During this interminable baseball off-season, looking ahead is common. We have to pass the time some way, right?
World Series predictions based on every free agent signing also are common, and happen every year. Remember when the Angels were going to win in 2012 after signing That Guy Who Used to Play First Base and C.J. Wilson? Or when the Nationals would win in 2013? The Dodgers in 2014?
Now it’s 2015, and we’ve already heard plenty about the Cubs (yes, the Chicago Cubs) going to the World Series this year — that’s what “Back to The Future II” said! And now Joe Maddon’s their manager! They signed Jon Lester! And the Vegas odds say so! Woo hoo!!!!
Yeah. We’ll see how that goes once they actually start playing …
Instead, I not surprisingly have a different perspective. The Cardinals will win the 2015 National League pennant this year and return to the World Series. Continue reading →
For 10 glorious games, the nightcap on Aug. 30 until Sept. 8, the St. Louis Cardinals lived up to everyone’s expectations.
They went 9-1, compiling two wins via shutout (including a tense 1-0 victory against the Pirates to sweep the series), one win by 11 runs, another by 8 runs and came back from a 5-0 deficit to victory. The one loss, to the Brewers, ended Milwaukee’s nine-game losing streak — something that was bound to stop at some point. Best of all, and thanks to that Brewers streak, the Cardinals saw themselves rise from one game back in second place in the NL Central to a 4 1/2 game lead. Magic number countdowns began — 19 on down to 14.
Finally! What we’d waited for through all the Mathenaging of 2014 was at last here!
Now there’s today, Sept. 12.
Magic number stuck at 14 since Tuesday. Three straight losses for the first time since that great streak of 10 games began on the evening of Aug. 30 — plus three straight losses to the Reds, who hadn’t won three in a row since early August. The Mathenaging of Mark Ellis as a pinch-hitter against Aroldis Chapman in those three losses, two of which Ellis ended by (surprise!) striking out, including yesterday in a 1-0 game after Matt Holliday walked. Division lead now 2 1/2 games since the Pirates, after that sweep by the Cardinals, swept the Cubs and took three of four from the Phillies.
Just another bump in the pothole-filled road that is the 2014 Cardinals season?
In all likelihood, yes.
Especially when you take a closer look at what little of the season remains.
Continue reading →