he'd been released by the Seattle Mariners.

Spiezio had signed a three-year, $9.2-million contract with the Mariners after 2003. In less than two seasons there, he was injured half the time and terrible the other half, and the Mariners swallowed about $4 million to be rid of him.

Out of curiosity — and respect for Spiezio's agent, Barry Meister — General Manager Walt Jocketty had Spiezio in for a once-over and a physical, saw Spiezio was in decent shape, and agreed to bring him to camp.

"We were impressed with him," Jocketty said. "He's the type of player Tony likes to have on his bench."

Not that he spends much time there anymore.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

NLCS: Cards vs. Mets

The playoff roster has been announced for the NLCS:

Pitchers
Chris Carpenter, Jeff Suppan, Jeff Weaver, Anthony Reyes, Josh Kinney, Brad Thompson, Josh Hancock, Braden Looper, Adam Wainwright, Tyler Johnson, Randy Flores

Position
Yadier Molina, Gary Bennett, Albert Pujols, Ronnie Belliard, Aaron Miles, David Eckstein, Scott Rolen, Scott Spiezio, Chris Duncan, Jim Edmonds, Juan Enccarnacion, Preston Wilson, So Taguchi, John Rodriguez

Find out if you are in the NLCS TV market here.

Not on roster
Jason Marquis, Jose Vizcaino, Chris Narveson, Jorge Sosa, Skip Schumaker

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver and Luis Gonzalez
Reporter: Ken Rosenthal

Wednesday Thursday
Jeff Weaver starts for the Cardinals against Tom Glavine of the Mets.

St. Louis 0, N.Y. Mets 2
Losing pitcher - Jeff Weaver (0-1)

Friday
Chris Carpenter got the start against rookie John Maine. A late inning rally after two ties in the game led to a 9-6 win over the Mets.

St. Louis 9, N.Y. Mets 6
Winning pitcher - Josh Kinney (1-0)
HR: Jim Edmonds (1), So Taguchi (1)

Saturday
Jeff Suppan started against Steve Trachsel. Suppan was dealing and Trachsel left with an injury. The Cardinals won 5-0.

St. Louis 5, N.Y. Mets 0
Winning pitcher - Jeff Suppan (1-0)
HR: Jeff Suppan (1)

THAT'S A WINNER! THE CARDINALS WIN! THE CARDINALS WIN!

Cards now lead the series 2-1!

Sunday
Anthony Reyes starts against Oliver Perez. This is a big game and based on Oliver Perez's numbers in the past, I fully expect the Cards to move to 3-1 in the series and clinch tomorrow. That said, I am not taking ANYTHING granted.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Scott Spiezio LF
Albert Pujols 1B
Juan Encarnacion RF
Scott Rolen 3B
Jim Edmonds CF
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Yadier Molina C
Anthony Reyes P

Mets
Jose Reyes SS
Paul Lo Duca C
Carlos Beltran CF
Carlos Delgado 1B
David Wright 3B
Shawn Green RF
John Valentin 2B
Endy Chavez LF
Oliver Perez P

Some of the Cardinals showed up like Eckstein, Edmonds, and Molina. All three went deep. Edmonds is actually starting against left-handed pitching when he was being platooned during the regular season.

N.Y. Mets 12, St. Louis 5
Losing pitcher - Brad Thompson (0-1)
HR: David Eckstein (1), Jim Edmonds (2), Yadier Molina (1)

Monday Tuesday
Jeff Weaver starts against Tom Glavine. Glavine is pitching on three days rest. It's very rainy in St. Louis which could push the game to Tuesday evening instead.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Preston Wilson LF
Albert Pujols 1B
Juan Encarnacion RF
Scott Rolen 3B
Jim Edmonds CF
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Yadier Molina C
Jeff Weaver P

Mets
Jose Reyes SS
Paul Lo Duca C
Carlos Beltran CF
Carlos Delgado 1B
David Wright 3B
Shawn Green RF
John Valentin 2B
Endy Chavez LF
Tom Glavine P

Today (10/17) in Cardinals History: Albert Pujols hit a 3-run home run off of Brad Lidge in the top of the 9th inning in Game 5 of the NLCS to bring the series back to Busch for one final game.

