Game Two: Rambling Observations And Stuff

- There's something about Albert Pujols. Well, there's more than something. There are a lot of things. But, the "something" I'm referring to is when he starts to get criticism...he responds. This has happened so many times, I actually made reference to it on the show yesterday. When people start to wonder if he's losing it...he goes batshit and has a monster game. And, sure enough...

- Pujols goes 4-for-5 with a HR and three doubles with five RBI's. He crushed the ball on three of those four hits. Crushed it.

- He had those RBI's with Rafael Furcal having an 0-for-5 night. That's because Jon Jay had a monster night as well. Not in the Pujols' category. But, a 3-for-5 evening with three runs scored was quite lovely in that number two spot.

- Home plate umpire Tim Timmons was awful. For both teams.

- Also some lovely "Human Element" on the Rickie Weeks GIDP. Weeks was very safe.

- Well, Nyjer Morgan---aka "The Journeyman"---brought the heat last night with some stellar defense. I really would like to see Chris Carpenter bring him some more heat tomorrow night.

- While it was thoroughly enjoyable to see Jay and Pujols go insane in the two and three spots, how about the job of the six, seven, and eight men? Yadier Molina, David Freese, and Nick Punto each had two hits. They combined for five RBI's and three runs scored...plus another Freese home run.

- Edwin Jackson got hit hard early...but the balls were hit right at people. That was a discouraging start by Jackson...if the series is in his hands in Game Six. But, when you look at the linescore, it wasn't horrific with the 4.1 IP, 7H, 2ER, and 1BB. He just threw a lot of pitches and was on the ropes with the big boys up in the fifth.

- I saw Ricky Horton and Al Hrabosky discussing Jackson getting yanked in the fifth and saying they would have liked to see Tony La Russa leave Jackson in longer...but they wish he would've pulled Garcia early like he did with Jackson.

Well, I agree on the Garcia thing. Still befuddled by that deal. But, I enjoyed him pulling Jackson there. He was wobbly, man. Get him out of there. You have eight relievers and a day off. I liked La Russa getting him out of there. Surprised they didn't. But, whatever works. Not as dramatic of a situation as the obvious one Sunday with Garcia. Either way, with the big boys coming up and Jackson getting hit, there's very little return on investment for leaving him in. Jackson wasn't good, but he wasn't horrible, either. Just not as good as he has been as of late.

- On the other hand, there's supposed Game Six Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum. In his last three starts, he's allowed 19 ER in 14 IP. He hasn't lasted past 4.2 in any of the starts. If this this thing goes six games, I'm not sure what the Brewers will do with Marcum's scheduled start.

- So, looking at what we have here as the teams head back to St. Louis:

Carpenter vs. Gallardo

Lohse vs. Wolf

Garcia vs. Greinke

Quite honestly, I don't know how even the most pro-Brewer observer wouldn't acknolwedge the Cardinals are a favorite in at least one of those games, and quite honestly, knowing how well Lohse pitchded down the stretch versus how poorly Wolf pitched...and knowing how well Garcia pitches at home (see Phillies Game Three before the missed yanking) versus Greinke on the road...I'd consider the Cardinals favorites in all three. I'm sure Las Vegas will feel that way.

So...just for the hell of it...let's say the Cardinals only win one game at Busch Stadium.

That means the Brewers will have to win with Shaun Marcum in Game Six...and beat Chris Carpenter in Game Seven.

- Potential intriguing situation for tomorrow. We'll call it The Justin Verlander Debacle. The five-star lock for 2011 American League Cy Young has pitched in two games where both were interrupted by rain. The weather.com forecast has a 60% chance of storms for St. Louis tomorrow. Will that impact how La Russa handles the start with Carpenter? You can't jack around with it much, because Carpenter's next start would be Monday's Game Seven...so he'd need to pitch Wednesday. Of course, if it's rained out...you know Carpenter will pitch Thursday, but then he'd be out of the mix for Game Seven. Unless he were to come back on short rest.

- Fuck me for even bringing that up. The Cardinals just scored the second-most playoff runs in franchise history, and I'm bringing up psychotic scenarios.

- Perhaps I'm just a drama junkie, and I need something after getting all psyched-up for a game that provided none of it. But, it's kind of nice to have a game that really had little drama for the first time since Game One in Philadelphia...and even in that one, the Cardinals were leading going into the sixth before they got blown out. I could live with three more wins like this.

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

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# beercats2000
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 1:35 PM
If Cards only win one in STL, that means Brewers win 2. Which means the Brewers would not have to win with Marcum AND beat Carp...right? Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

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