Thursday, October 19, 2006

Special Players Please Stand Up

-A little Cardinals analysis on the day of Game 7 of the NLCS.

What do I know for sure?

- Both teams have the same chance to win tonight’s game.
- The game is being played in New York.
- The Cardinals, again, will ostensibly have the better pitcher going to the mound at the start of the game.
- That didn’t make much difference last night because of the Redbirds pitiful offensive display.
- Jeff Suppan has pitched well in big games before.
- Oliver Perez hasn’t.
- The Cardinals have been awful against lefties.
- Ronnie Belliard's tongue apparently doesn't fit in his mouth.
- Tony LaRussa has been doing a solid managing job.
- The players haven’t played anywhere close to their potential…let alone above it.
- We’ve seen this core group of players roll over and die in the post-season before.
- So Taguchi probably should be in the starting lineup.
- If Billy Wagner appears in tonight's game, he probably won't have much confidence that he can save it.
- Jim Edmonds either isn't over his concussion thing...or he's just hitting like normal in the post-season.
-Scott Rolen's double in the 9th off Wagner was the first ball above his waste that he's hit solidly in two months.
-Jose Reyes needs to take a chill pill.
-The best hitter in the game...(you know who that is)...needs to have a game that proves it.
- Many of us had already given up on the post-season a while back because of the bumbling, stumbling last couple of weeks of the regular season.
- Any Cardinals games we’re seeing now are really a bonus to this season.

What don’t I know?

- Which Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Juan Encarnacion…(the meat of the order that usually wins for StL when they do) will show up.
- What sort of strange occurrence…normal for New York…may influence the outcome.
- In what kind of weather will the game be played.
- How badly do the players feel about not nailing it down in Game 6.
- Will a bad call by the umpires influence the outcome. (i.e. Don Denkinger)
- Which players want to write their names in the history books.
- Which ones would rather shun the spotlight.
- Will Carlos Beltran continue to be the best player in the world when he bats against Cardinals pitching.
- Will the Mets pitching be better than expected…as it was with John Maine.

Whatever the answers…the baseball season has been fun again in St. Louis. As stated earlier, there was no way to expect the Cardinals to go this far in the post-season a few weeks ago. So, no matter what happens tonight…game 7 loss…or trip to the World Series…it’s been a good ride. And Izzy won't blow this game.

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