Evidently being the favorite just doesn’t suit the 2011 edition, so it is back to square one as far as these Cardinals are concerned. And as much as it pains me to write this, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
St. Louis gets to go out with a bang, fitting since the opposite can be said for most of the past two months. In this best-of-three series, none of the Milwaukee starters posed a problem for the top NL offense the first time around.
Of course it isn’t all positive, given the Cards have needed at least four innings from the bullpen the last two outings. It won’t be classified as an elimination game tonight, but the Brewers have already passed their biggest mental hurdle. Jaime Garcia, on the other hand, takes the hill aiming to show how Game 1 nearly worked out as Tony LaRussa planned.
With a typical Busch start, Garcia can let his offense do the rest and put the series in the capable hands of Edwin Jackson. Milwaukee’s two stars did most of the damage in the opener, something that must be minimized to give Albert Pujols another run at a World Series.
As Pip from Fungoes tells us, the fifth inning struggles for St. Louis continue putting the pressure on the next game’s starter. Instead of dragging up the NLCS stats, the rotation should look at the work done to get here. Anchored by Chris Carpenter, the three best hurlers are again lined up when the Cards need them.
Garcia must throw like he did against the Phils for the games to matter at Miller Park. Matt Holliday and David Freese are hot at the right time, and the roster needs an energy boost after Game 4. TLR has brought teams this far before, one huge benefit over the opposing skipper.
All eyes are on Busch tonight, and I leave the three loyal viewers with this: what will the scene be like after the pivotal Game 5? Will everyone be Honkin‘ or will the visitors be taking their Monster party strait to the airport?