Jeff Weaver outdueled the aging Tom Glavine. Weaver was amazing and has pitched himself on to next season's rotation with the record he had in September and his post-season record so far in October.

St. Louis 4, N.Y. Mets 2
Winning pitcher - Jeff Weaver (1-1)
SV - Adam Wainwright
HR: Albert Pujols (1), Chris Duncan (1)

Wednesday
Chris Carpenter starts against John Maine. The Cards lost what should have been a series clincher.

St. Louis 2, N.Y. Mets 4
Losing pitcher - Chris Carpenter (0-1)

Thursday
Jeff Suppan takes on Oliver Perez in the final game of this seven-game series. The lineups are below. A few things, where is So Taguchi in the lineup? This season, he's 4-8 against Perez, and 5-17 lifetime. Wilson is 1-13 in his career against Perez.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Preston Wilson LF
Albert Pujols 1B
Juan Encarnacion RF
Jim Edmonds CF
Scott Rolen 3B
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Yadier Molina C
Jeff Suppan P

Mets
Jose Reyes SS
Paul Lo Duca C
Carlos Beltran CF
Carlos Delgado 1B
David Wright 3B
Shawn Green RF
John Valentin 2B
Endy Chavez LF
Oliver Perez P

RIP: Cory Lidle

Word on the street is that MLB pitcher Cory Lidle of the New York Yankees was on the plane that crashed into the condo today.

Lidle was only 34. He was piloting the plane on the east side of Manhattan, NY.

In his 9 seasons, he played for seven teams. He was 82-72 with a 4.57 ERA in his career.

I hate the Yankees but it's always sad when ballplayers die, especially before their time.

John Kruk and Steve Phillips are talking about this situation on an early Sportscenter.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Yankee organization and the friends and family of Cory Lidle.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gateway vs. Gotham

A few comparisons between St. Louis and New York:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls the shots at a media empire that bears his name.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay takes shots at the media on a blog that bears his name.
Well, it's a start. RTWT.

Will Carp take it home again?

Chris Carpenter takes home the 2006 Sporting News Pitcher of the Year award for the second year in a row.
Chris Carpenter's exploits thus far in the postseason have been impressive, but they're not exactly news. The best pitcher in the National League playoffs in 2006 was also the best in the league in the regular season, at least according to his peers.
Carpenter was announced on Tuesday as a repeat winner of The Sporting News' NL pitcher of the year. Balloting was conducted late in the season, with 296 NL players casting votes. Carpenter also won the award -- as well as the NL Cy Young Award -- in 2005.

Carpenter was the only Cardinals player honored. Albert Pujols fell short of Ryan Howard for first baseman on TSN's National League all-star team, as well as for player of the year. Scott Rolen was outvoted by Nomar Garciaparra for the magazine's comeback player of the year.

But Carpenter was once again the man on the mound. The right-hander went 15-8, reaching 15 wins for the third time in as many seasons in a St. Louis uniform. He posted a 3.09 ERA that was second in the league, while amassing 184 strikeouts (seventh in NL), five complete games (third) and three shutouts (tied for first).

He could have had plenty more than 15 wins, but at various times, bullpen letdowns and a lack of offensive support cost him in that category.

"Everything hasn't worked for him this year," said manager Tony La Russa. "Sometimes we don't score. And he has just ignored everything and gotten ready to pitch, and he's putting another great season. But it isn't like everything fell into place for him. He's had a couple things go against him."

Personal wins, though, aren't what Carpenter looks at. He's more concerned with another number. The Cardinals went 20-12 in games he started.

"I prepare myself to go out and win and give my team a chance to win," he said. "Fortunately, that's a nice number. I try to be as consistent as I can and give my team a chance to win, whether I win or lose. If we win the game, that's good."

