Didn’t see that finish coming either, huh? And after this summer, any further need to gamble, skydive, or even ride coasters is forever muted. The Cardinals are winners in my book no matter what happens in October, but a couple of playoff gems by Chris Carpenter would help keep the playoff beard from going all gray.
Most media outlets are still picking Philadelphia, but the buzz surrounding St. Louis has been consistently on the rise since trading Raz. Today’s news about Carp only strengthens the chances of enjoying a lengthy series with the Phillies in my opinion. While plenty will be said about the upcoming NLDS, tonight our three loyal readers are in for a special treat.
Where else can you get a math lesson heading into the biggest weekend of the fall?
Looking at the records, Philly has a clear advantage across the board. Stated much better than I ever could, Jayson Stark’s must read has pros and cons in every direction. While sticking with the safe bet, Stark sounded a lot like most did about the ’04 and ’05 Cards who were in much the same spot.
Head-to-head battle should factor in quite a bit, except all two-game ‘series’ should be outlawed. By taking out that St. Louis sweep, the difference is one game with both clubs winning on the road. In fact the Cards finished with 45 victories away from Busch, second in the National League behind only the Phils.
No matter how you slice it, the team numbers seem to favor a battle of superior pitching vs. high-powered offense and by Monday morning is sure to look completely different. That’s October baseball at it’s finest!
Even better than comparing the teams, my personal favorite still remains individual figures. The sometimes monumental shift that accompanies turning off the regular season and flipping on the switch for postseason baseball may never be fully explained.
However you choose to describe it, whether it is clutch or money just don’t forget two words — Yadier Molina. The MVP candidate (you read that right) set personal highs in well, just about everything. You want clutch, try 13 multi-hit games since August 26th. Or maybe you like money, how does raising the batting average from .291 to .305 during the same period sound?
Did I mention all this came from the number six spot or lower in the lineup and without missing a beat behind the plate. You get the point but check this out for further proof. (Ed. Note/feel free to watch multiple times!)
Lastly and normally the group of numbers that you throw out the window first are the irregular ones. Take for instance Kyle Lohse way back on September 19th. In one of many must-win games, Lohse had extra rest just in case he needed to watch more film of Roy Halladay. Doc was out-pitched that day, so the rematch tomorrow just got that much more interesting.
With the St. Louis starter back on extra rest, the only stat that matters from here on out ends up in the history books, either as a win or a loss. But as these Cards have already proven, the truth doesn’t always follow the numbers.