Saturday, October 16, 2004

Game Three Thoughts

Not a bad game, all things considered. I would have rather seen the Redbirds win, of course, but plenty can be taken from this game.

Jeff Suppan

Back to back quality starts in the playoffs. This bodes well for either Game 6 of this series, or his first career World Series start. He would be even better if he could get off to a good start, having given up all 3 of his runs tonight in the 1st inning.

Cards Bullpen

Only having to use Haren, King, and Eldred tonight should help out the Cards tomorrow. I do have a couple of requests, though. One, please don't allow King to face Berkman again. Two, feel free to allow King to face Bagwell, based on his numbers against lefties this year combined with the way King made him look tonight..

Astros Bullpen

Lidge got the job done, but you know what? He wasn't "lights out" today, allowing 3 base runners over 2 innings. Nobody exactly killed the ball, of course, but the tying run did come up in the 9th. And, as the announcers mentioned, he ended up throwing 42 pitches. That could come into play in tomorrow's game, should the Astros need him to pitch 2 innings again. While the guy is awesome, he is also human.

Cards Bench

Why is Marlon Anderson continually the first lefty off of the bench? From the All-Star break on, he hit .204/.210/.320, giving him a 530 OPS. It has continued in the playoffs as he's now 0 for 4 with one hit by pitch and one walk - which is amazing in and of itself, since he only drew 1 walk in the 2nd half.

Meanwhile, John Mabry has only gotten 2 plate appearances, even though he was the best player off of the bench all season. Which brings me to...

Reggie Sanders

He hasn't looked great in the playoffs, other than Game 2 of the NLDS. In every game before todays, I had suggested that the Cardinals might want to consider starting Mabry over Sanders in a game in order to keep Mabry sharp, give Sanders rest, and give the Cardinals advantages against the opposing starting pitcher. Now that Sanders has 1 hit in the first 3 games of the NLCS, it's looking like it really wouldn't be a bad idea at all.

Carlos Beltran

If you read this, I would for you to fire Scott Boras and hire me to represent you. I'll just take a measly 1% commission on your future salary.

NLCS

Amazingly enough, tonight's loss isn't bothering me as much as usual. I think it helps that the Cardinals have only lost 2 of their last 7 games. It also helps that tonight's game was well played by both teams and could have gone either way.

I'll hopefully have time to look over Oswalt's splits tomorrow and provide a brief game preview. But overall, I like the Cardinals chances to get the win tomorrow, even though Oswalt was a 20 game winner. Clemens and Lidge didn't blow the Cards away, which I think is a good sign for tomorrow's game.

Momentum

Eric Karros explained how the momentum had shifted to the Astros tonight, but I just don't buy it. The Astros need a win tomorrow, which isn't hard to imagine. Should they get it, though, they would still have to take 2 out of 3 from the Cards. In those 3 games, if the series were to go that long, the Astros would feature a start from Backe, followed by Clemens and Owsalt on 3 days' rest, in St. Louis. I still think it's a stretch to see this series go more than 6 games, with the Cardinals getting the job done.

3 Comments:

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Socnorb11 said...

Robb, I don't think you mentioned it (maybe I missed it), but I think it's worth noting that Clemens threw 116 pitches today. If the Cardinals can steal one of the next 2 games (you would think they'd have a good shot against Backe on Monday, if they can't get it done against Oswalt tomorrow), then the Astros will have a MAJOR decision to make on Wednesday's game. Facing elimination, they would either have to let Pete Munro take the mound, or send Clemens out there on 3 days' rest, after throwing 116 pitches.

I know that you talked about this in an earlier posting, but I think it becomes even more interesting, with Clemens having thrown 116 pitches today.

As for tomorrow, it'll be another test for the Astros. If Oswalt is pitching well, they'll have to keep him in the game until the late innings, because I can't imagine that Lidge will be able to throw more than on inning tomorrow (if that). If Oswalt goes deep into the game, and has to run up a high pitch count, then he'll also be put to the test on short rest in Game 7 (assuming it goes that far). If Oswalt CAN'T go deep into the game tomorrow, then the Cards will get at least 2 or 3 innings against the Astros pen, and you HAVE to like that, especially in that park. At some point, you have to think that the Cards' bats are going to turn that park into a pinball machine........ if not against the Astros' pen tomorrow, then maybe against Backe on Monday.

 
At 8:52 PM, Blogger Robb said...

Those are some great points, Socnorb. Clemens having a high pitch count and thus effecting his potential start in Game 6 did cross my mind, but I forgot to mention it. Your point on Oswalt, however, is something that I hadn't considered.

 
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