June 8, 2005

G58: Cardinals 9, Boston 2

Thank God they didn't play like this last October. After the ALCS, I could not have handled it.

Another night in St. Louis, another night of substandard starting pitching, ineffective bats, and a Cardinals team hellbent on giving Boston some kind of payback. They don't give rings for winning a three-game series in June -- although it seemed like Cardinals fan and FSN play-by-play guy Joe Buck had forgotten that -- but that's all St. Louis can do for now.

Matt Clement allowed six runs and six hits in two innings, but managed to hang around for four frames before handing the ball over to John Halama, Matt Mantei and Alan Embree. Only Mantei pitched poorly, walking one and hitting two, before being ejected in the midst of a somewhat bizarre flurry of five HBPs (Walker (2), Grudzielanek, Varitek and Youkilis).

Both Sox were plunked by Al Reyes, the shithead who drilled Nomar back in 1999, resulting in the wrist injury he never fully recovered from. Youkilis was hit in the right wrist last night, though Buck maintained that he "walked right into that pitch."

In the ninth inning, Terry Francona had Millar and Payton pinch-hit for Manny and Nixon, which meant by the time Boston loaded the bases, he was left with Vazquez to bat in Embree's spot. ... Did he give up on the game? Down seven with one inning to go, I can't say that I blame him. And even if some better pinch-hitter materialized and whacked a grand slam, the Red Sox would still have been trailing 9-6.

Some in the SoSH Game Thread were wondering if he pulled Manny just in case the beanballs kept flying, but I figured he wanted to give Millar a chance to hit in one of these games. ... Comic moment: Manny Ramirez settling under Abraham Nunez's fly ball in the third, slipping and falling, then getting back up in time to catch the ball. Followed by lots of smiles and pointing.

The Pirates scored four in the eighth to beat the Orioles, so we stayed four back. The Yankees lost in Milwaukee yet again, this time 2-1. In both losses to the Brewers, Jeter has made the final out with the tying run on base. ... Pedro Martinez threw 6.1 no-hit innings at Shea Stadium, finishing with a two-hit complete game victory.

Wells / Carpenter at 7:00.


Eric said...

Good thing I was watching the NESN feed on MLB.tv instead. I was pissed enough when Reyes drilled Youkilis; if I had heard Joe Schmuck say Youkilis walked into the pitch I probably would have tossed the TV. That idiot is a menace to broadcasting.

Boston Dirt Dogs take on the Pedro game: "Why Can't We Re-Sign Players Like That?" Maybe because he wanted a four year contract? Maybe because he's now pitching in the National League, home of the power pitcher, not the power hitter? They surprise me with their muckraking some times.

Michael said...

//Thank God they didn't play like this last October. //
That was my opening today, too!

I gave up on the team after the 2nd inning last nite and missed the whole beanball incidents. How many days will Tito get this time?

I hope the team decides to show up tonte.

Rob said...

You guys need to lighten up. Michael, it's not an issue of the Red Sox not showing up, they are being beat. The true example of a team not showing up was St. Louis last year. They were clearly the superior team but just laid down and let the Bad News Bears win. Ramirez looked like Lupus.

Anonymous said...

Like I said in response to your first Cards/Sox blog, the Cardinals had a reputation for knocking Clement around when he was with the Cubs. It was great... they'd get Clement pulled and they would send in that big dumbass Farnsworth who they would murder everytime.

Speaking of the Cubs, someone needs to remind Damon that there's a brick wall behind the ivy at Wrigley Field.

Devine said...

Rob, how you figure the Cardinals were "clearly" the superior team?

The Cardinals had a lower batting average and fewer hits (not by much) than the Red Sox last year (regular season). They scored almost a hundred fewer runs. They drew more than a hundred fewer walks.

On the pitching side, the four pitchers the Cardinals sent to the mound in the World Series had an ERA about 4.19 while the Sox's starters were at around 4.36 (again, regular season). If Chris Carpenter had been in the series, there would have been a little more advantage for the Cardinals.

I'd call the pitching very close to a wash, and give the Sox the clear advantage on offense. Arguments against?

Rob said...

Exactly what you've seen in the past two days. Stolen bases, double steals, squeeze plays, heads up base running, gold glove defense, making good contact consistently, putting themselves in position to capitalize on opponents mistakes.

Another strong point was the number of 2 strike hits, and 2 out runs, the way they would win a vast majority of low scoring, close games.

Unfortunately for Cardnials fans they didn't play like that in the WS. They wait until then to lay an egg?

It doesn't matter anymore. Boston won and they won because they deserved it. It's not the last time these two teams will meet in a WS again.

Rob said...

Brilliant outing by Wells. Great series, wish it would happen more often.

Go kick Chicago's ass this weekend.

jeff said...

Rob: per your comments on the Cardinals clearly baing a better team, and per the comments on Joe Buck's announcing, I address both these issue s at http://soxinok.blogspot.com/ in "Oh and a note on St. Louis."

Devine said...

I'll agree with you, Rob, that the Cardinals play better "fundamentals" baseball, but I still really don't think there's anything "clear" about the Cardinals' superiority over the Red Sox. I tend to believe things like defensive superiority or "smallball" would show up in the box score anyway (lower pitcher ERA, more runs scored, etc.). The Sox have some very good two-strike hitters as well. AND I think that drawing walks is just as much "fundamentals" as, say, stealing bases.

Also, I really don't buy the idea that winning a high percentage of low-scoring games is an indication of ability. Means your pitching can hold it down, but also means your offense never broke it open.

Not that I wanna talk about this all day. I can accept you think the Cardinals' variety of baseball is more sound, but...you know...the Sox aren't bad, either.

Rob said...

Hey devine, What I meant about winning close games is synonymous with finding ways to consistently win ugly games.

My original comments were made by a Cards fan who watched them literally beat up on teams all year, win 105 games, beat L.A. and then win a battle royale with Houston only to go on and play Boston like they all had the flu. It was mind boggling to watch.

I'm not just a St. Louis fan, I'm a baseball fan and I agree with you, Boston is a great team. Is there a better guy than Johnny Damon?

ck said...

do you guys really think Reyes hit him on purpose on pitch 7 and a full count? He throws 3 balls and then zeroes in on the guy's wrist. Ooookay.

rob said...

I don't think he was gunning for his wrist, but his ribs? Yes.

The funny thing about that was how the Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan patted Reyes on the ass when he came into the dugout. A clear 'attaboy'.

Varitek called for some chin music and one got away and hit Grud. This called for retaliation. It's not dirty on either side, it's old school baseball.

Taking the guy out at second to prevent a double play, brushing batters back, steamrolling the catcher at the plate. It's all good.