So Much To Say...Not Sure What To Call It...

Got a bunch of thoughts on Game Four...and the upcoming Game Five...and I don't really think they all tie together, so I'm just going to flow like Rabbit in 8 Mile.

I could do one of those awkward teases from the news anchor to the weather person that you see on local TV news in order to try and make it flow seamlessly...but this is just going to be a stream of randomness.

Cut up your ritalin and "enjoy."

-David Freese got to experience what about---honestly---a million area guys dreamed of doing: winning a playoff game at Busch Stadium.

-Furthermore, it comes a night after Freese had a rough outing. Yeah...he did have an RBI 1B in Game Three, but he three k's and looked bad doing it. He started off Game Four with a strikeout against Roy Oswalt. It was starting to look bad for the Lafayette grad getting his first shot at postseason glory in St. Louis. And, then he ripped the double down the left field line in the bottom of the 4th. It was on. His home run in the 6th was destroyed. Dead center. And, I think most Cardinal fans watching the game...it was very necessary. It proved to be the game-winner.

-I could do without him being pulled in the top of the 7th. Man, I really dislike those Freese and Berkman defensive substitutions.

-I'm having a breakthrough. Busch Stadium III is growing on me. Maybe it's the combination of perfect weather, two thrilling baseball games, and two incredible nights for energetic atmospheres, but I looked around both Tuesday night and Wednesday night and thought it wasn't so bad. Not really sure what happened. Big Mac Land is still there. The parking garages are still there. But, it looked pretty damn good the last couple of nights. And, the fans were outstanding. Incredible atmospheres.

-I don't know how to explain the Phillies' offense...or lack thereof. I think I've written about it a few times now, but I'm still trying to figure it out. Are they slumping? Hurt? Old? Are the Cardinals just pwning them? Not sure. But, they had three hits in the first five pitches last night...and then two hits between the sixth pitch and the 8th inning.

-It's that disappearance of their offense that gives me hope that the Cardinals can win Friday night in Philadelphia. The Cardinals may not score more than a run or two tomorrow...but the combination of Carpenter on full rest and the Phillie offense may be enough to push them through.

-I haven't seen it anywhere yet...but virtually certain that I will at some point soon...the fact that Chris Carpenter is starting Game Five does not, in my opinion, vindicate the decision to have him start on short rest Sunday. If anything, Edwin Jackson's performance reaffirms my belief that the Cardinals' best shot was Lohse-Jackson-Carpenter-Garcia in the first four...and not even let it get back to Halladay. I don't get the lack of confidence the staff has/had in Jackson. He doesn't have the reputation of Carpenter---not even close...nor is he worthy of it---but since coming over to St. Louis, he's had a total of two starts in which he gave up three earned runs or more. It's not a Woody Williams turnaround (circa 2001), but it's been quitely damn impressive.

-Speaking of 2001, the similarities, which I referenced yesterday, are getting scurrier and scurrier. To revisit...

In 2001, the Cardinals were all but out of it and had to charge from out of nowhere to win the National League Wild Card...which they won---by losing to the Central Division Champion Astros who they tied with record-wise but lost head-to-head season record---on the final day of the season.

They met the favored Diamondbacks in Arizona...where they lost Game One...and then won a thriller in Game Two.

They returned to St. Louis, where they lost a heartbreaking Game Three...in which momentum was crushed when Mark McGwire grounded into a double play late.

With their backs against the wall, they won Game Four to send it back to Arizona, and set up one hell of a pitching match-up between Game One starters Matt Morris and Curt Schilling.

The game---and the series---would be considered a classic by many, including Curt Schilling who joined us on The ITD Morning After a couple of years ago and said that many people remember that World Series between the Diamondbacks and the Yankees, but the NLDS between Arizona and the Cardinals was just as good.

Now, Cardinal fans hope that the similarities stop at the Old School Baseball Fan's Wet Dream of Pitching Match-ups with Carpenter and Halladay. No need to revisit the bottom of the 9th heartbreak of that Game 5 with Tony Womack and Governor Steve Kline.

-Negative thought: the series should be over. The Cardinals should've eliminated the best team in baseball in four games last night.

-Positive thought: considering where the team was in late August...or early September...or with six games left after The Ninth Inning From Hell two weeks ago...or three games back with five to play...or down one game to none and 4-0 with Cliff Lee on the mound...this whole thing really is a run with house money. That doesn't change my frustration with Game Three...because it was there to be won and really should've been. But, to get the caliber of thrills most of us have gotten over the last three games is something that Cardinal fans really haven't had since 2006. The 2009 team was there and gone in three games. This team has pushed the prohibitive World Series favorites to the brink...and no matter what...they won't have Halladay in Game One of the NLCS should they beat the Cardinals tomorrow night. The Cardinals have made a dent in the king's armor.

-Remember the rollercoaster of emotions that you felt on October 19th, 2006 for about four hours? To refresh your memory...it was Game Seven at Shea Stadium. Suppan. Endy Chavez. Molina. Wainwright. Beltran. Frozen.

That was one of the best baseball games I've ever watched, and it may get its due in the historical rankings...mainly because a New York team was involved.

But, because it was in New York, and because it was a favorite on the ropes, and because it was with everything on the line for both teams, it was an exercise in vomit-inducing nerves, misery, and eventually, exultation.

If the Cardinals were playing a heavily-favored Padres' team in Game Five...or a heavily-favored Astros' team...or even a heavily-favored Dodgers' team in Game Five...it wouldn't be the same.

Philadelphia adds something to it.

It's going to be brutal, but that's what makes it so sweet if it ends in your team's favor.

I'm preparing not to sleep tomorrow night...one way or the other.

The insideSTL Girl Next Door Contest at HotShots Friday Night

Want to watch the game and the Girl Next Door Contest all in one spot? HotShots in Fenton is your hook-up. Producer Joe and Larry Nickel will be bringing the heat with our GND's from July, August, and September.

You can vote for your favorite GND today and tomorrow, and then cheer her on at HotShots in Fenton tomorrow night.

Here's a look at all the ladies:















Click HERE to place your vote.

Fuzzball Tournament For A Great Cause

The 8th Annual Fuzzball With the Fuzz benefit tournament is Sunday Oct 9. 9am start time at Woerner School (6131 Leona in south St. Louis). This benefit is for St Louis city police officers Joe Haman and Lucas Roethlisberger who were both seriously wounded by gunfire in the line of duty during 2010. The tournament is full but if you would like to come to the event the cost is $20 and includes beer, food, hard liquor and soft drinks for the entire day. In order to maximize the amount of funds we can give these two officers the tournament committee is in need of donations in the form of beer, frozen hamburgers and hot dogs, tennis balls and hard liquor.  If you can help out,  have any questions or need items picked up please contact Sgt. Brian Rossomanno of the St Louis Metropolitan Police Department at 314-574-9281 or Tim Sullivan at 314-973-8504.

Something To Watch

I'm by no means "Apple Guy." I have a Dell and a Blackberry.

But, I have incredible appreciation for the innovation of Steve Jobs. I can't begin to understand his genius.

However, his message in the below video at Stanford's 2005 graduation ceremony is something that resonated with me. If you have the 15 minutes, I'd recommend it. I believe in so much of what he says here: 


Log-in and post your comments, or you can email me at tmckernan@insidestl.com.


SHARE: E-mail | Permalink | | | |