Monday, October 09, 2006

NLCS: Cardinals rotation set

Derrick Goold reports that the rotation is set, and it is tentative, meaning that it's subject to change.
Game 1 @ Shea...Jeff Weaver
Game 2 @ Shea...Jeff Suppan
Game 3 @ Busch...Chris Carpenter
Game 4 @ Busch...Jason Marquis or Anthony Reyes
Game 5 @ Busch...Jeff Weaver
Game 6 @ Shea...Jeff Suppan
Game 7 @ Shea...Chris Carpenter
I would rather take Reyes over Marquis and I realize it is a high pressure situation.
Game by game there is a sense that the Cardinals pitching may actually stack up favorably for this series, into which they will go as extreme underdogs. But here’s where the Cardinals’ may have the biggest edge: Their starters will absorb innings. The Mets used at least six pitchers in two of their NLDS victories against the LA Dodgers. The starts pitched a total of 13 2/3 innings. Only Tom Glavine got through the fifth inning.

NLCS: St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets (Pond Scum)

The Mets are pond scum. All I can say is: Jon Stewart's team may be the favorites but they are going down!!

The St. Louis Cardinals in 5!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Underdogs

Now the Cards head to the NLCS as huge underdogs against the New York Mets.

The Mets lead the Cards in the season series 4-2.

... just like the Padres.

That's a winner!

The Cardinals advance to the NLCS!
The Cardinals advance to the NLCS!
The Cardinals advance to the NLCS!
The Cardinals advance to the NLCS!
The Cardinals advance to the NLCS!

Yadier Molina

He's a badass. He looks about age 13 in the face, but he's got an arm that just snagged an out at first base that I would have thought impossible.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Cardinals haiku

Cardinal Girl has a haiku on the NLDS:
Not sure where all these
dominant pitchers have been,
but I'm glad they're here.
Ha!

Ugh

I'm a little upset that the NLDS is on ESPN2, playing second fiddle to college football.

Maybe I'm just upset that the Yankees/Tigers have been able to have their games in prime time.

I could be wrong, but I suspect that the poobahs who decide these things would rather have the Yankees in prime time, at least in part, because most of them are Yankees fans.

Then again, I'm happy that the Cardinals have a much better day game record (37-19) than the Padres (32-22).

So maybe it's not all bad.

NLDS: Cards vs. Padres, Game 3

ESPN2 is televising the game at 1 PM ET. Game 3 is at Busch Stadium III.

TV Commentators
Play by Play: Jon Miller
Analysis: Joe Morgan
Sideline: Erin Andrews

ESPN Radio
Play by Play: Wayne Hagin
Analysis: Luis Gonzalez (Diamondbacks outfielder)

Have your brooms ready because you should not be taking anything for granted. Picking the Cardinals on Baseball Tonight: Kruk, Tino, Eduardo Perez picked the Cardinals. Brian Kenny picked the Padres. In the other game 3 today, Perez and Brian are the only ones so far to pick the Dodgers. As to the AL, Kruk was the only one to pick the Tigers.

Pujols has a .352 postseason career average. He's 5-8 with a home run and 3 RBI in the 2006 NLDS.

Lineups:
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Chris Duncan LF
Albert Pujols 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Scott Rolen 3B
Juan Encarnacion RF
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Yadier Molina C
Jeff Suppan P

San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts LF
Todd Walker 2B
Brian Giles RF
Mike Piazza C
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Mike Cameron CF
Russ Branyan 3B
Geoff Blum SS
Chris Young P

T1: Suppan delivers a strike to Roberts and the game is now underway at 1:11 PM et. 1-2. Base hit to left field for his fourth hit of the series. Walker at the plate. 0-1. Duncan misses the ball in what should have been a line out now means that there are two runners in scoring position. However, Duncan hustled enough to prevent the run. Giles is now batting. Grounded out to Jeff Suppan for the first out of the inning. Mike Piazza is up. In 17 career at bats, Piazza has several home runs against Suppan. 3-1. Grounded to Pujols who throws Roberts out at the plate. Two outs and we now have runners on the corners. Pujols will be getting a gold glove during the offseason. Gonzalez is now up. 1-0. Sweet! Molina picks off Mike Piazza after the pitch. The first inning is over. Cards 0, SD 0

