Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’
Last year was the first time I ever made actual predictions as to how the MLB standings would look at the end of the regular season. To say I did poorly would be an understatement, but this is a new year, and with it comes a new shot at getting the predictions right. So I’m up for the challenge once again.
Unlike 2012, when I posted both my American League and National League predictions in the same blog entry, this year I’m doing separate posts for each league. I did my American League predictions on Thursday (if you’d like to check them out, CLICK HERE), so today, as the title states, I’m giving my 2013 National League standings predictions, starting with the NL East:
With all of the offseason additions, including both Justin Upton and B.J. Upton, the Braves have a really good chance to win their division, in the minds of many baseball fans, myself included. Their starting rotation is somewhat of a question mark, being good, but not great, however, I think the lineup they currently possess will be more than enough to get the job done. This will be the first season in more than a decade in which Chipper Jones isn’t in the dugout, but I think it’s going to be an exciting year for Braves fans nonetheless.
The Nationals had a breakout season last year, bringing playoff baseball back to Washington D.C. for the first time since 1933, and all signs point to them having another great season. The only reason I have them finishing behind the Braves is that their lineup isn’t quite as lethal, although their pitching staff can compete with nearly any team in baseball. Stephen Strasburg isn’t going to be on an innings limit, as he was last season, and the loss of that stress should allow for him to thrive. I fully see the Nat’s making the playoffs yet again in 2013.
For the Phillies, I’m still yet to be convinced that they’re going to do much of anything this year. Unlike last year, the Phillies should have a healthy Ryan Howard for the entire season, who will undoubtedly improve their lineup, but with Roy Halladay struggling a bit in spring training–given it’s just spring training–and the remainder of the rotation being merely decent, I can’t see them finishing any higher than third; being that the Braves and Nationals are in the division. But the Phillies certainly have the potential to prove me wrong.
Adding tons of big name players to their roster in the offseason of 2011, everyone thought it would help the Marlins win a few more games than they did the previous year. But things didn’t go as planned for the Marlins, as they finished 2012 with even fewer wins than in 2011, and in a questionable move, decided to redo nearly the entire team during this past offseason. With the loss of so many players, combined with the way the remainder of the team–with the exception of Giancarlo Stanton–played last season, they aren’t predicted to do much in the coming year.
The only team I’m predicting to do worse than the Marlins are the Mets. Although they resigned their superstar third baseman, David Wright, for the next seven years, they traded away their 2012 Cy Young award winner, in R.A. Dickey. While that move alone isn’t going to be the make or break point for the Mets, I don’t see them winning an awful lot of games this year. I do, however, like their chances down the road, as some of their key prospects are knocking on the door. As soon as next season, I can see the Mets making some noise in the NL East.
After an extremely successful 2012 season, in which the Reds finished first in their division on 97 games won, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to have an equally impressive, if not slightly better, 2013. They have the same basic roster, which includes one of the best closers in all of baseball, however, the one major difference is a healthy Joey Votto, which is why I see the Reds having an even better season this year. If they acquire the speedy Billy Hamilton, who stole 155 bases in the minors last year, towards the end of the season, I could see them going very deep into the playoffs, as well.
The Cardinals are a team that’s good enough to give the Reds a run for their money, but I’m not predicting for them to win the division. The Card’s have an extremely good pitching staff, when it comes to both starters and the bullpen–though their stellar closer, Jason Motte, is expected to begin the year on the disabled list–,however, their lineup isn’t quite as good as the Reds. It’s certainly going to be fun to watch to see how it all plays out, but regardless, I don’t see them being good enough to earn even the second wild card spot, as I feel the Nat’s and Giants are going to have better seasons.
This is going to finally be the year for the Pirates, in my mind. They started off incredibly last season, with their All-Star, Andrew McCutchen, leading the way with a batting average in the high .300’s, however, when McCutchen began to struggle following the midsummer classic, the rest of the team followed suit. If the entire team can rally together and play to their full potential, for the entire season, while I don’t see them making the playoffs, I could easily see them finishing with a winning record for the first time since 1992.
If it wasn’t for Ryan Braun, the Brewers arguably wouldn’t have won nearly as many games last season, which is why I feel they’re bound to flip spots with the Pirates in the coming year. Their pitching staff isn’t what you would expect out of an above .500 ball club, but it gets the job done, nonetheless. Even so, their lineup is missing a few key components–some of which just aren’t there, and some players that are injured–for the Brewers to have any sort of a chance at a playoff run, as far as I can foresee.
All signs point to the Cubs’ streak of 104 seasons without a World Series title continuing yet another season, with there not being much chance for a successful season in 2013. They have some good, young prospects working their way up the ranks, but until they make it to Wrigley field, a few years down the road, all the Cubs can do is make it through another subpar 162 game season.
