Not Much Positive In Game Four Loss

For the first four innings, Game Four of the World Series was good from the St. Louis Cardinals perspective.

Sad smileyThen it wasn’t.

And, since we all know there are nine innings in a game, we’re now looking at a 2-2 Series tie after the Cardinals lost to the Boston Red Sox 4-2.

Through the first four innings, Lance Lynn was terrific — facing only the minimum number of Red Sox after the one base runner he did allow (David Ortiz, of course, on a second inning single) was erased on a double play.

Plus the Cardinals scored a run in the third when Matt Carpenter singled with one out, advanced to second when Jacoby Ellsbury let the ball get past him in center field for an error and scored when Carlos Beltran (of course) singled.

Then the fifth inning arrived, as did the beginning of the end. We all know about Lynn and his one bad inning. As an October special, it actually extended over two innings, the fifth and the sixth. Although the fifth inning actually could have been much worse, as a lead-off double by Ortiz (of course) and back-to-back walks to Jonny Gomes and Xander Bogaerts loaded the bases with no outs. Stephen Drew was next, with a sacrifice fly to left to tie the game — and the only run of the inning.

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Bottom Line On Game Three: A Win Is A Win

We know the final score of last night’s Game Three of the World Series: Cardinals 5, Red Sox 4.

And, by now, we do believe what we just saw in the bottom of the ninth — we’ve all watched replay after replay after replay.

The bottom line: this …

10-26-1was obstruction, since it illustrated the very example given in the MLB rule book:

BXjm3GDCAAA_SSB.jpg largeWe as Cardinals fans are thrilled.

Baseball fans who understand the rules — and appreciate the umpires not only making correct calls but also having a press conference with Joe Torre after the game to further explain, by reading the rule book, how the correct call was in fact made — are pleased with the outcome, even if the ending was something none of us have ever seen in a World Series game.

Everyone else? Not happy, to put it mildly. Red Sox fans (and players) in particular.

Plus those furious it’s the Cardinals benefiting from this call — Cubs fans, Reds fans, Pirates fans, probably Dodgers fans. Especially Braves fans, remembering last year’s wild card game and the infield fly call.

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Cardinal Love Letter: Carlos Beltran

Dear Carlos,

So here we are, the morning of your first home World Series game. Hopefully you will get a great and well deserved ovation from the Cardinals fans at Busch Stadium tonight, both as recognition that after 2,064 regular season and 45 postseason games you finally reached the Series and also for what you’re playing through just to be in there at all. Because, ouch.

Carlos BeltranLiterally and figuratively.

That literal and figurative pain both came on the same play Wednesday night, of course, and I found myself getting angry at the baseball gods. Like, what kind of deal has David Ortiz made with them anyway? Why does Fenway Park have to be so cruel to the opponents? (Seriously, Red Sox fans are arrogant enough anyway.) How can it possibly be that you finally make it to the World Series after all this time only to have to leave your first game in the second inning, and after saving a grand slam?

Yet there you were, back out there in Game Two despite the pain of your bruised ribs. Singling your first time up and driving in the final run as the Cardinals won and tied the Series. What you endured physically to be out there is so apparent in this video that was posted yesterday, especially in that sigh as you walk down the long hallway to get to the clubhouse.

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Cardinals Game Two Win Taught Us Six Valuable Lessons

Game Two was so much better than Game One for the St. Louis Cardinals, to state the absolute obvious. Then again, winning has a way of making everything better, doesn’t it? And the Cardinals were definitely better last night as they beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 and tied the World Series at one win each.

collage 10-24As it unfolded, Game Two also taught us some valuable lessons. Such as lesson one: a “bad” Michael Wacha is still really, really good. Last night was Wacha’s worst start since mid-September and, obviously, still incredibly impressive.

Yes, his October has been so unbelievable that we have to go back to Sept. 19 to find a game in which Wacha allowed more than the two earned runs he gave up on one swing by David Ortiz last night. And the only other time in his short big league career that he walked four, as he did last night, was on Sept. 14 against the Mariners. Yet even with those “bad” numbers from last night, Wacha gave up only three hits, struck out six and won his fourth game in October — and the Cardinals have won eight games this month so far. He’s been so very good that, going back to his final regular season start (his near no-hitter against the Nationals) through last night, he’s allowed just three runs in 35 2/3 innings pitched for a 0.78 ERA and struck out 37.

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First Four Games of World Series Dedicated to Supporting Causes

For the fifth consecutive year, the first four games of the World Series will be dedicated to raising awareness for important causes associated with charitable programs and partners of Major League Baseball, it was announced today.

2013 WSMLB will highlight support for the military, specifically through the Welcome Back Veterans initiative, by dedicating Game One of the 2013 World Series to honoring veterans and military families.

Game Two will focus on two long-time MLB charitable partners in Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to demonstrate the ongoing effort to enriching the lives of young people, and Habitat for Humanity, to spotlight the organization’s efforts to provide safe, decent and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families. Game Two will also recognize the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a joint initiative of MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Game Three will highlight Baseball’s commitment to youth from underserved communities through Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), the importance of education through the Breaking Barriers program and celebrate community service through the announcement of the winner of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.

Game Four will look to inspire fans worldwide to join MLB and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) in advancing the fight against cancer.

