Posted on September 24, 2009 at 8:09 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats
| Houston Astros
| St. Louis Cardinals
Last night's results was about the worst-case scenario for those that want to see the Cards clinch the NL Central on the field.
The Cubs lose, which is usually a great thing. However, the Cardinals do as well, plus they have an off day today while the Cubs play out at San Francisco tonight. The magic number stands at one, so the next Cardinal win or Cub loss puts that nice little x beside St. Louis in the standings.
So, as Cardinal fans, what do we root for today? Do we, as normal, root for the Cubs to lose, thus making the clinching of the division anticlimatic? I mean, it'll be close to midnight in St. Louis before the Cub game is over, and Tony LaRussa has said that the club won't celebrate Thursday if they clinch, waiting until after the game Friday.
Do we root for the Cubs to win and stay alive one more day, so the Cards can hopefully finish it off on Friday? The specter of 2006 still lingers a little bit over the team. There are some that don't want to take the risk, that would rather a passive clinching than risking no clinching at all.
I think I'd like to see the Cubs win today. Watching the guys rush the field and getting a chance to really celebrate their accomplishment is a big deal and for those guys that have never been there before (a fairly decent slice of the clubhouse), you'd like to see them be able to enjoy it. Besides, what happens if the Cubs lose tonight, then the Cards lose in Colorado tomorrow? You think TLR is going to let them party after a loss? Do you think this team would want to?
Still, it's rooting for the Cubs. I need a shower.
Of course, if the Cardinals could figure out a way to hit Bud Norris, this all might be a moot point. The guy has given up 27 earned runs in 39+ innings against the rest of the league, but has kept the Cards scoreless for 13. It's the second time someone has run up against him and pitched well enough to win, but has gotten absolutely no run support
probably should get the Hero tag. He continues to pitch solid games and can now regularly go six innings. He allowed a couple of leadoff doubles that worked their way back around to score, but other than that did everything right. I know everyone points to him as a reason the NL is basically this third-world league in comparison to the lofty AL, but that's not the whole answer. He's walking so many less batters
, which would have helped his AL results as well. I know Nick and Josh talked about this on last night's UCB Radio Hour, but right now I still don't see him being anything but the fourth starter in the playoffs. I think he can do you more good that way than even the strikeout bullpen arm he was originally slated for.
On the flip side, Mark DeRosa had a tough night, hitless in four at bats and leaving four men on base. A far cry from his production during the rest of this series.
There was some discussion of the callups
on the Post-Dispatch
site this morning. Even with the explanations, I'm not understanding the lack of a callup for Allen Craig. The talk that "these were for 2009" rings hollow with me. Are we really to think that David Freese will have a shot at the postseason roster? Really, in nine games he's going to prove he's worth taking into October? Tyler Greene is going to beat out someone to take one of those slots? I have problems believing that.
I understand Matt Pagnozzi and Josh Kinney, because they give you some depth and let you rest players the rest of the way. With Craig having to be added to the 40-man before the end of the postseason anyway, though, why not give him a shot as well? Nick and I went over this in the UCB chat room last night and his point was that defensively, Craig's not all that. Maybe so, though I've not heard horror stories about his defense this year. A team that suffered through Chris Duncan for quite a while could get this guy into the lineup in the Cincinnati series, I'd think.
It just doesn't make sense to me. Maybe Freese and Greene will be on the postseason roster. I just can't believe right now that that is an option.
The Sporting News named their Player of the Decade
. Tough call there. What does it say about Albert Pujols that he grabs titles like this even though he didn't play in the year 2000?
Off day today to let you grapple with that existential question posed at the beginning of the entry. Cards head off to Colorado and get a weekend to really judge where they are at against playoff-caliber competition. Colorado gets the same opportunity since they'll see Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright!
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