It’s pretty much going to be either the Dodgers or Giants winning the NL West division, and if the Dodgers can play to their fullest potential, I have a good feeling they’re going to win their division. They have one of the best rotations in all of baseball, which includes former Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw, along with Zack Greinke and newcomer Hyun-Jin Ryu, from Korea, and that, combined with one of the best lineups in baseball, should be enough to prevail them past the 2012 World Champion Giants, in the NL West division.
With the Dodgers winning the division, I have the Giants coming in a close second. Coming off their second World Series title in three years, the Giants are one of those teams that doesn’t have an incredible team, but make the very most of what they have. Last season, Tim Lincecum really struggled to find his groove, posting a career worse 5.18 ERA, but I see Lincecum having a bounce-back 2013 season. While a healthy Lincecum will help keep the Giants in the running for the division title, I still predict them coming up just short.
The Padres made some noise towards the end of last season, and I look for them to play more of the same type of intensity baseball for the entire 2013 season. They don’t get a lot of recognition, just because of who they are, not having made the playoffs since 2006, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t possibly be the shockers of the 2013 season. While I don’t see them finishing higher than third, with the Dodgers and Giants in the division, I’m predicting they’re going to be a lot better than most people are expecting.
Having finished with a record of 81-81, exactly .500, in 2012, I don’t see the Diamondbacks improving at all in the coming season, especially with the offseason trade of Justin Upton to the Braves, as well as promising young pitching prospect, Trevor Bauer, to the Indians. By losing a couple of players who would’ve likely made a noticeable impact for the D-back’s in the coming season, I see them finishing next to last in the division. Both their pitching staff and lineup are decent, but I just can’t bring myself to place them any higher in the standings for my predictions.
Playing in one of the best hitters ballparks in all of baseball, with the high altitude, doesn’t help out the Rockies when their pitching rotation is one of the weakest in all of baseball. Although they’ll have their star short stop, Troy Tulowitzki, back healthy–Tulowitzki only played in 47 games last year–along with veteran, Todd Helton, the Rockies’ lineup isn’t nearly strong enough to overcome their below average pithing staff. Therefore, I’m predicting a second straight last place season, in the NL West division, for the Rockies.
Leave a comment below with whether or not you agree with my predictions.
This is the third in a series of four blog posts that I plan to type up between now and Friday; all of which will focus on who I feel should win the three major awards of Most Valuable Player (MVP), Cy Young and Rookie of the Year (ROY). (If you haven’t read my posts on who I think should win the AL MVP, NL MVP and AL Cy Young, go ahead and check those out now.)
If you’ll remember back to my post on American League Cy Young, I tend to rely purely on stats when making a pick for which player most deserves the Cy Young award. In fact, there were SO many good candidates for National League Cy Young that I ended up letting the stats make the decision for me.
I took the National League starting pitchers with ERA’s below 3.00 (seven pitchers in all) and compared them from 20 different statistical angles. (I chose to use so many different stats to compare them because I felt that using Wins, ERA and strikeouts alone didn’t tell the whole story of how good a particular pitcher was.)
My method works as follows: The pitcher with the best numbers in a given category receives 1 point; with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc., place pitchers receiving the corresponding point amount. (The occurence of a tie in a particular category results in the tied players receiving the same point amount.) In the end, the pitcher with the lowest combined total would be my pick for the Cy Young award.
It took me awhile to crunch all of the numbers, but once I finally finished, this was the result:
(I realize it’s a bit blurry. You can click it for a clearer look.)
For those of you that still can’t read the chart (even after clicking on it) here are the results of the comparison:
Clayton Kershaw: 1st place-with a total of 61.
R.A. Dickey: 2nd place-with a total of 69.
Matt Cain: 3rd place-with a total of 72.
Gio Gonzalez: 4th place-with a total of 77.
Kyle Lohse: 5th place-with a total of 82.
Johnny Cueto: 6th place-with at total of 84.
Jordan Zimmermann: 7th place-with a total of 91.
As you can see, Clayton Kershaw came out on top, thus making him the statistical winner (and my pick) for the 2012 National League Cy Young award. (This would make his second straight Cy Young; as he won it in 2011.)
Though Kershaw’s record of 14-9 would argue against it, he had an outstanding year; leading all of MLB starting pitchers in ERA. While we’re on the subject of the win-loss record: I feel it can be a bit misleading.
Though 15 other National League pitchers had more wins than Kershaw (with Gio Gonzalez recording 21) the win-loss record is one of those stats that’s out of the pitcher’s hands for the most part. As the pitcher, you can go out there and throw a gem of a game–giving up only a couple runs–but if the lineup isn’t clicking on that particular day, you’re not going to get the win.
