Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Must Win?

Well, in a word - no.

I get the feeling that St. Louis fans, in general, are getting very, very nervous about the playoffs. And for the most part, I can understand that. With a loss last night, the Cards have now dropped 4 consecutive series against teams that may (or may not) be in the playoffs. Consider the following, though:

  1. 3 of the 4 series were on the road
  2. None of the 4 series featured the regular starting lineup
  3. If the Cards win tonight, they will not have been swept in said series'
Item three is one of the reasons why I call tonight a "must win", even though a better term would be "I'd like to win." Not only would a win tonight avoid a Cardinal sweep during the month of September, it would also give the Cardinals a .500 or better record against every team they've played this season, assuming they can split with Milwaukee over the weekend. (Currently the Cardinals are 8-9 against the Astros in 2004.) There is just something about that that sounds good.

In general, I enjoyed last night's game. The pitching was great, especially the bullpen once again. Scott Rolen looked good in the field, and even drove a ball to the warning track in one of his at-bats. And Reggie Sanders was called out at the plate when he was obviously safe, thus costing the Cards a run, which is a lot in a 2-1 loss.

The Cards will have their work cut out for them if they are to win tonight, of course. Roger Clemens is taking the hill, and the Cards have had problems with him all season (He's 2-0 over 3 starts with a 1.31 ERA). Of course, the Cards are sending the road warrior himself to the mound. No, not Mel Gibson, but Jeff Suppan who is 10-0 with a 3.20 ERA away from Busch this season. Fluky. And according to Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch, Suppan is the likely game 4 starter in the playoffs.

So, while a win would take care of the items I listed above, it would also do something else - provide a bit of relief to the growing crowd of nay-sayers. If the Cards could beat a team fighting for their lives, doing so against the potential Cy Young winner, on the road, with Jeff Suppan picking up his 11th road win? Well, I'd like to think that it would ease the minds of some people by a little.


At 2:23 PM, Blogger Socnorb11 said...

I agree, for the most part........... still, one ornery part of me wouldn't be heartbroken if the Astros win tonight, just to make Cubs fans sweat a little bit more (especially if the Cubs can find a way to lose today's game against the Reds).

But yeah....... I'm rooting for a win tonight, for the very reasons that you mentioned. Also, it wouldn't be so bad watching Astros fans watch their playoff dreams take a huge turn for the worse, if the Cardinals beat them tonight.


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