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Expanding the recent Cards debate - Did Houston Choke

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  • Expanding the recent Cards debate - Did Houston Choke

    Did Stl choke in the WS last season, or was Bosox simply better? Each team was swept 4-0.

    Houston was competitive in each game in the series, but didn't win a single one after defeating both Atlanta and Stl rather easily.

    So, given the way they played coming into the WS, and what they showed once they got there (unable to hit with RISP, misplays, big hitters not producing, etc), did they choke or should more credit be given to Chicago even though they didn't dominate Houston in any game?

    Or is the "choking" label only reserved for teams with a far superior record than their opponents who fail?

    Before we put this topic (and others like it) down for a well-deserved nap, I'm just asking.
    "Let me lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. The only way to destroy them is to expose them. If man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance.- Stan Lee (circa 1968)

    "Compete less with the person in front of you than the person inside of you." - Anonymous

  • #2
    I think both teams, after being down in the WS, forgot how to play their brand of baseball. They started playing conservative, not taking risks to get a run across the plate until it was too late.

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    • #3
      The White Sox were the better team.

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      • #4
        QUOTE(GloveSaveandaBeauty @ Oct 27 2005, 07:28 AM) Quoted post

        The White Sox were the better team.
        [/b][/quote]
        So, because they had the much better record entering the WS and defeated Houston, they were the better team?

        Houston wasn't the better team when we faced them? If not, what's the diff?

        Again, just asking.
        "Let me lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. The only way to destroy them is to expose them. If man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance.- Stan Lee (circa 1968)

        "Compete less with the person in front of you than the person inside of you." - Anonymous

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        • #5
          Much easier to square perception with statistics in the regular season, LDS and LCS. When there is familiarity, head to head match ups and common opponents.

          But in a nutshell. The expectations while great for Houston had to be tempered based on the larger sampling size of statistics. Of course, personal observation may influence your opinion.

          In light of the fact the Houston Arguable beat the best in the National League, and by extension could be considered the best at that point. From their perception, and rightly so, whether the ATL or STL teams choked is irrelevant. Houston capitalized and executed in a successful and winning manner.

          In the WS, they did not do so quite as efficiently or timely as they had previously shown to be possible, even when facing some of the best opposition.



          You may want to check with someone who actually cares about the Asstros to gauge their expectations, And in light of the consensus on the dominating talent of the White Sox, it seems to be reasonable position that the Asstro's choked on the big stage.



          Now, in reality that doesn't imply that the White Sox were not excellent in their execution. Only that it was expected.
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          • #6
            Good synopsis, lazy.

            I mean, given Houston ably took care of two division winners but were swept on the big stage, the question seem a relevant one to ask.

            I especially liked this from you...

            QUOTE
            You may want to check with someone who actually cares about the Asstros to gauge their expectations[/b][/quote]

            ...and I've already been there in my mind prior to your post. Hopefully some of the Astros fans can offer their opinion.

            But given the 'Stros left, what, 23 RISP in the past two games alone (only to lose each game and by a combined score of 3 runs)...is that being held in check by a better opponent, or a monumental choke job?
            "Let me lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. The only way to destroy them is to expose them. If man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance.- Stan Lee (circa 1968)

            "Compete less with the person in front of you than the person inside of you." - Anonymous

            Comment


            • #7
              The Cardinals were the better team during the course of the season, and in head to head competition against the Astros. Others disagree, but I espected St. Louis to win the NLCS and thought we wee the better team.

              Chicago, too, was better than the Astros, and did what St. Louis could not -- take advantage of their poor hitting, and get to Clemens early. I don't understand why Oswalt looked so unOswaltlike, and I'm surprised that Backe pitched so well last night. I still say the White Sox would have beaten Houston about 7 of 10 series -- and I would have thought the same about the Cardinals.

