10.19.2006

The Blame Game Preview?

A wise man once said, "If you win the first game of the series, then all you have to do after that is win every other game and you'll be okay." This statement is true, and when you think about this year's Cardinal team, playing .500 baseball is right up our alley.

Granted, they didn't win the first game, but after going up two games to one, the Cardinals and Mets have traded victories. So game seven has to be ours, right? Makes sense to me, let's hope Jeff Suppan and the offense cooperates.

As for game six, it didn't go as expected for Cardinal fans; that's an understatement. But is it time to start blaming people yet?

Probably not, but you'll see a lot of it tomorrow if the Mets advance to the World Series. When you combine the Mets injury woes with two great performances by Jeff Weaver, this has been a very winnable series. And it all comes down to game seven tonight (Suppan vs. O-Face) at Shea. Not to drop any hints or anything, but Scott Rolen is right at the top of the list.

The big decision Tony LaRussa has to make is with his lineup. Does Preston Wilson get the call vs. the Olivers (Perez and Darren)? The way he hits lefties, this is easy--yes. And Encarnacion probably gets the call too, even though he's hitting a hefty .222 in the series. So who plays third? Do you stick with the guy who got you there (Rolen .235), or the best player off your bench who has a little flare for postseason dramatics (Spiezio .250)? This would be an easy call for me, go with the Speezer. To show that I am aware of the stats, Rolen is hitting better in the series than Eckstein, Edmonds, Encarnacion, Belliard and Duncan. But he has failed over and over at driving in runners when they're on base for him. The Cardinals cannot afford to have him strand another 4 or 5 runners in game seven, if no one else is going to hit.

This situation LaRussa is in got me thinking about last year with Larry Walker. After going 2 for 15 in games one through five, LaRussa did not go to the bench to replace Walker in game six. In fact, Tony rewarded him for that consistent performance and batted him cleanup (remember?). Based on that and other cases of him sticking with veterans, my instincts tell me Rolen will play. To Tony's credit, it seems like he's managed differently this postseason as opposed to others. We'll have to wait and see what the lineup looks like later in the day.

Oh, and by the way, the "wise man" I quoted at the beginning of the article was none other than Danny Cox. I heard him say it a couple times before the Padres series, and to be fair, it sounded a little more like this: "If you win the first game of the series...shit, how's that go...(insert fart sound and fist pump here) oh smell that gas Mike Shannon! That's how it goes! Hey, there's a Busch Beer in my pocket, shut up fatgirl!"

Thanks to ______ For the Extra Readers Wednesday: www.thebiglead.com

Game Six Menu: A bunch of Hooters chicken wings, and once again...my 'ol pal bacon. Props to the waitress for the free bacon! Unfortunately that's about all the props she gets.

Turning Point of the Game: John Maine gets out of the 1st and 2nd alive. There's no other way to put it: that really sucked.

Current Mood: Bad, I hope I'm in a better one tonight...sometime in the 10 o'clock hour maybe.

4 comments:

sir said...

I thought the quote was "Win Game 1, shame on you. Win Game 2, we won't be fooled again."

Also, big non-ups to the stupid Hooters girl. Story time: Her shirt is from the Columbia, Mo Hooters so I ask her if she's part of the Hooters Girl exchange program. She looks at me kind of confused and says "No, but I'm from New York." Not only does that not answer my question, but it's probably not the best thing to tell a bunch of Cards fans you're from NEW YORK when we're playing the NEW YORK METS in the playoffs.

As far as the blame game, I would like to nominate Scott Rolen for the Lifetime Achievement Award in the High Contest.

sir said...

I think I found another relevant quote about the playoffs: "The Playoffs are not something you just dump something on. They're not a big truck. They're a series of tubes."

Dallas J. Hawk said...

The greatest quote ever about Playoffs.

"Playoffs?! Don't talk about playoffs! Are you kidding me? Playoffs?! I'm just hoping we can win a game, another game!" - Jim Mora

I think Scott Rolen and Tony LaRussa will share the blame for this one. Rolen for sucking and LaRussa not for sticking to his guns and going with Speizo.

Thanks for confirming the fact that Hooters Girls are dumb.

Will Tony ever buy that Suppan jersey? I think if he is the winning pitcher tonight he should buy two. Who agrees with me?

Big Head said...

When talking about Game 7 starters today at work, I mentioned that Jeff Suppan would be pitching, and my idiot co-worker said "Who-ppan?". I think we have a new name people.