Friday, October 22, 2004


Heads I win, Tails you lose

The Cardinals kept up the 50% winning percentage of this blog. Good for them. That means I have a coin flip's chance of guessing the World Series winner correctly. In fact I'll put a coin up against me tomorrow.

Now about those Championship Series...

Boston v New York

You're all going to laugh but what struck me as the biggest single event of the series wasn't a game ending hit by Ortiz, or either start by Schilling, but an injury to John Olerud. That's right, an injury to John Olerud.

Olerud was injured in the late innings of the Yankees game 3 laugher win and was replaced in the lineup for essentially the rest of the series by Tony Clark. In the next 3 games, all super-close, Mr. Clark went 3-17 with 8 strikeouts and no walks. (He also had two at bats in Game 3; 0-2 1K if you were wondering). Olerud was not tearing up the games before (2-10 with a walk), but he was seeing slightly more pitches than Tony Clark (ok very slightly) and was putting the ball in play more. We're not talking a hidden slugger like Scott Brosius and his .300 average batting ninth, but it's something to think about. In game 7 it wouldn't have mattered, but forcing one of the tired Red Sox pitchers to throw 5-10 more pitches, a timely walk, or a simple moving the runner over could have made the difference in either of the two extra-innings affairs or the 4-2 Schilling game. I really think it might have.

(Of course Schilling's injury was more important but that happened pre-series)

Astros v Cardinals

All the talk is about the Astros lineup (especially Beltran), the Cardinals lineup (especially Pujols), or the exceptional job that the Astros non-aces did. What is lost is the consistent "goodness" of the Cardinals' starters.

Here are there stats (starter IP/R)
Williams 6/4, Morris 5/3, Suppan 6/3, Maquis 4/3, Williams 7/0, Morris 5/3, Suppan 6/2

What we have here is a staff that keeps a good slugging team in the ballgame. They've been doing it all year long. We look at them and assume they aren't playoff worthy because they won't shut anyone down, and true they wouldn't have beaten 2001 Schilling/Johnson. But they don't screw-up and they give the Cardinals hope every single game.

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