B1: Eckstein leads off. 1-1. Base hit to left and Eckstein gets on with a single. Duncan got luck with a foul ball there and Bochy comes out to argue the call with the umpires. 1-2. Duncan goes down swinging. El Hombre now batting (For those of you stuck in the caves, that's Pujols). 2-0. Lined out to right for the second out. Jim Edmonds is now at the plate. 3-1 (Hey Joe, stop arguing about Pujols and Howard being MVP: "No one is more valuable to his team than Albert Pujols...but you could say the same thing about Ryan Howard"). Eckstein steals second. Edmonds is walked to get to Scott Rolen. Rolen has been slumping lately. 2-2. Rolen chased that one for the final out of the inning. Cards 0, SD 0

T2: Gonzalez is back at the plate. 3-2. Roberts goes down swinging. One out. Cameron due up. 3-2. Chris Duncan is having a bad day in left field and Cameron gets a double. Branyan. Flies out to Jim Edmonds. Blum. IBB'd to get to Chris Young for the final out of the inning. Young due up. 1-2. Strikeout to end the inning. Cards 0, SD 0

B2: Bob Gibson through out the first pitch today. Also, it was announced that the Comeback Players of the Year were Nomar Garciaparra and Jim Thome. Juan Encarnacion is due up. 1-0. Infield fly out. Belliard. 1-0. Grounded to second base. Molina, who came up big in the first, is up. 1-2. Goes down swinging. Cards 0, SD 0

T3: Top of the order due up. Roberts. 3-2. Tough play and Suppan drops the ball. It was scored a hit. Walker. 1-0. Good, a 1-6-3 double play and we now have two outs in the inning. Giles. 1-0. Flies out to shallow center where Eckstein calls for it. Cards 0, SD 0

B3: Suppan. 2-2. Strikeout. Eckstein. Deep left center, could be extra, but caught in center. Duncan. 2-1. That ball is back, back, and caught near the warning track in right field. Pujols to lead off the 4th inning. Cards 0, SD 0

T4: Piazza. Lined to Belliard on the first pitch. One away. Hey, we get an Erin Andrews update (she's an alumnus of the University of Florida). Gonzalez. 2-1. Base hit to right field. Cameron. 3-1. Walk. Branyan. 3-2. Crap! That base hit was extended to a double with him advancing to third on the throw. The Padres now have 2 runs on the board. Blum. 1-1. Sac fly but the run scores. SD now has three runs with two outs in the inning. Young. Strikeout. Cards 0, SD 3

B4: Pujols. 3-2. Strikeout. Edmonds. 0-2. He goes down swinging. Rolen. 1-2. Strikeout. Young has 7 strikeouts through 4 innings. Cards 0, SD 3

T5: No decision yet on who starts game 4 on Sunday for the Padres. Roberts. 2-1. Third base hit of the day for Roberts. He's now 6-11 in the series. Walker. 2-0. There's some activity in the bullpen with Josh Hancock warming up. There's a pitchout and Molina has a bad throw that gets into centerfield so Roberts goes to 3rd. Grounded out to first. Giles. 3-1. Walk. Runners on the corners. LaRussa makes a visit to the mound to take Suppan out of the game and Josh Hancock comes in to the game. Piazza. 0-2. Strikeout. Two outs now. Gonzalez. 3-2. Walks and the bases are now loaded. Mike Cameron comes up to the plate. 2-1 Grounded to third and Rolen throws to second for the force out. Cards 0, SD 3

B5: Encarnacion. 1-1. Juan flies out to deep left field. Belliard. Base hit for Belliard and we have the first hit since the first inning. I smell a rally. Molina. Come on Yadier, do your best Pujols impersonation! Flores is warming up in the pen. 2-2. Grounded into a double play. Hancock is likely to start the next inning. Cards 0, SD 3

T6: CARPENTER IS SCHEDULED TO PITCH TOMORROW IF WE LOSE TODAY. Branyan. 1-1. Infield fly out to Eckstein. Blum. 1-2. Chris is having a TERRIBLE day in left field. Blum is at second on what is scored as a double. Young. Flies out to Juan. Roberts. 3-1. Walk and he reaches for the 4th time today. Walker. 2-1. Grounded to a force out at second. Cards 0, SD 3