So, while it would appear at first glance that Kershaw didn’t have a Cy Young worthy year, if you take the time to look closely you can clearly see that Kershaw was the NL’s best all-around pitcher of the season; and as such, is my pick for 2012 National League Cy Young.
Do you agree or disagree with me?
As always, feel free to leave a comment below.
After watching several Spring Training games to try to get a feel for how teams will perform this season, I finally feel I can post my MLB predictions blog entry that I’ve had on hold for the past month. I’ve never attempted to make predictions for an entire year of Major League Baseball, but I’m going to give it a shot. I’ll probably be way off, but who knows, I might get lucky.
I’m going to start off by giving my predictions for each division, starting with the AL East:
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
1- New York Yankees
2- Tampa Bay Rays
3- Boston Red Sox
4- Toronto Blue Jays
5- Baltimore Orioles
Reasoning: I have the Yankees just edging out the Rays for the number one spot in the American League East. Both are going to be great teams this year but I think the Yankees have a slightly better team than the Rays. As far as the Red Sox go, I don’t see them having a repeat year from last. They’re bound to do much better this season. I don’t see them doing better than the Rays however, who are really getting their team together. I’ve got the Blue Jays finishing fourth in the AL East. While they have a decent pitching staff and power slugger Jose Bautista, as well as several young stars, I don’t think their team is quite there yet. Give them a few more years, and I think they’ll be a real threat in the division. As far as the Orioles go, I don’t see them doing any better than last year. They didn’t make any drastic changes to their team to warrant a belief that they’ll move up even one spot.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
1- Detroit Tigers
2- Cleveland Indians
3- Kansas City Royals
4- Minnesota Twins
5- Chicago White Sox
Reasoning: If you had asked me back when the 2011 season ended if I thought there was a team that could beat out the Detroit Tigers for the number one spot in the AL Central, my answer would’ve been yes. Now that the Tigers have Prince Fielder, and the transition for Miguel Cabrera from first to third base seems to have gone smoothly, I’d say there’s no chance of any team coming close to the Tigers. With their Ace Justin Verlander leading the way, I could easily see the Tigers winning 100 or more games this year. I have the Cleveland Indians finishing second in the division. I feel that they’re a good team, but not good enough for the number one spot. The number three spot goes to the Kansas City Royals. I feel that it’s just a matter of time before this team really starts to leave its mark. They have a great team, as well as several great prospects still in the minors. I think the Royals will be good enough for the number two spot in a couple years. I would’ve placed the Twins higher on the list had it not been for the great ammount of uncertainty. The Twins have a decent team, however their star players Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau didn’t have their best stuff last season due to injury. I’m not sure they can beat out the Royals for numbethird in the AL Central. As far as the White Sox go, they’re good engough for dead last on my list.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
1- Texas Rangers
2- Los Angeles Angels
3- Seattle Mariners
4- Oakland Athletics
Reasoning: It was very difficult for me to decide between the Rangers and Angels for that number one spot in the AL West. Both have great pitching staffs, as well as great players in their line ups, but in the end I felt that the Rangers and Yu Darvish would just beat out the Angels by one or two games. I have the Mariners taking that number three spot. Although the Athletics signed cuban phenom Yoenis Cespedes, as well as Manny Ramirez, I feel the Mariners are a better team when it comes down to it.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
1- Philadelphia Phillies
2- Atlanta Braves
3- Miami Marlins
4- Washington Nationals
5- New York Mets
Reasoning: Choosing between the Phillies and Braves for the number one spot was difficult. They both have injured players going into the season, however both have a good team even with the injuries. The only reason I picked the Phillies for first is their pitching rotation. The Braves have a good one as well, but I don’t think it’s as developed as the Phillies, who have their Ace Roy Halladay. The Marlins I have coming in third. While I feel they’ll deffinitely do better than last season–with the additions of Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano–I don’t think they can compete with the Braves or Phillies in the very tough NL East division. Another team that I feel is going to do a lot better this season than last is the Washington Nationals. If Bryce Harper performs well once called up, and Stephen Strasburg can stay healthy, I think the Nationals stand a chance of beating out the Marlins for third in the division. For now, however, I’m still sticking with my prediction of fourth for the Nat’s, but give them a year or so and they’ll be a really good team. The Mets are last on my list, as I don’t feel they’ll do any better than last year, even with a healthy Johan Santana.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
1- St. Louis Cardinals
2- Milwaukee Brewers
3- Cincinnati Reds
4- Pittsburgh Pirates
5- Chicago Cubs
6- Houston Astros
