Thursday, October 14, 2004

Great Win

That was an important game for the Cardinals tonight. By winning, the Cardinals now only have to win 2 of the next 5 games to advance to the World Series. For the Astros to win, they will have to take at least 2 out of 3 in Houston. Additionally, they will have to win at least one game in St. Louis, where the Cards are now 4-0 in the playoffs, and will have to get at least one win this series in a game featuring a starter on 3 days' rest. And to update the stat, teams over the last 6 years in the playoffs are now 13-31 using a starter on short rest, while the Astros during this year's playoffs are 1-2.

Matt Morris wasn't great tonight, but he was good enough. For him to go 5 innings and only give up 3 earned runs is actually awesome, considering that he gave up 6 hits and 5 walks. And, true to 2004 Matt Morris form, he gave up 2 home runs. We should be due for a "Good Matt" start next time around.

I said before the series started that the bullpens would give the Cardinals a big edge. I didn't think, however, that base running and defense would be a big difference so early. Tonight, the Astros ran into 3 outs on the base paths, having 2 men thrown out stealing, along with Vizcaino getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. When a team gives away 11% of their outs, the end result usually isn't good. Additionally, the Astros couldn't advance runners from 1st and 2nd with no outs in the 6th, thanks in part to bad bunting by Bruntlett, partly to great Cardinal defense by Pujols.

And how good did it feel to see Rolen get not one, but two home runs? I had been concerned about his health. Not so much right now. With Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds really getting locked in, along with Walker? Well, there aren't many pitchers who will be able to shut them down. (Jose Lima is playing golf these days, after all.)

This series isn't over yet, of course. The next two games are going to be tough. In my opinion, even if the Cards drop those 2 games, they are still in the driver's seat in the NLCS. But if they can split the next 2 games, look for them to finish off the Astros in Houston on Monday.


At 5:46 AM, Blogger Socnorb11 said...

If I'm not mistaken, the ONE team to have a winning record this year against the Cardinals, doesn't have a winning record against them ANY MORE!

Nice win!!

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Cardinal John said...

Great post! and great posts this whole month! Keep it up!

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Robb said...

Thanks, Cardinal John. I'm glad to know someone is having fun reading my posts. I'm certainly having fun putting them together.


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