Wednesday, October 19, 2011

World Series Game 1: Rangers at Cardinals

US Presswire photo
It's been cold and rainy in St. Louis all day.
If it's late October and it's the Midwest, weather is probably going to be a factor. Sure enough, the World Series opens tonight in St. Louis in dreary conditions: Temperatures in the 40s, rain in the forecast and a strong wind blowing across the field from left to right.

It doesn't appear the conditions are bad enough to necessitate a delay, but it'll be interesting to see how the two teams handle the situation, especially a Rangers club that is used to playing in a much warmer climate.

Both clubs were able to set up their rotations to have their No. 1 starters on the mound, so it's Chris Carpenter vs. C.J. Wilson. This would be a nice time for either ace to actually toss a quality start, something no member of either rotation did during the LCS.

Because the game is being played in an NL park, there will be no DH tonight or tomorrow. That shouldn't be a big deal for the Rangers, who will have Michael Young at first base (he's adept at all four infield positions, and Mitch Moreland hasn't been particularly effective himself during the postseason)...

Where: Busch Stadium
Gametime: 8:05 p.m.
TV: Fox
Radio: WSPZ (570 AM), XM 89
Weather: Showers, 47 degrees, Wind 23 mph LF to RF
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
1B Michael Young
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
C Mike Napoli
LF David Murphy
P C.J. Wilson

SS Rafael Furcal
CF Jon Jay
1B Albert Pujols
LF Matt Holliday
RF Lance Berkman
3B David Freese
C Yadier Molina
2B Nick Punto
P Chris Carpenter


natsfan1a said...

Go, Cards! (I probably won't be awake by the end of the game but will set the DVR before retiring as per my usual postseason routine. :-))

baseballswami said...

Me, too. It's not just the later starts - the games have taken forever -- 28 pitching changes in the last series just by the cardinals!

Feel Wood said...

Is LaRussa carrying eight guys in his bullpen again like he did during the NLDS and NLCS?

natsfan1a said...

And I think it can only get worse, swami, as I believe the Rangers were right behind the Cards as far as pitching changes.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Neither Furcal nor Punto have been doing much in terms of OBP in the playoffs -- plus which Furcal has had a pretty dismal hitting year all around. I'm surprised we aren't seeing something like this from LaRussa:

Carpenter (pitcher's spot)

That would increase the likelihood of Pujols, Holiday, Berkman and maybe even Freese getting an extra AB in the game.

Gonat said...

jd said...
Steve M.

'The Braves made it into an art form this year of getting their starters into the 6th inning and then the bullpens would take over and look what happened, they got tired bullpen arms in mid-September.'

I made a comment mid summer that I thought Fredi was managing in a very mechanical way; like he discovered something magical that was working and he wasn't changing the script no matter what. I thought this may bite him in the ass eventually and I'm afraid I was right.

I like managers that don't put tags on pitchers and understand that you can maximize your win probability by using the best pitchers in the proper circumstances (Tony Larusa).

October 19, 2011 4:59 PM

Glad you all brought this up as LaRussa has been managing his bullpen to be on the ready to go 6 innings a game and at some point you would think it will catch up with you as it surely did with the Atlanta Braves.

My thoughts looking at bullpen numbers as well as starters is that everyone has a number on their bodies and when you push it like the speedometer on your car for too long the whole machine will sputter.

I wonder if there will be long-term damage almost akin to what people said about Chad Cordero who put in 84 innings of relief for the Expos and then 70+ innings year after year to 2007.

Venters went 83 last year and 88 this year. Kimbrel went 77 this year in his Rookie year.

Drew8 said...

Go Cards. Sweep the Rangers so we can get on with the Hot Stove League!

Derek Norris had a very encouraging game today in the AFL. (Harper had the day off.) This is from

Scorpions catcher and No. 5 Nationals prospect Norris went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs of his own. The day marked his first multi-hit performance in eight games and increased his average from .208 to .286. (He also stole his second base.)

"I was just attacking the ball early in the count," Norris said. "I was focused on getting a good pitch out in the zone and trying to put the barrel on it."

Norris also called a strong game behind the plate, getting five scoreless innings out of starter Chris Scholl (Angels). The 23-year-old right-hander allowed just four hits and a walk, striking out five.

A fourth-round pick in 2007, Norris showed power and patience this year for Double-A Harrisburg, but failed to hit consistently. He posted 20 homers and a .367 on-base percentage in 104 games, but those numbers came with a .210 average.