Reasoning: Depending on how healthy their star players can stay throughout the season, and how well the teams as a whole perform, I could see the Cardinals, Brewers or Reds placing first in the NL Central. They all have decent pitching rotations, as well as decent lineups. Since I couldn’t pick all three to put in the top spot however, I decided to go with the Cardinals after much debate. I’m not only choosing the Cardinals because they were 2011 World Champions, but also because I feel that even with the loss of their superstar Albert Pujols, they’re a good enough team to win the division. The second place team on my list, the Brewers, took a similar hit as the Cardinals, loosing their star player Prince Fielder. Without the loss of Fielder, the Brewers would run away with the division, but I feel it’s pretty even between the top three teams the way it stands. The Reds are a team that’s good enough for the top spot, but I have them finishing third in the NL Central just for the fact that I don’t think they’ll put everything together to finish any better; but they might just surprise me. The Pirates, who I have finishing fourth, are a team similar to the Nationals. They’re getting better everyday, and have a bunch of star prospects still in the minors, including top prospect pitcher Gerrit Cole, but it’ll be a few more years before they’re good enough for third place or higher. They’re deffinitely a team to keep a close eye on in the future though. I have the Cubs finishing next to last just ahead of the Astros. Nothing stands out to me that makes me think they have a shot at cracking the 103 year World Series drought, none the less finishing any better than fifth. The good news for the Astros is that I think they’ll be no worse than last season. The bad news is they were terrible last season. But that’s nothing new. They’re good enough for last place.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
1- San Francisco Giants
2- Arizona Diamondbacks
3- Los Angeles Dodgers
4- San Diego Padres
5- Colorado Rockies
Reasoning: After winning the World Series in 2010 the Giants had a terrible season last year. They were plagued with injuries to many of their stars, including Brian Wilson and Buster Posey, and while not injured, their Ace Tim Lincecum didn’t perform all that well. I look for the Giants to really dominate this coming season. I think Lincecum will have another stellar year, and I look for Buster Posey to have a bounce back year after being injured in 2011. Combine that with Wilson coming in to close things out, and I think you’ve got a team that’s good enough for first place in the division. The Diamondbacks, who won the division last season, are sure to have another fantastic season however I don’t think they’ll be quite good enough for the top spot. Matt Kemp and the Dodgers are sure to make a push at the number two spot. Kemp–who ended one home run shy of a 40/40 last season (40 home runs, 40 stolen bases)–made the bold prediction that he’ll record a 50/50 this year. While that seems a little far fetched, I still look for Kemp to help his team win a ton of games this year, and possibly end up winning the NL MVP, which he should’ve received after his 2011 performance. The Padres are another of my teams that I feel you should keep a close eye on. They’re not quite talented enough yet to finish any better than fourth (a step up from last season) but I feel that they’re really getting their act together. They made several great trades during the offseason, and their pitching staff is going to get better in the next couple of years. The Rockies in my opinion will finish last in the division. While they’re a good team, who also made some good trades during the off season, I feel that the Padres are going to be the slightly better team this year.
That’s my predictions for how the standings will look at the end of the 2012 Regular season. You may agree with me, or you might think I’m insane for some of my picks, but that’s just how I see it ending.
Here’s a quick review of the teams I have winning their divisions:
AL East: New York Yankees
NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
AL Central: Detroit Tigers
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
AL West: Texas Rangers
NL West: San Francisco Giants
Those are the teams that I have winning their divisions and moving onto the 2012 playoffs. Now moving onto my Wild Card Predictions. These are the teams I have recieving those:
AL Wild Card: Los Angeles Angels
NL Wild Card: Arizona Diamondbacks
Those are the teams I feel aren’t quite good enough to win their divisions, but will make it to the playoffs via a Wild Card slot. As you know, MLB is adding an extra Wild Card this season. So here are my picks for those:
Extra AL Wild Card Team: Tampa Bay Rays
Extra NL Wild Card Team: Atlanta Braves
If it comes out the way I predict, the Rays and Angels, and the Diamondbacks and Braves will have a one-game play off to see which will move on, and which one’s season will come to a dramatic end. It’s sure to be exciting.
I had originally planned on predicting all the way down to the World Series, but to be honest, there’s too much that can, and will, happen to have any success in doing that. I mean, when the Cardinals were 10 games back of the Braves for the Wild Card last year, who would’ve predicted that they’d go onto win the World Series? I will say this: I like the Tigers and Rangers chances.
So there you go. Those are my predictions for the division winners as well as the Wild Card, and extra Wild Card recipients. Only time will tell if they play out as I foresee.
Yes, that’s right. The famous “rally squirrel” that first appeared in Game 4 of the NLDS last October, is pretty much getting a baseball card all to itself. Card number 93 of the 2012 Topps Series 1 set, is technically the card of Cardinals’ second basemen Skip Schumaker, but for the first time in the history of the Topps’ card company, the card doesn’t feature the face of the player on the card. As a matter of fact, Schumaker is barely visible–with only the lower part of his leg being shown:
If I was Skip Schumaker, I’d be very upset at the Topp’s card company. It’d be one thing if they made a card for the rally squirrel–they’ve done cards for mascots in the past–but to actually have it be the card of Schumaker? I mean come on. I would think the Topps’ company would be a little more professional than this. (Although to their credit, the card is being made a short-print.)