The 109th World Series begins tomorrow, Oct. 23, on FOX.

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Welcome To The Cardinals Bandwagon, Yankees Fans!

While we as Cardinals fans are thrilled about the World Series, and Red Sox fans obviously are too, not everyone shares these sentiments. Dodgers and Tigers fans, of course. And, not surprisingly, fans of our teams’ biggest rivals.

????????????????????????????????????????Yet that can bring about new Cardinals fans, even if only for the World Series. Like Yankees fans. Welcome!

Here’s the perspective on the World Series of Stacey Gotsulias, co-editor of Yankees site It’s About The Money.

***

I’m a Yankee fan. And more importantly, I’m a Yankee fan who was actually relieved to have a stress-free October. Not to brag or anything, but I’ve only had two of those Octobers in the past 19 years so I really needed this break.

Some people thought that made me a bad fan and even accused me of rooting for them to not make the playoffs, which isn’t true at all. Would I have preferred to have my team fighting for a championship? Of course, but it didn’t happen and, when it didn’t happen, I wasn’t that upset about it. Do I miss it sometimes? Sure, I get a twinge of jealousy when I see fans of other teams excited over a big win but I also like being able to go to bed and not stew over a bad loss or have about 15 panic attacks while watching a do-or-die game.

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Bring On The Red Sox

And now we know who the Cardinals will face in the World Series: those WACKY BEARD Boston Red Sox.

2013_ws_logoIt’s a rare kind of match-up in the World Series also: the two teams with the best regular season records — both finished 97-65 — are actually meeting in the Series. It’s the first time since the Braves-Yankees World Series in 1999 this has happened.

This will be the fourth World Series between the two teams. The Cardinals won in 1946, thanks to Enos Slaughter’s “Mad Dash” to score the go-ahead run in Game Seven. In 1967, the Cardinals also won in seven games with Bob Gibson starting — and winning — three of them.

Then, of course, there was 2004. I’ll need to readjust my happy memory that the season ended with the Cards winning the pennant in that thrilling NLCS against the Astros to recall that, oh yes, there were four more games after that as the Sawx swept and it was terrible and painful and I still hate every guy who was on that team except Tim Wakefield (and he’s only an exception because we share a birthdate).

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Good, Better, Best Of Another Cardinals Classic Game Six

Six is storied number for the St. Louis Cardinals. The retired number of the greatest Cardinal Stan Musial, of course. A serious number, as we all know from the commercials. And October Games Sixes are pretty special as well.

3914_st_louis_cardinals-champion-2013Yes, “Game Six” immediately calls to mind the 2011 World Series — rightly so, as it’s one of the best World Series games in history with the majestic ninth and 10th inning comebacks and walk-off “we will see you tomorrow night!” 11th-inning moment.

But we can’t forget Game Six of the 1985 NLCS — against the Dodgers, no less — was another classic thanks to a ninth-inning game-winning pennant-clinching home run from Jack Clark. Or Jim Edmonds and his 12th-inning walk-off homer in 2004’s NLCS Game Six against the Astros.

Now we have another classic Game Six victory to remember fondly — and no home runs were necessary.

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Cardinals Are National League Champs!

Thats a winner-LGThat’s a National League pennant winner for the St. Louis Cardinals!!!

Yes — for the second time in three seasons, third time in eight seasons, fourth time in 10 seasons and 19th time overall the Cardinals are going to the World Series!

And, after all the national media talk/hype that seemed to dominate these past couple days, it’s what happens on the field that really counts. Which was the Cardinals dominating Clayton Kershaw with a 4-run third in which Michael Wacha batted twice and then scored 5 more in the fifth. Kershaw was charged with seven of the runs in the Cardinals 9-0 victory!

Once again, Michael Wacha was outstanding — allowing just two hits to the Dodgers all night and striking out five. Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal followed Wacha yet again, allowing no hits and striking out three.

Not surprisingly, Michael Wacha was named the NLCS MVP after his two scoreless and amazing performances — yes, the kid drafted last year, just in case you’ve forgotten! (Of course you haven’t!)

And, at last, Carlos Beltran is finally going to the World Series! At the same time, Yadier Molina is going to his fourth! It will be either a rematch of the 2004 World Series against the Red Sox or the 2006 World Series against the Tigers. (Go Detroit!)

What a team! What a ride–oh, wait. That was two years ago. What a team, though, for sure! And look for more on our 2013 National League champs tomorrow!

Clinching A Pennant At Home Would Be Better Anyway

There is a bright side about yesterday’s Game Five loss. Now the Cardinals can win tomorrow night, at home, in front of the Busch Stadium fans and enjoy.

At least that’s what I’ve been trying to tell myself.

Becaus      e while regular season losses are bad and October losses are even worse, NLCS losses when a win would clinch the pennant are awful. Horrible. Dreadful. And any other similar word you can think of.

Because, as you might remember and have heard over and over (and will continue to hear over and over from the sports media until the team wins tomorrow night), we’ve been in this situation before — up a particular number of games (I don’t even want to go into it) and then, um, not winning again.

Yesterday’s 6-4 loss to the Dodgers was painful, although the Cards absolutely showed some encouraging, play-a-hard-nine, never-give-up spark in the ninth inning. Which was awesome — until Adron Chambers stepped in to pinch hit.

Why him?

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