NLCS GAME 4: On The Hook
Well, that’s more like it!
After watching the heart of the Cardinal lineup struggle to produce runs for most of the postseason, some key offensive elements finally came alive. Speaking of which, Adam Wainwright‘s missing curve ball returned to postseason action, perplexing the frustrated Giants lineup. With a blend of resilient pitching and scrappy, tireless offense, the Cardinals demonstrated why they should be the most feared team in baseball. Their merciless 8-3 win over the Giants has them just one win away from the WORLD SERIES! Can you feel that magic? IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN!
STOPPER: The Cardinals really needed this tonight. A dominant Wainwright abandoned the waist-high fastball approach that proved disastrous against the Nationals last week, opting instead for a series of slicing curve balls that would make a corpse queasy. They were curves of a distinctly 2006 vintage. Waino pitched seven heroic innings to rescue our bullpen, allowing just four hits and one run. THIS is what we’ve been waiting to see!
REJUVENATION: Cardinal Nation has been worrying about the glaring lack of production from Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, Jon Jay, and Yadier Molina. Well, worry no more. All four players broke out of their respective slumps with a combined 7-15 night with seven RBI’s and three runs scored. What a difference they make! Even more importantly, they seemed to have clean, focused strokes; they weren’t cluelessly hacking at pitches. With these guys hitting, the Cardinals are unstoppable.
SPARKPLUGS: The little guys keep coming through in the clutch. Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso, and Pete Kozma all had important hits. I especially loved Carpenter’s clumsy, “oh I didn’t touch the plate” bellyflop to score the Cards’ fourth run. These kids may not be superstars in the eyes of the baseball elite, but they play the game skillfully and with passion. It would be easy – and also a mistake – to take these guys for pushovers on our bench.
I HATE FOX SPORTS: We’ve discussed it before, but Tim McCarver is grotesquely incompetent at announcing games. At one point, McCarver mentioned that Yadi was trying to win his second World Series ring. While I can understand why anyone would want to forget the embarrassing 2006 win, isn’t McCarver’s job to know much minutia? McCarver also spent the early part of the game calling adult male Tim Lincecum “Timmy,” sending a cold chill down spines everywhere. Then, during a Cardinal rally in the seventh, McCarver questionable brain cells trying to pronounce the word “Descalso,” often opting for the alternative pronunciation “Day-Call-So.” This guy has a Ford Frick Award and you don’t, so there.
NEMESIS: The Cardinal staff has done an excellent job avoiding Giants All Star Buster Posey, the only real threat in their lineup. However, Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan have raked us repeatedly and with impunity. Can’t wait to get away from those two!
PLAYER OF THE GAME: So many heroes tonight! I’ll pick Wainwright for giving us a reason to have faith in him, and also for saving our bullpen!
CONCLUSION: I hate to bring this up, but WE ARE ONE GAME AWAY FROM THE WORLD SERIES! Keep in mind that the Giants were in a 2-1 hole against the Reds and climbed out to defeat them. It could happen again in this series. However, there is one crucial difference: we are not the Reds! The Cardinals look hungry and determined to return to the World Series. They’ve teased us so many times this year that it’s hard to have faith. Can it really be happening? SAY YES AND BELIEVE!