In Game 5, the St. Louis Cardinals ran into a left handed version of pitching great Greg Maddox, former starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. If you recall, Maddox didn’t have “…overpowering” stuff. He beat you with smarts and finesse. Am I comparing Barry Zito to Maddox….uhhhh, yes; at least for last night. Cardinal batters seemed
frustrated and confused at times, and when I heard his fastball was touching 79mph, I knew the problem. Zito’s offspeed stuff when at times was really a fastball, baffled Cardinal hitters all night. The Cardinal batters, most of them anyway, failed to adjust and when they did get runners on base, were bit by the “strand runners in scoring position” bugaboo.
But not to worry; the Cards have managed a 3-2 lead in the NLCS and are still headed for the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. This despite playing with a starting rotation in an overall slump, two fifths of the Fantastic Five (if you need a reminder, Carlos Beltran, David Freese, Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday and Allen Craig) hitting under .200 and their leadoff hitter hitting under .250.
And I think you’ll see a huge turnaround in at least two of those three aforementioned items in San Francisco. I’m betting you’ll see a turnaround in all three but, I don’t want to be blamed for being overly optimistic.
Redbird Chirps – Jaime Garcia saw a specialist in Birmingham, Alabama for a third opinion regarding his throwing arm. As a result, he’s taking a two week rehab to try and avoid surgery.
After an average performance in fielding during the regular season, the Cardinals lead the four teams still playing in the post season with a .984 fielding percentage. I guess cream really does rise to the top.
Not surprisingly, the Cardinal bullpen also leads the four post season teams in overall earned run average with a 2.25.
I’m betting that Jake Westbrook and/or Lance Berkman are activated for the World Series.
Cardinals play Sunday night at 7:30 pm EST on Fox. If you can’t watch, listen on KMOX or get the “live” MLB at Bat on your smartphone or computer.
Thanks for reading. Go Cards!