The 22-year-old backstop's main goal in the AFL is to improve upon that one weakness in his offensive game.

"I'm just trying to be more aggressive at the plate," Norris said. "I felt like I took way too many pitches over the course of this past year. I'm just trying to put the ball in play and see what happens."

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ok.... That was one of the greatest baseball games I've ever watched.... I know I said the Cardinals would win, but I never expected the game to be that well played.

But then again, there was no Nyjer (or Nyger as our most ignorant posters write) playing this game.

natsfan1a said...

That was a good game, and I did manage to stay up until the last out. It helped that the starters, well, Carpenter at least, went a bit deeper into the game. When Washington headed out with the hook in the 5th, I said to myself, and so it begins...

Last but not least, loved the operatic Kettle chips commercial. I also like the DirecTV commercials with Neon Deion, though I've been watching them throughout the playoffs.

(And yes to Feel Wood re. the Cards 'pen.)

Big Cat said...

Carpenter is just a stud.

Every move Larussa makes seems to work out. What is it that Riggs said...."He plays chess while I play checkers." Something of that nature

baseballswami said...

People who only watch the "brand name" teams are really missing some good baseball. Anyone surprised today? I have to admit I thought the scoring might be higher. Good stuff. I hope it goes seven!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Big Cat.... with Ron Washington and his total American League background, it's more like LaRussa plays chess while Washington is playing tic-tac-toe.

Gonat said...

The game reminded me of a Nats game. Solid pitching, bullpen relief, low scoring, 1 run game.

Carpenter's dive to 1st base was a great moment.

Dawn said...

Agree with Gonat, Carpenter's dive to 1st was a great moment, good stop by Pujols to get that ball. Was a good game to watch, though I really don't care for Buck and McCarver, painful.

sjm308 said...

Really was a good baseball game. Thought the Cardinals set the tone getting Kinsler on a caught stealing in the first inning. That takes away a lot of what the Rangers like to do.

Both managers made good moves and if Cruz catches that ball they still might be playing.

Was surprised I stayed up for all 9 innings but it kept you involved.

I have no horse in this race, not particularly fond of LaRussa but like what Berkman has done this year and Albert is just a beast. Great play by Carpenter on the play early on as well. I like the Rangers backstory with Hamilton but he does not look nearly as scary at the plate as Albert. I will just enjoy the baseball.

I read in ESPN the mag. that Buster Olney has us as the favorites to land both Fielder and Wilson. When did we get to be such big players in FA market. Hope this does not turn into a Dan Snyder type team.

Go Nats!!

Gonat said...

sjm, I agree with Mark Zuckerman on Prince Fielder. I would gladly take CJ Wilson however I think he is a fringe Ace and not better than Strasburg or Jordan Zimmermann. Certainly better than any other pitcher in Free Agency not named CC just not the Cliff Lee type who would be a true Ace #1. He would help the Nats being a lefty in the lefty strong NL East.

CJ Wilson would help in the Nats rotation to get the Nats into the playoffs. If Wilson was matched up against any other pitchers besides the other teams #1 like Carpenter, he probably gets more run support and wins.

markfd said...

First, the Cardinals bullpen is much better than the Rangers bullpen so I think the Cards will win in 6 games.

Second, CJ Wilson is not even a "fringe ace" whatever that means he would be nice to have but not worth the reported years and $80+ million.

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

sjm, I think you can rest easy on Prince coming here. Just more negotiation smoke, no fire there. Ain't happening.

Steve M. said...

CJ Wilson was a top 30 pitcher in the league in 2011. Unfortunately he hasn't shown to be a big game pitcher in the All Star game or in Post Season when your Aces need to show up.

If the Nats got him, he projects better than any lefthanded pitcher the Nats have or could get in trade like a Wandy Rodriguez.

Again if you look at a 2.95 ERA guy vs. a 3.45 ERA guy like Wandy you save 1/2 a run a game for 30 starts is 15 runs a season. SPEND THAT MONEY ON OFFENSE!

sjm308 said...

Steve M - entirely agree about Rodriguez over Wilson

I am not a huge fan of paying that kind of money for an overweight first baseman for 7-10 years but I keep hearing our name in the mix so Boras must be stiring things up.

I do have to admit, that its kind of neat to see us in print with all these deals. We sure don't see Baltimore or Pittsburg or even the Mets involved in much so far. I think there is no doubt we are on the rise and people are now taking notice of us.

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