Tagged: World Series

Tie goes to the Runner!

Now I’ll admit, I’m usually pretty biased while watching Cardinal games, but usually after watching the replay I admit when I’m wrong. That being said, the Cardinals got hosed on the call to end the first inning. After verlander had walked the bases loaded, Ronnie Belliard grounded a ball up the middle. Guillen fielded it in the hole and threw a one hopper to first. Sean Casey scooped the ball up and the umpire punched the less than fleet footed Belliard out. The only problem is, he was safe. Belliard beat out the throw by about half a step and even if he didn’t, a tie is supposed to go to the runner. I know its early, but that blown call cost the Cardinals at least two runs if not more.

As I type this Yadi just smacked a leadoff single so lets hope this is a sign of things to come.


EDIT: Eckstein Delivers again! A screamer down the third base line and a throwing error by Inge, Cardinals lead 1-0 with a man on second. Lets Go Dunc (and hopefully Pujols)!!

Leyland not a “Gamblin” guy…

Jim Leyland has chosen to start the rookie Justin Verlander tonight in win-or-go home game 5. While I figured he would go with the veteran Rogers, this decision should come as no suprise and certainly shouldn’t be causing as much uproar as it has been so far. Verlander was Leyland’s choice for game 1 and remember, the Tigers, unlike the Cardinals, had a week off and were able to set their rotation however they wanted it. Leyland wanted to start Rogers in games 2 and 6 so that he would pitch in front of a home crowd both times. Apparently he thought Verlander would be better suited to pitch in front of a hostle crowd. So, why, with elimination on the line and so called "dirtgate" on everyone’s mind, would Leyland change his mind now? When asked about this Leyland made a point of saying that the Tigers need to win three games, not one. Just getting the series back to Detroit is NOT what Leyland is managing for. He’s putting his team in the best position possible to stage a ’68 like comeback against the Cardinals. For you conspiracy theorists out there, there could also be another reason Leyland is holding Rogers. If Leyland, an old school hard-nosed manager, was not aware until game two that Rogers was cheating (and personally I don’t believe Leyland would have allowed it to happen) then perhaps Leyland’s love of the game (and maybe a bit of anger at Rogers) played a roll in this decision as well?

However, just like saving your closer in the late innings for when you have a lead, you might not make it to that point. The 2006 World Series could very easily end without Rogers getting another chance to dazzle us all with his "dirt" covered hand. What a shame that would be…

Three Down, One to Go!

With one on, and one out in the bottom of the eigth, David Eckstein stepped to the plate and drilled a line drive for a double past the diving Tiger outfielder. Eckstein, who had missed significant playing time with multiple injuries at the end of the season, and who also was batting under the Mendoza line (.200) in the post-season, delivered when it mattered. In a game of weather related slip ups and mistakes, Eckstein propelled the Cardinals offense by going 4 for 5 with three doubles. This was not a traditional "must win" game for the Cardinals, leading the series two games to one, but if they wanted to keep their momentum going, if they wanted to go for the Tigers’ collective jugular, they needed this game.

Sure, the ’68 Tigers trailed the Cardinals by the same margin, three games to one, as they do now. But the situation in ’68 was nothing like what has transpired over the last 4 games. THESE Tigers glided through the playoffs, losing only the first game they played against the Yankees. THESE Tigers were the American League representative in a year when the National League was referred to as AAAA ball. And, to make matters worse, THESE Cardinals weren’t supposed to win a single game in the playoffs. THESE Cardinals had three regular season losing streaks of 7 or more games. They very nearly lost the division to the Astros after leading by double digit games with mere days left in the season. THESE Cardinals entered the playoffs with the fewest wins of any post season team and THESE Tigers had swept St. Louis in inter-league play earlier in the year.

No, the situation was vastly different in ’68. Those Tigers still had hope. By winning this game tonight, the Cardinals seized every last bit of momentum and taunted the Tigers with it. The Tigers were beaten tonight not by the reigning Cy Young award winner, or the reigning MVP, but by a undersized, underappreciated shortstop. In the end, David Eckstein broke in the Tigers the very thing he used to beat them… heart, and a lot of it.

No changes

According to ESPN.com, the pitching matchup for tonight’s World Series game will remain the same as last nights rain out.

However, thats about the only thing that’s certain. The forecast is calling for more rain tonight and tomorrow so who know’s when they’ll actually get the game in. At this rate, we could be watching a rematch of game 3 starters in game 5.

If either of the next two games gets delayed, it would leave open the possibilities of Carpenter coming back on short rest for the Cardinals. As mentioned yesterday, the outcome of tonight’s game will likely dictate who pitches for each team in Game 5. Dave Duncan told reporters that it "Depends what happens in tomorrow’s game. If you win, it presents one set of circumstances. If
you lose, it presents another set of circumstances." If both games are played as currently scheduled (tonight and tomorrow night), I would expect to see Jeff Weaver pitching game 5 for the Cardinals, regardless of tonight’s outcome. If Detroit wins tonight, I would expect them to send game 1 starter, Justin Verlander, back out to keep their momentum going. If the Tigers find themselves behind 3 games to 1, I would expect to see the vertan Kenny Rogers toeing the rubber (under many watchful eyes and cameras) in an attempt to save Detroit’s season. At this point though, your guess is as good as mine.

Effects of a Rainout…

Even though MLB is still trying to play the game tonight, I figured I would analyze what the effect of a rainout would be…

Basically it would push everyone’s start back a day. The Tigers would be able to start Verlander on regular rest while the Cardinals would likely still start Suppan. Bonderman (tonight’s  scheduled starter) has been solid in both the regular season and post season, however, Verlander is the Tiger’s best option to win. Also, the extra day off would allow "the Cheater" I mean "The Gambler" to start game 5 on regular rest as well. Rogers would likely once again be opposed by Jeff Weaver who while also sharp in game two, took the loss after giving up two runs in the first inning.

Game 6’s pitching matchup would likely depend on who wins games 4 and 5. If the Cardinals were up 3 games to 2, Tony LaRusa would, in my opinion, save Carpenter for a decisive game 7 rather than risk having to start rookie Anthony Reyes (despite his comanding game 1 performance). However, if the Cardinals were beind 3 games to 2, game 6 would be a "must-win" and LaRusa would be forced to pitch his best pitcher, rather than risk leaving him on the shelf for a game 7 that might never be played.

Of course, if the game is actually played as predicted, this all goes out the window. See what happens when you have two hours to kill while waiting for your team to play in the World Series?