Saturday, October 1, 2011

NLDS Game 1: Cardinals at Phillies

US Presswire photo
Albert Pujols leads the red-hot Cardinals into Philadelphia.
There's no understating what the St. Louis Cardinals managed to pull off over the season's final three weeks, winning 16 of their last 21 games to overtake the collapsing Atlanta Braves and seize the NL wild-card. And what's their reward for all that? A division series matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies, baseball's best team all season.

As we all painfully know, the Phillies boast the most dominant rotation in the game, the quartet of aces known as Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels that gives this team every reason to believe it will win every time it steps on the field.

Which isn't to say this is a slam-dunk sweep for the Phillies. Their lineup was pretty banged up at the end of the season, raising some question marks. And Ryan Madson, though he excelled in his first year as closer, hasn't done it in the postseason yet. Throw in the fact the Cardinals actually won the season series, 6-3, and perhaps they have a chance here.

What's my prediction? Scroll down to read it...

Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 5:07 p.m.
Radio: XM 89
Weather: Showers, 62 degrees, Wind 7 mph LF to RF
SS Rafael Furcal
RF Allen Craig
1B Albert Pujols
LF Lance Berkman
3B David Freese
C Yadier Molina
2B Skip Schumaker
CF Jon Jay
P Kyle Lohse

SS Jimmy Rollins
2B Chase Utley
RF Hunter Pence
1B Ryan Howard
CF Shane Victorino
LF Raul Ibanez
3B Placido Polanco
C Carlos Ruiz
P Roy Halladay
PREDICTION: OK, so perhaps the Cardinals have a few things going for them. But let's be realistic here. The chance of all of Philly's starters struggling is infinitesimal. Halladay and Lee are starting Games 1 and 2 against Kyle Lohse and Chris Carpenter (who will be pitching on short rest for the first time in his career). Unless St. Louis can steal one of those two games, this won't be much a of series. PHILADELPHIA IN FOUR.


FS - ofcourse rooting for Cards said...

ugh I hate it when you are so brutally truthful, Mark.

Just wonderin' said...

If the Nats took four straight from 'em in Philly, why shouldn't the Cards be able to take 'em in three?

Slidell said...

@Just wondering....
At this particular time, the Phils have just a wee bit more motivation than they had when we saw them.

NatsLady said...

Cards just scored 3. Doc having a little trouble. There ya go.

Slidell said...

The Cards are off to a good start. 3 in the 1st off Doc.

Jim Webster said...

Cards starting out with style. I'm pining for a replay of 1926 WS when my home town hero Grover Cleveland Alexander, with bad hangover, won 7th game for STL to beat NYY.

baseballswami said...

Wow - first Ian Kennedy and then Doc Halladay. To quote a terrible cliche -- that's why we don't play the games on paper. Everyone was making excuses for the Phillies at the end of the season and saying they could just flip the switch. Maybe yes, maybe no. The Braves and Sox couldn't do it. The Phillies banked a lot of wins early and so they were protected,but maybe they are on a downswing - and maybe it's early and they come back. Watch and see...

Section 222 said...

Wow, Angel Hernandez and Jerry Meals are both umpiring this game. The doesn't say much for the merit based approach to picking the umps for the post season.

MicheleS said...

Here come the phoolies ... sigh

JaneB said...

This poor Cardinals pitcher. Ooof.

natsfan1a said...

Second that on both counts. Also, stupid PhILLies... :-)

FS - ofcourse rooting for Cards said...

ugh I hate it when you are so brutally truthful, Mark.
October 1, 2011 4:48 PM

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