On a brighter side, the 2012 Topps Series 1 baseball set is also going to include the first cards of Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols in their new uniforms–given they are photoshoped. These cards (like the Schumaker card) are due to be short-prints, thus making them must have cards for collectors.
Want one of the Skip Schumaker short-print cards? Well, you have a two options:
Option 1: Go to your local card shop and buy pack after pack, until you hopefully get lucky and pull one of the cards.
Option 2: Buy the card off eBay. One of the first sold on eBay for $600!
I think I’ll go with option 1.
The Winter Meetings, in Dallas, Texas, are now over, but man were they exciting. And although the Angels and Marlins were the only two teams that didn’t seem to be exploring the hotel the entire week, there were still some big name players that found new homes.
Let me start off talking a little bit about Albert Pujols. He was the main story throughout the week. Reports had the Cubs, Cardinals, Angels, and Marlins all presenting offers to Pujols, but when it came down to it, the Cubs couldn’t compete in the money game. The Cardinals offered Pujols a reported 220 Million over 10 years. Not bad, but if Albert Pujols was going to “go where the money was” they would have to raise their offer by a substantial amount; which didn’t happen. The Angles and Marlins really fought it out for Pujols. The Marlins offered Pujols a reported 275 Million over 10 years, while the Angels offered a 254 Million dollar 10-year deal. If it was about the money–which according to Pujols, it wasn’t–then it should’ve been an easy decision. No team offered anywhere near what the Marlins offered, so that’s where he’ll go right? Nope. Pujols took the 10-year 254 Million dollar offer from the Angels. (The second highest contract in MLB history.) So it wasn’t about the money, it was about the no-trade clause. The Angels offered him one, while the Marlins refused to. So in the end, Pujols took 21 Million less to secure a no-trade clause. But here’s my question. If the top offer from the Cardinals was 220 Million over 10 years, why not just stay in St. Louis? He’s a legend there, as it’s the only team he’s ever known. They love him there. It just doesn’t make sense. He’s only going to make just over 2 million more a year out in Anaheim. Is 22 million a year not enough to stay in a city that praises you? I don’t know. If it was me, I wouldn’t have made the decision he did. But whatever. My last name isn’t Pujols.
So now if you’re the Angels you’re thinking: “Okay. We’ve got one of the best hitters (if not the best) in all of Major League Baseball. Now we need an Ace pitcher to go along with him.” Thus you sign the best pitcher on the free-agent market, CJ Wilson. Wilson–who signed a 5-year contract worth 75 Millon–will join Weaver and Santana in the Angels killer pitching rotation. With the addition of Pujols and Wilson, the Angels will be difficult to beat in 2012. Whether they’ll make the playoffs and sweep every team that gets in their way to win the World Series like everyone is foreseeing is yet to be seen. I for one, don’t think they will. It’s kind of like the LeBron “decision” last year. Everyone thought the Heat would be unbeatable with James, Wade, and Bosh, but unless it’s invisible, I don’t see a Championship ring on the finger of LeBron. Just saying.
There’s been talk for awhile that Albert Pujols will pull a LeBron, and “take his talents to South Beach.” Well, I honestly don’t think so. I feel that he will stay with the St. Louis Cardinals, just for the fact that the Marlins aren’t offering that much more, and the Cards are the only team Pujols has ever known. However, if the Marlins offer a MAJOR ammount of money to Pujols, and the Cardinals don’t offer anywhere near it, then Pujols would be stupid not to take it.
This is all just my opinion. What do you think?
If you voted for other, please leave a comment below with which team you think he’ll end up with.
Pujols has signed with the Angels.
Now that the 2011 MLB season is over, all of its players are either taking vacations to foreign countries, or are going to play in other leagues for the Fall and/or Winter months. They might be going somewhere, but I’m not. No, I plan on blogging the entire offseason, with at least 2-3 blog entries a week. It’ll be a challenge, but it’ll also be fun.
With this being my first entry of the off season, I thought I’d use it to let you know what to expect the entries on this blog to be like during the off season:
- I currently have 12 Q and A’s that I haven’t posted yet, and one other Q and A with Brad Penny, that I’m in the process of completing. I hope to post a Q and A entry once a week for the entire off season, but for that to happen, I’ll have to get a few more players to agree to answer some questions. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
- I also have around 8 or so ideas for blog entries during the offseason, that have to do with random baseball topics, that I feel you–the reader–will enjoy.
