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Once More Into The Breach

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 6:47 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals | Texas Rangers
While it may have not been the driest rainout in history (not being in St. Louis, I'm not sure what the weather actually did, but I know that at least earlier in the evening, there wasn't much coming down), it could have been one of the most important.  Or it could have postponed the inevitable.

The difference may come down to Jaime Garcia and how well he can pitch tonight in Game 6.  As we all know, Garcia is very tough at home and the Rangers have struggled some away from Rangers Park.  All that said, this is a rematch of Game 2, a game that was 1-0 in the ninth inning.  It's not that it's a walk for the Cards.

There have been a lot of stats thrown around, something that Jon and I talked about on the UCB Radio Hour yesterday evening.  The Cards have won four of five when they have trailed 3-2 in the World Series.  The home team has a significant edge in these kind of situations.  There are all sorts of things you can look at and I'm sure there are a number of stats that back a Rangers win as well.

In my mind, you have to throw out any stat that doesn't apply directly to this team.  This team didn't play in 1982, when the Cardinals came back home and took care of the Brewers.  While I'd love to see history repeat itself, as it seemed to do a lot this summer as this team turned into the 1964 squad, it's tough to see where that's all that relevant.

What we do know is that the season hangs in the balance tonight.  I like the position that the Cardinals are in, but I realize that the narrative works to the Rangers advantage as well.  So many people looking forward to Game 7, the idea that the rainout works in the Cardinals' favor, all of that seems to lead to an opening sentence tomorrow morning of "The rain could delay the Rangers' parade, but it couldn't dampen it."

So I am significantly worried about this evening, as I think most Cardinal fans are.  We can talk about who is going to go in Game 7, if Chris Carpenter will start again on three days' rest, if it'll be a bullpen game, if Derek Holland will take Matt Harrison's slot since he'll be fully rested.  All of that is legitimate talk, but the Cards have to keep their focus on tonight.

Speaking of tonight, Lance Berkman moves up to fourth, Matt Holliday drops to fifth, Skip Schumaker will be hitting second.  Like most all of those moves, as Holliday has been struggling and could be feeling the hand injury more than he's letting on and Schumaker matches up better against Colby Lewis than Jon Jay does, especially with Jay scuffling.

(By the way, the great thing about Berkman returning for 2012 is more great Berkman quotes like this one: "You do feel the pressure.  But if you can't hit in the fetal position you shouldn't play in the big leagues."  Man, how great is it having this guy around?)

Either tonight or tomorrow, we are possibly looking at a changing of the guard.  While I think Albert Pujols will be back next year, there is still a good deal of uncertainty on that.  Edwin Jackson won't be back.  Will Rafael Furcal?  I'm not so sure if that's the best of ideas, but it's possible.  Schumaker?  Nick Punto?  Kyle McClellan?  Lots of people could be walking away, though I bet a good chunk of them return.

Somebody that will be returning is Adam Wainwright, who had his options officially exercised.  I love the story that he begged to be put on the World Series roster, a request that was never really considered.  But how great would it be to start Waino for 2-3 innings in Game 7?  Would be amazing, in my mind.  Really looking forward to having him back in the rotation next year.

Five years ago the Cardinals finished up the Tigers and won #10.  Hopefully they can use today to stay in the hunt for #11.

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The driest rain-out was earlier this post-season, when Rangers-Tigers Game 2 was postponed for rain at 1 PM. When gametime of 7 PM rolled around, there wasn't a drop in sight and there never was for the remainder of the night!

That's right, I forgot about that. I guess it did rain some in SL last night, but I don't know if it was enough to push the game back. I think both teams were glad for the extra day off, though!

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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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