Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Cardinals Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory
Not the scene I expected a few days ago
After the Cardinals won Games 3 and 4 of the NLCS, I thought they were a lock for the World Series. They had a 3-1 lead and were in the driver's seat. Then on Friday, Lance Lynn pitched 3 no hit innings, and fell apart in the 4th inning. Barry Zito shut the Cardinals down. When it went back to San Francisco, the Cardinals didn't show up to play. The Giants outscored us 20-1 in the last 3 games of the NLCS. It was a terrible way to go out, and the Cardinals made a NLCS record 10 errors. The Redbirds luck ran out, and were not able to make a miracalous comeback in Game 7. The Cardinals didn't do themselves any favors either, but the Giants beat us. In fact, the Giants kicked our ass in the last 3 games.
With the exception of Adam Wainwright's start in Game 4 and Kyle Lohse's start in Game 3, the starting pitching was terrible in this series. The other 5 games, the starting pitcher pitched under 5 innnings. Like I mentioned earlier, our defense was very bad during this series. Cardinal hitters only batted .217 during the NLCS. Allen Craig was 3 for 24(.125), David Freese was 5 for 26(.192), Matt Holliday was 5 for 25(.200), Daniel Descalso was 5 for 25(.200), and Jon Jay was 6 for 29(.207). That's not going to get it done. Ryan Vogelsong shut us down twice during this series, and was key for the Giants. Even with Matt Holliday's hard slide into Marco Scutaro, he had a terrific series on defense and offense. Scutaro was 14 for 28(.500) for the series and won the NLCS MVP.
The 2012 NLCS is reminiscient of the 1996 NLCS. The Cardinals had a 3-1 lead on the Braves that year. The Braves rallied back to win that series, outscoring the Cardinals 32-1 in the last 3 games. In Game 7, starter Donovan Osborne was knocked out in the first inning, and the Redbirds lost 15-0. It was as bitter of a defeat as this year's NLCS. 1996 was also Tony LaRussa's first year as Cardinals manager, and this year was Mike Matheny's first year on the job. The Cardinals are in good shape for the future, and Matheny did a good job as a rookie manager. The Cardinals also proved they can win without Albert Pujols this year.
The Tigers and Giants will meet in the World Series this year, and this is the first meeting between the clubs in the Fall Classic. This will be the Detroit Tigers 11th World Series appearance, and they last won it all in 1984. The San Francisco Giants will be making their 19th World Series appearance, which sets a National League record. Previously, they were tied with the Cardinals and Dodgers. The Giants also won the 2010 World Series.
The Tigers are the favorites, but the Giants have proven they can win with their backs against the wall this year. However, with a rotation led by Justin Verlander, along with Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, and Anibal Sanchez, the Tigers will be hard to beat. They also have a devastating 3-4 combo of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. The Giants have some pretty good pitching as well with Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong, but not as good of a offense. The Giants bullpen is probably more solid than the Tigers, and their defense is better. The Tigers are well rested, but that backfired on them in the 2006 World Series against the Cardinals. I think this year's Tigers team is better than the 2006 version, and I think they will win the World Series this year.