- Other than that, I’ll post entries as the breaking news topics occur. With all of the free agents this offseason, it shouldn’t be hard to find something to write about.
I hope I helped you to better understand what to expect from this blog during the off season. With all of that said, I hope to have you follow/read along.
TONY LARUSSA RETIRES
I decided to not post an entire entry about this, but I felt that it was newsworthy enough to put at the bottom of this entry. As you more than likely have already heard, Tony LaRussa decided that the 2011 MLB season, was his last.
Wheter you like him or not, you can’t argue that he’s had a Hall Of Fame career. Here’s some of the things LaRussa accomplished in his 33 season managerial career:
One of only two managers in the history of MLB to win a World Series title in both the NL and AL. (Sparky Anderson being the other.)
Ninth manager in the history of MLB to win three or more World Series titles. (LaRussa won three.)
An overall record of 2728-2365, between his seasons with the White Sox, Athletics and Cardinals. (.544 winning percentage.)
Third all-time in managerial wins. (Behind Connie Mack and John McGraw. Both Hall of Famer’s.)
Six pennants won, over his 33 season career.
14 playoff appearances made.
There isn’t one (factor) that dominates (my decision). They all just come together telling you your time is over. We went through the season and I felt that this just feels like it’s time to end it and I think it’s going to be great for the Cardinals to refresh what’s going on here. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. I’m ready to do something different … Other than some of personal attachments, I feel good. I feel good that this is the right decision. I think this just feels like it’s time to end it.
I guess it’s better to go out on top–three days after winning the 2011 World Series–then to go out on your way down.
Last night’s game 7 of the 2011 World Series was do or die, for both the Cardinals and the Rangers. A win for the Rangers would mean their first World Series Championship in the franchises history. A win for the Cardinals would mean their second World Series Championship in the past ten years. It was game on.
The start of the game saw Cardinal’s pitcher Chris Carpenter on the mound. He was pitching on only three days rest, but as the Cardinal’s best pitcher, he was their best chance of a victory. He had to be on his game.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Carpenter didn’t seem to be on his game to start out. Giving up two runs in the top of the first inning. The first run for the Rangers coming off of an RBI double by Josh Hamilton, who’s not had the best post season, but has come through in some big spots. The second run of the inning came on an RBI double from Michael Young, that scored Hamilton from second. It was 2-0, Rangers, just like that. It wasn’t looking good for the Cardinals.
Moving on to the bottom half of the inning. The Cardinals have a runner on first and second, with two outs. The two base runners came off of two straight walks by Ranger’s pitcher, Matt Harrison. The next batter, David Freese, came through again for the Cardinals, by doubling to left field, allowing both Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman to score. The game was now tied, 2-2.
Jumping ahead to the bottom of the third, the score is still tied 2-2. The batter, Allen Craig, sends a ball to right field. At first it appeared as if Craig had popped the ball up. But it kept carrying and carrying, just enough to get over the wall. The Cardinals now lead, 3-2.
Now skipping ahead to the bottom of the fifth inning. Things got ugly for the Rangers. After bringing in Scott Feldman to replace Matt Harrison, he walks Allen Craig, plunks Albert Pujols, and then intentionally walks David Freese. The bases are loaded with two outs. So what does Feldman do? He walks the next batter, Yadier Molina, which allows the runner at third, Allen Craig, to walk home. The score is now, 4-2, Cardinals. With the bases STILL loaded, and one out left to get, the Rangers replaced Feldman with their Ace, C.J. Wilson. What does Wilson do? On the FIRST pitch he throws, after coming in the game, he hits the batter, Rafael Furcal, allowing another run to WALK home. The score is now 5-2. Wilson then strikes out Skip Schumaker. But the damage has been done.
Moving onto the top of the sixth inning. The Rangers look to cut the lead by a run, as Nelson Cruz launches a ball to deep center field. It appears as if it will sail over the outfield wall. But at the last second, Allen Craig makes the leaping catch, robbing Cruz of a home run. To me, that catch by Craig was the nail in the Ranger’s coffin.
Bottom of the seventh. The Cardinals have runners on first and second, with one out. The batter, Yadier Molina, hits a single to center field. Lance Berkman, the runner at second, scores. The RBI single by Molina makes the score 6-2, Cardinals. The Cardinals start to feel the victory.
Moving on to the top of the ninth. The score is still 6-2, Cardinals, with Nelson Cruz coming up to bat. Jason Motte, the hard throwing “closer” for the Cardinals, is the new pitcher. Motte gets Cruz to fly out to center fielder, Jon Jay. Two outs to go. The next batter, Mike Napoli–who’s been oustanding for the Rangers in the World Series–grounds out to third base. The Cardinals are now just one out away from winning the World Series. David Murphy approaches the plate as the last chance for the Rangers. Everything rides on him. But Murphy doesn’t come through, as all he can do is fly out to left field. The crowd goes insane! The Cardinals have done it. After being down 10.5 games to the Braves in the Wild Card chase on August 25, they’ve come all the way back to win the World Series. It’s truly one of the more remarkable runs in baseball history.
Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals, for winning the 2011 World Series.
I feel bad for the Texas Rangers. After making it all the way to the World Series last season, and losing to the San Fransisco Giants, this season was their chance to redeem themselves. But it wasn’t meant to be I guess.
After the game was over, Bud Selig presented the M.V.P. trophy to David Freese. Freese–who’s the reason the Cardinal’s even made it to a game seven–came through for the Cardinal’s every single time they needed him to. He truly was the Cardinal’s Most Valuable Player.
Once again, congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals for winning the 2011 World Series. A remarkable end, to a remarkable season.
The very first poll I posted back on October 10th, asked who you thought would win the 2011 World Series, and in how many games. The majority of the votes had the Rangers winning in six games. It’s funny how far off that prediction was.
If you missed last night’s game, I feel sorry for you. You missed an unbelievable game. One of the best games in World Series history. It was truly remarkable what went down. Under the circumstances of last night’s game you expected the Cardinal’s to play their heart’s out to stay alive, but I don’t think anyone expected them to play the way they did.
The top of the first inning saw Cardinal’s starting pitcher, Jaime Garcia, giving up the lead off walk to Ian Kinsler. Garcia then proceeded to give up a single to Elvis Andrus, which allowed the speedy Kinsler to make it all the way to third, with no outs. Things then got worse for Garcia, as he allowed a single to Josh Hamilton, allowing Kinsler to score. It was 1-0, Rangers, just like that, with still no outs. But Garcia did a nice job of getting out of the inning with just the one run allowed, as he sat down the next three batters 1-2-3.
Moving onto the bottom of the second, Lance Berkman hammers a two run home run over the wall, with two outs. The score quickly became. 2-1, Cardinals. You knew then and there, that this was going to be a back and forth game.
Jumping ahead to the top of the seventh inning, the score is now tied, 4-4. Adrian Beltre, the leadoff batter, hits a solo home run. Not to be outdone, the next batter, Nelson Cruz, does the same. A solo home run to left field. Back-to-back home runs make the score 6-4, Rangers. Later in the inning, after reaching base safely on a bunt, Derek Holland is the runner at first. A wild pitch by the Cardinal’s pitcher, Octavio Dotel, to Ian Kinsler, allows Holland to advance to second, with two outs. Kinsler scores Holland on an RBI single to center. The Rangers are starting to smell the Championship. Up 7-4, with only nine outs left to get.
To make matters worse for the Cardinals, they go down 1-2-3, in the bottom of the seventh. The Rangers are now 6 outs from the World Series title.
In the bottom of the eighth, after getting the lead off batter out, the Rangers allow a solo home run to Allen Craig. The Cardinals fans can feel a rally. The score is now 7-5, Rangers.
After failing to extend their lead in the top of the ninth, the Rangers still seem to be in a good position. Up by two runs with only three outs left to get, in the bottom half. Neftali Feliz comes in for the Rangers to try and close things down for the win. He does his job with the first batter, Ryan Theriot. The Rangers are now just two outs away from the World Series title. The next batter, Albert Pujols, makes things difficult for Feliz, by doubling to the center field gap. Neftali Feliz then walks the next batter, Lance Berkman. Just like that, the tying run is on first. The next batter, Allen Craig, strikes out looking, however. It all comes down to David Freese. Feliz quickly got ahead in the count. The Rangers are now just ONE strike away. But David Freese comes through will a fly ball to left field that bangs off the wall allowing both Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman to score. Freese makes it all the way to third. But the next batter, Yadier Molina, can’t get him home. Thus, sending the game to extra innings.
Top of the tenth, Josh Hamilton, who’s had a terrible post season, hits a two-run home run to center field, giving the Rangers a 9-7 lead. No way the Cardinals can recover from that blow right? Well, in the bottom of the tenth, after allowing the Cardinals to get runners to second and third, the Rangers give up a run for an out. There are now two outs, with the score 9-8, Rangers. Lance Berkman, the next batter, quickly gets a two strike count on him. The Cardinals are down to their last STRIKE yet again. This is the end of the game right? NO! With one strike left, Lance Berkman singles to center field, allowing Jon Jay to score from third. The score is now tied 9-9. Like I said, if you missed the game last night, I feel sorry for you.
