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  • This guy is smart

    Updated: Oct. 10, 2005
    Cards on another level
    By Phil Rogers
    Special to ESPN.com
    Archive


    Why St. Louis could win: It's been a long time since the NL has had the most dominant team in the majors for any extended period of time -- not since the Big Red Machine, to be exact -- but these Cardinals could change that with a World Series victory. They've already won 225 games the last two years and have a chance to push that to 233. No other team has won more than 204, and the Astros have won a mere 190. The Astros are good, but they're not on the level of the Cardinals, who can win games just about every way you can win games. The Astros won't be able to stop the lineup that scored at least six runs in all three games against San Diego.

    Why Houston could win: Look no further for your sentimental favorites. In Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, the Astros have a terrific collection of veterans trying to bring the World Series to Texas for the first time. All are capable of coming up huge when they are called on, as Clemens showed with those three shutout innings of relief in Sunday's 18-inning classic against Atlanta. Biggio and Bagwell, previously known for postseason futility, are hitting a combined .292 with four homers and 15 RBI in Houston's 16 playoff games the last two years.

    Late innings: Conventional wisdom gives Houston the closer edge over anyone it plays, but we don't. As strong as he is, Brad Lidge will have to pay for throwing 85 pitches in a four-day span, including 45 on Sunday. The surprising reality is that Lidge has been outpitched by St. Louis' Jason Isringhausen over the last two seasons. Izzy has piled up 86 regular-season saves in 2004-05, 15 more than Lidge, and held opponents to a .202 average this season, better than Lidge's .223. Getting leads to Isringhausen is not as simple as it once was, however, as the Cardinals are without Ray King and Al Reyes, their top set-up men. The bullpen allowed eight runs in 8 1/3 innings against the Padres, giving Tony La Russa something to worry about. That's OK. He's a man who needs something to worry about.

    Style points: Look for the Cardinals to come through with the big at-bats. They led the NL with a .290 batting average with men in scoring position. So Taguchi (.407), David Eckstein (.373), Yadier Molina (.330), Albert Pujols (.329), Mark Grudzielanek (.308) and Abraham Nunez (.300) have been rock solid in those situations. ... The impending implosion of Busch Stadium could heighten the angst of St. Louis fans if the Astros take a lead in the series. ... Will La Russa use Jason Marquis as a pinch hitter? He was 6-for-12 with one homer against Houston pitchers this season. ... The Cardinals miss the injured Scott Rolen in the field. They allowed 74 unearned runs, the most in the NL. ... The Cardinals are 6-5 in postseason series under La Russa. ... Pujols could be ready to explode after finishing second in the NL with a .330 batting average, third with 41 homers and second with 117 RBI.

    Head-on: The Cardinals made the Astros wear it this year, going 11-5 in the season series, and have a 23-18 edge over the last two seasons. ... Chris Carpenter and Marquis were a combined 8-0 against Houston this season. ... Phil Garner has shied away from using Chad Qualls the last two postseasons but ought to consider a heavy dose of Qualls in this series. The right-hander is 4-1 against the Cards the last two years, as many wins as Clemens and more than Roy Oswalt.

    Writer's block: If the Astros keep knocking on the door, don't they have to get admitted to a World Series sometime? This is the ninth time the franchise has gone into the postseason and its fifth time in the championship series. It has won only two of 10 playoff series. It's time to bring a World Series to Texas.

    Prediction: Cardinals in six
    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
    --Albert Einstein

  • #2
    QUOTE
    The surprising reality is that Lidge has been outpitched by St. Louis' Jason Isringhausen over the last two seasons. Izzy has piled up 86 regular-season saves in 2004-05, 15 more than Lidge, and held opponents to a .202 average this season, better than Lidge's .223[/b][/quote]

    [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif[/img]
    Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

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    • #3
      QUOTE(lazydaze @ Oct 10 2005, 02:57 PM) Quoted post

      QUOTE
      The surprising reality is that Lidge has been outpitched by St. Louis' Jason Isringhausen over the last two seasons. Izzy has piled up 86 regular-season saves in 2004-05, 15 more than Lidge, and held opponents to a .202 average this season, better than Lidge's .223[/b][/quote]

      [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif[/img]
      [/b][/quote]

      Head-to-head, kids.
      Official Sponsor: Tyler Hansbrough and the North Carolina Tar Heels

      Comment


      • #4
        Ain't gonna happen, but I'd rather see Marquis get a start than Morris.
        "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
        --Albert Einstein

        Comment


        • #5
          Why are we without Ray King?

          Comment


          • #6
            QUOTE(backstop @ Oct 10 2005, 02:59 PM) Quoted post

            Why are we without Ray King?
            [/b][/quote]

            Well, we're without vintage Ray King.
            Official Sponsor: Tyler Hansbrough and the North Carolina Tar Heels

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            • #7
              QUOTE(backstop @ Oct 10 2005, 01:59 PM) Quoted post

              Why are we without Ray King?
              [/b][/quote]

              Because he's less effective than Farsworth?

              Comment


              • #8
                QUOTE(backstop @ Oct 10 2005, 12:59 PM) Quoted post

                Why are we without Ray King?
                [/b][/quote]

                He quit.

                Said he was taking "the Whitey Herzog approach."

                I think this is BS. He probably left to go to funeral. He'll be back. Maybe he means "without the Ray King from last year who actually got people out."
                "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                --Albert Einstein

                Comment


                • #9
                  QUOTE(TarHeelBlues @ Oct 10 2005, 11:59 AM) Quoted post

                  QUOTE(lazydaze @ Oct 10 2005, 02:57 PM) Quoted post

                  QUOTE
                  The surprising reality is that Lidge has been outpitched by St. Louis' Jason Isringhausen over the last two seasons. Izzy has piled up 86 regular-season saves in 2004-05, 15 more than Lidge, and held opponents to a .202 average this season, better than Lidge's .223[/b][/quote]

                  [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif[/img]
                  [/b][/quote]

                  Head-to-head, kids.
                  [/b][/quote]


                  only counts for half.
                  Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Phil Rogers picking us to win. The kiss of death.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      QUOTE(GreatestShow99 @ Oct 10 2005, 02:06 PM) Quoted post

                      Phil Rogers picking us to win. The kiss of death.
                      [/b][/quote]

                      By us, you mean the Astros, right? Cuz, as far as I can tell, you're not a cards fan.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        QUOTE(GreatestShow99 @ Oct 10 2005, 01:06 PM) Quoted post

                        Phil Rogers picking us to win. The kiss of death.
                        [/b][/quote]

                        Every day, a new nightmare.
                        "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                        --Albert Einstein

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          QUOTE(Dr.Gonzo @ Oct 10 2005, 12:07 PM) Quoted post

                          QUOTE(GreatestShow99 @ Oct 10 2005, 02:06 PM) Quoted post

                          Phil Rogers picking us to win. The kiss of death.
                          [/b][/quote]

                          By us, you mean the Astros, right? Cuz, as far as I can tell, you're not a cards fan.
                          [/b][/quote]


                          Rams
                          Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

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                          • #14
                            We'll be damned lucky to beat Jake Peavy. And I don't even wanna think about facing Mark Prior.
                            "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                            --Albert Einstein

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Lidge wasn't the full-time closer last year, so yeah, he's racked up less saves than Isringhausen....

                              "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                              Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                              -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

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