B6: Now is the time to start a rally. Khalil Greene moves to short stop. Blum moves to 3rd base and Branyan is done for the day. Aaron Miles pinch hits for Hancock. 3-2. Pops up in foul territory. One away. It's more and more likely that the Cards will be playing on Sunday. Eckstein. 1-1. Base hit. Barring a DP, Pujols will be up this inning. Can we tie it?!? I smell a rally starting! From Erin Andrews, we learn that Chris Young had a 1600 on his SAT as he is only the 4th Ivy Leaguer to start a postseason game (He went to Yale). Cla Meredith and Alan Embree are warming up for the Padres. Duncan. 3-2. Duncan walks and Pujols comes up to the plate. Bochy is coming out to the mound. 2-2. Pitch 1 was a ball but called a K. That was a brushback (pitch 2). Check swing that hit the bat (pitch 3). Up and away for a ball (pitch 4). He goes down swinging. Two away. Edmonds now coming up to the plate. You can hear it in the crowd. Back, back, back, and not quite gone. Caught by Roberts at the track. This was our best chance to rally. I think we're playing on Sunday. Cards 0, SD 3

T7: Randy Flores is now in for the Cards. Giles. Grounded to Flores and Albert takes care of it. Piazza. 2-0. Double as Juan doesn't play that very well. Cameron. 3-2. He gets walked. Looper comes in as Flores leaves. Flies out to Duncan. Two away. Greene. 2-1. Grounded out to short stop. Cards 0, SD 3

B7: Okay, time to start a rally. Scotty's been slumping so I wouldn't be surprised if Scott Spiezio pinch hits here. Chris Young is still pitching. Rolen. 3-1. He pops up to Piazza and surprisingly, he catches the ball. I think Rolen is suffering from a fatigued shoulder. Encarnacion. 2-2. Caught looking. Two outs. Belliard. He rips it down the line for a double! Belliard and Eckstein have two hits each. Molina will be pinch hit by Scott Spiezio. There's a double switch and Chris Young will be taken out of the game and replaced by Alan Embree. Rob Bowen replaces Piazza at catcher. 3-2. Taguchi to pinch hit for Looper if he comes to the plate. Spiezio goes down with a strikeout. Cards 0, SD 3

T8: Gary Bennett is now catching and Looper stays on the mound. Blum. Duncan makes the catch on left. One away. Bowen. 2-2. Lines to Duncan but he couldn't hold on to it. That's something Duncan has to work on. IT scores as a hit. Roberts. Bunted for a hit but he's thrown out. Two away. Walker. 2-2. Grounded to second to end the inning. Despite the defensive errors, the Cardinals bullpen have managed to hold the Padres at rthree runs. Cards 0, SD 3

B8: The Cardinals are inching closer and closer to playing on Sunday barring a late inning rally this afternoon. So Taguchi is going to pinch hit for Looper despite Scott Linebrink now coming in. I'd rather have JRod in this scenario but nope, we are stuck with So. 0-2. Forget JRod, SO went yard and the Cards are down 3-1 now. Eckstein. 3-2. Grounded out to third. Can we get a home run or base hit out of Duncan? 3-2. Duncan is walked. The Great Pujols is at the plate (5-10 with HR against Linebrink). 0-1. So much for the rally, Pujols grounds into a double play. Cards 1, SD 3

T9: Tyler Johnson relieves Braden Looper. So Taguchi remains in the game to play left field. Trevor Hoffman is warming up for the Padres. Giles. 2-2. Strikeout. Josh Barfield is pinch hitting for Linebrink. 3-0. Walked. Brad Thompson is warming up. Gonzalez. 0-1. Base hit. TLR is going to the pen and getting Thompson in. Cameron. 3-2. Walked. Greene. 0-2. Strikeout. Blum. 0-2. Flies out to Jimmy in centerfield. Cards 1, SD 3

B9: The Padres go to their closer to try and shut the door. Edmonds. That was not deep enough to go yard and is out #1. Rolen. 1-1. Grounded to short for the second out. Encarnacion. 0-2. That's game and the Cards will be playing tomorrow afternoon or evening.