October 19, 2006

NLCS7: Cardinals 3, Mets 1

Now that was a ball game! With Jeff Suppan and Oliver Perez on the hill, I expected a bit of scoring, but after New York scored a two-out run in the first and St. Louis tied it in the top of the second, everyone's bats were silent for a few hours.

Endy Chavez robbed Scott Rolen of a two-run home run in the top of the sixth, a leaping sno-cone of a catch over the left field wall that turned into an inning-ending double play. In the home half of the sixth, the Mets loaded the bases with one out (thanks in part to a two-base throwing error from Rolen), but could not score. Jose Valentin struck out and Chavez flied to center on the first pitch.

In the top of the ninth, still tied 1-1, Rolen singled with one out. After that nine-pitch at-bat, Yada Yada Yada Molina banged Aaron Heilman's first pitch for a two-run homer to left. This time, Chavez could only watch. It was the first time since the second inning that the Cardinals had a runner touch third base.

In the bottom of the ninth, facing rookie closer Adam Wainwright, Valentin and Chavez both singled -- the Mets' first hits since the first inning. Pinch-hitter Cliff Floyd was caught looking at a 2-2 breaking ball (after five straight fastballs) and Jose Reyes lined to center. But then Paul Lo Duca walked to load the bases. Cardinal-killer Carlos Beltran took a fastball down the pipe, fouled a curve off his foot, then was frozen on a beautiful curveball that broke over the heart of the plate.

The Cardinals won their 17th pennant and will head to Detroit for Game 1 of the World Series on Saturday night.

Fox gave some silly stat that coming into this game, the last 11 home teams that had won a Game 6 (as the Mets had last night) also won Game 7. The last team not to do it? The 1975 Red Sox. ... We're off the hook! We're off the hook!


Jack Marshall said...

What a World Series mismatch. Unless the Tigers have fallen into a coma during their break, I'll be stunned if this Series goes beyond 5 games.

Peter N said...

Me to Jack...predicting a sweep is tough, especially with the 2 hot Carninal starters, but 5? Read it and weep Bird fans. Go Tigers.....have a nice weekend Jof Sers all!

redsock said...

I tend to agree, Jack, though I'll say 6. (Damn shame the Stems didn't have Petey or Duque.)

Jack Marshall said...

I see the Globe is finally raising the Manny for ARod question. Would that trade make sense for the Sox? If Manny's health is about to take a dive, I'd have to say so, but only if ARod can still play short, about which I have my doubts. I'm prety sure ARod would fare better here than in NY.

But it's a stupid debate, because the Yankees and Red Sox would never make such a major trade with each other. Right?

Jere said...

Easler for Baylor-style.

We better not get A-Rod. Or give them Manny.

L-girl said...

I can imagine few people less welcome in Boston than Alex Rodriguez. One of them manages the Dodgers. But it's a short list.

Woti-woti said...

Carpenter may win 1 game, but surely the Tigers treat Suppan, Weaver et al like the pinatas they are. OTOH, maybe LaRussa has all the horse shoes this fall. When .216 Yaddy is your hitting hero and your bullpen rookies perform like vets, something is definitely up.

On the ARod-for-Manny front, relative talent debates aside, the whole issue of the Texas salary subsidy is also murky. Does it follow ARod in a trade? What if he gets traded to Angels? Texas pays him to play for a Divisional rival?

On the performance issue, I don't see why ARod wouldn't put up good numbers in Boston while playing shortstop somewhere between AGon and Renteria (how's that for waffling). Yanks would probably DH Manny and sign AGon. Both would be spectacular. But unless the Sox FO is being particularly two-faced, why would they unload one bad contract in return for another one? Why would anyone take on Manny's contract AND his knee-or is everyone assuming he was jaking?

Now that the Mets are done, I think there is less pressure on Cashman to 'do something' about ARod. Shit happens to hitters in a short series. I think the Yanks concentrate on pitching this winter. Sox need to fix pitching depth, OF defense and hitting depth. Manny's fate is down at the bottom of priorities. His request will be dealt with like the previous ones--'Manny, you're too good, we can't get a decent return for you'.

Jack Marshall said...

Woti: I think that's about right. (Jere-Easler for Baylor is the right analogy, though on a sub-superstar level.) The Yankees aren't going to trade ARod, and would be nuts to do so; the fact that Steve Phillips is advocating it should be a major clue. I do disagree (with L-Girl: imagine that!) about him being unwelcome in Boston if he ever came here. No player was more reviled in Fenway than Rickey Henderson, but the fans were fine to him when he put on the Sox threads even though he was over the hill. They warmed up to Jose Canseco, who was always booed in Fenway with the A's. Damon would take about 30 seconds to get his cheers back. Would (Could!) the fans here be harder on ARod than they were on Ted Williams through most of his career? In fact, can anyone think of a single instance in the history of the game when a high-level performer, reviled by the opposition, changed sides and was not embraced? I can't.

Jere said...

"can anyone think of a single instance in the history of the game when a high-level performer, reviled by the opposition, changed sides and was not embraced? I can't."

Almost every superstar the Yanks have acquired in the past few years.

Jack Marshall said...

Jere: Doesn't count: I presume you are being wry. You can't tell me ARod is given a hard tome by the Yankee fans because they resent him from his Texas and Seattle days. The Yankee fans get on players when their production doesn't match their paychecks, not based on old grudges.

L-girl said...

The Yankee fans get on players when their production doesn't match their paychecks, not based on old grudges.

This is true. The best example would be how much they wanted Unit, and how he was immediately embraced. Can't get a bigger old grudge than that.

See? We do agree. :-)

I can't help but feel Alex would be boo'd in Boston, but if I'm wrong, the fans are (once again) not as tough as advertised.

I was unable to cheer for Boggs in pinstripes for years. It was just so horrible.