The Cardinals force an eleventh inning. In the top of the eleventh inning, the Rangers fail to score a run. Then, in the botom of the eleventh inning, David Freese–who came through for the Cardinal’s earlier in the game–comes through again with a walk off home run to center field. The Cardinals win, and force a game seven. Truly unbelievable. Maybe the rally squirrel does exist?!?
Eleven innings. Four hours and thirty-three minutes. A game for the books.
Tonight’s game is a MUST win for both the Cardinals and the Rangers. Win and you get the honor of being 2011 World Series Champions.
Will the Rangers loose for the second year in a row after getting so close? Or will they come out swinging, and win the first World Series title in their history? Watch tonight on FOX, to find out.
The last time the World Series made it to a game seven was 2002.
The home team has won game seven in the past EIGHT game sevens of the World Series.
This series is incredible/unpredictable.
Although this series is unpredictable, please vote in the poll below:
Last night’s game was the most important game of the series thus far. A win would allow you the privelege of being able to lose the next game and still be in the running for the World Series title. While a loss would mean having to face the near impossible task of winning two games in a row. The pressure was on.
The Cardinals and Rangers both had their Aces on the mound. Christopher John Carpenter for the Cardinals, and Christopher John Wilson for the Rangers. Notice similarities in their names? Interesting isn’t it. (From now on I’ll refer to them as Chris and C.J. I just wanted to point out their same names.) Anyway, they both have had success as well as failure in the past. It all came down to this game. They had to be on their game.
The first runs of the game were scored by the Cardinals in the top of the second inning. The first run coming from an RBI single by Yadier Molina, and the second coming off a ground out by Lance Berkman. The Cardinals had a quick 2-0 lead.
Moving onto the bottom of the third. An absolute BOMB by Mitch Moreland put the Rangers on the board. When I say BOMB, I mean BOMB. The home run soared into the upper deck of the outfield, traveling an estimated 446 feet. It was the longest home run in the World Series since records began being kept back in 2006.
The next Rangers run came in the bottom of the sixth inning. A home run by Adrian Beltre tied things up for the Rangers. The amazing thing about this home run, is that he hit it on one knee. Or at least ended his swing on one knee.
Let me change gears for a moment, as I want to talk a little bit about the Texas Legends race that took place during the middle of the sixth inning. The legends race is run by people who dress up as legends from Texas’s history. The race is done every Rangers game, but last night wasn’t a normal race. Last night’s race saw MLB Network analysts dressing up as the characters for the race. Kevin Millar as Davy Crockett, Harold Reynolds as Sam Houston, Sean Casey as Jim Bowie and Mitch Williams as Nolan Ryan. You had to figure that Keving Millar, who said that he was “going to win”, on yesterday’s episode of ‘Intentional Talk’, was going to do whatever it took to increase his chances of winning. Even if it meant cheating. Whatever Millar did, he must of done it without standing out too much, as he won last night’s race by a good 15 feet. Harold Reynold’s, Sean Casey, and Mitch Williams, finishing in that order, felt that Millar did in fact cheat. Below is a video I found on Youtube. Watch it, and you tell me:
Did Millar cheat? Let me know what you think, by leaving a comment in the comments section below.
Getting back to the game, it appeared as if it would go into extra innings, with the score still tied, 2-2, going into the bottom of the eighth. But Mike Napoli couldn’t let that happen, as he drove in two runs on a line drive single to center. Napoli came through again for the Rangers, and the fans let him know it with the continuous chanting of, “NA-PO-LI. NA-PO-LI. NA-PO-LI……” It went on, and on, and on. It had to be a good feeling for Napoli, who’s now, in my opinion, a great candidite for MVP. He’s come through for the Rangers the entire series. He deserves it more than anyone else.
Neftali Feliz was brought in to close things out in the top of the ninth inning. He imediately plunked Allen Craig, sending him to first base with Albert Pujols coming to the plate. Then things got weird as signals became crossed. Allen Craig says that he saw the hit and run sign from the third base coach, while Albert Pujols says he put the sign on. Whoever it was, it didn’t work, as Albert Pujols failed to make contact, and Craig was easily thrown out by Napoli at second. A strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play. Just like that, there were two outs. Neftali Feliz made quick work of the next batter, Lance Berkman, striking him out to end the game.
The Rangers win the game 4-2. They now lead the series 3 games to 2. Unless the rally squirrel makes an appearance in St. Louis, I’d say the Cardinals chances of winning the World Series down 3-2, are slim to none. But stranger things have happened. That’s the great thing about baseball. You can be down, but you’re never out. There’s always that chance that the unbelievable can happen. You never know.
Remember my Q and A blog entry with the ‘Batting Stance Guy’? Well, he was up to his old tricks of imitating MLB players batting stances last night in the Rangers Clubhouse. Check out his hilarious imitation of Adrian Beltre’s one knee home run:
The guy’s great.
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