Oct 10, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) is congratulated by right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) after scoring a run against the Washington Nationals during the sixth inning of game three of the 2012 NLDS at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
Well, the St. Louis Cardinals have given Cardinal Nation the thrills and chills to last a lifetime in the last two seasons. After an awe inspiring comeback win in Game Five against the Washington Nationals, the Cards are now in San Francisco to face the NL West Champion Giants. While the Cards had to rally twice in games, the Giants had to rally in the “series” after being down 2-0 against the Cincinnati Reds.
These two teams are similar in many aspects. They both have MVP caliber, All Star catchers; the Cards with Yadier Molina and the Giants with Buster Posey. They both have similar team stats including pitching and hitting. Here’s a rundown for the 2012 regular season:
|Team batting: .271||Team batting: .269|
|Team slugging %: .421||Team slugging %: .397|
|Team OBP: .338||Team OBP .327|
|HR: 159||HR: 103|
|Hit: 1526||Hits: 1495|
|Runs Scored: 765||Runs Scored: 718|
|2B: 290||2B: 287|
|3B: 37||3B: 57|
|SB: 91||SB: 118|
In the post season, the Cards are hitting .253 and the Giants .194.
In the pitching department, the teams were also similar in stats. The Cards had a team ERA of 3.71 and the Giants at 3.68. Both were expected to have better numbers but, here’s the difference; the Cards have been “lights out” for the most part; particularly the bullpen while the Giants have been so so. The Cards have a post season team ERA of 2.89 while the Giants have a surprising 4.11.
But, in my opinion, here is why the Cards will defeat the Giants in 6 games. The Cardinals have the better outfield, better starters and a better bullpen. The Cards starters will most likely be Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter (can I stop there?), Kyle Lohse and Lance Lynn (replacing the injured Jaime Garcia). And while Wainwright was soundly “thumped” in Game 5 before the Cards rallied, I can assure you, he will recover nicely in the NLCS.
And don’t forget the Fantastic Five in the batting order of: Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday,Allen Craig, David Freese and Yadier Molina. Together they are hitting .296 as a group and that’s with Molina struggling at the plate so far. I can assure you, his struggles won’t continue in the San Francisco series. And with Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso doing their impersonation of “David Freese” this year, the Cards will continue their march to win 12 Championships in 2012. As I tweeted last night, be afraid San Francisco…be very afraid.
Thanks for reading. Go Cards!