              Unlike the Cardinals, the White Sox played great defense, keeping the games close until their offense could get untracked. No reason we couldn't and shouldn't have done the same.
              "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

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              • #8
                QUOTE(slow groove @ Oct 27 2005, 07:05 AM) Quoted post


                But given the 'Stros left, what, 23 RISP in the past two games alone (only to lose each game and by a combined score of 3 runs)...is that being held in check by a better opponent, or a monumental choke job?
                [/b][/quote]

                They weren't that much better against the Cardinals. They weren't that much better all year long. They were a very weak hitting team.
                "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

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                • #9
                  Here are some of the reasons why the Cardinals lost, was it a choke, who knows, who really cares...but they lost because:

                  -The cleanup hitter had 2 hits in the 9 games of the playoffs

                  -Most of Albert Pujols ABs came with no one on base

                  -Mark Mulder got outpitched by his counterpart.

                  -Jason Marquis can't field or get a bunt down. His mistakes in that game were probably the most crushing blows of the series, if you ask me.

                  -The bullpen was very thin, and really, very bad

                  -Mark Grudzielanek became worthless in the last week of the season and the playoffs.

                  -Jim Edmonds plays great defense and is still a good player, but the days of him being a center piece in a batting lineup may be over. His defense makes him an important part of the team, but offensively, he fell into the same category as pretty much everyone...A role player who wasn't doing his part.

                  -They started worrying about things they couldn't control, like the umpires.

                  -The batting lineup wasn't good enough when you have to face Pettite, Clemens, and Oswalt in 5 of 6 games.

                  -The starting pitching wasn't good enough to match the Houston pitching.

                  -I can think of at least 4 defensive mistakes that resulted in a run scoring, when you are facing the type of pitchers Houston has, knowing you might not score alot of runs, your defense has to be squeeky clean.

                  To me, its simple. They lost. There is no particular explanation to it other than that they didn't play good enough. So with that said, my opinion is...no they didn't choke, this team just didn't have what it took to win.
                  You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    QUOTE(Nasty Nate @ Oct 27 2005, 08:46 AM) Quoted post

                    Here are some of the reasons why the Cardinals lost, was it a choke, who knows, who really cares...but they lost because:

                    -The cleanup hitter had 2 hits in the 9 games of the playoffs

                    -Most of Albert Pujols ABs came with no one on base

                    -Mark Mulder got outpitched by his counterpart.

                    -Jason Marquis can't field or get a bunt down. His mistakes in that game were probably the most crushing blows of the series, if you ask me.

                    -The bullpen was very thin, and really, very bad

                    -Mark Grudzielanek became worthless in the last week of the season and the playoffs.

                    -Jim Edmonds plays great defense and is still a good player, but the days of him being a center piece in a batting lineup may be over. His defense makes him an important part of the team, but offensively, he fell into the same category as pretty much everyone...A role player who wasn't doing his part.

                    -They started worrying about things they couldn't control, like the umpires.

                    -The batting lineup wasn't good enough when you have to face Pettite, Clemens, and Oswalt in 5 of 6 games.

                    -The starting pitching wasn't good enough to match the Houston pitching.

                    -I can think of at least 4 defensive mistakes that resulted in a run scoring, when you are facing the type of pitchers Houston has, knowing you might not score alot of runs, your defense has to be squeeky clean.

                    To me, its simple. They lost. There is no particular explanation to it other than that they didn't play good enough. So with that said, my opinion is...no they didn't choke, this team just didn't have what it took to win.
                    [/b][/quote]


                    Our BA w/ RISP was abismal for the LDS and NLCS.

                    And "Most of Albert Pujols ABs came with no one on base" isn't true, at least for the NLCS. Even the great Albert muffed his fare share of shots with RISP.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      People seem to get hung up on the terminology -- "fraud," "choke," whatever.

                      I believe the Cardinals were better than the Astros. They didn't win. In the process, they didn't play at the same level of excellence we had seen during the season.


                      Call it whatever you want.
                      "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


                      • #12
                        Houston just isn't that good. Ran into a hot team as well, and that results in a sweep. They live and die by pitching. Something goes a little wrong there.....they lose. The White Sox weren't as accomodating with gift runs as the Cardinals were.

                        We're disgraced. No way around it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The old, tired excuse of "they were just better" is unacceptable in this instance the same as it was for the Cardinals...we are talking about the World Series, the biggest stage of them all...

                          If, all of the sudden you can't even hit your own ass with a boat paddle then you are pissing all over yourself when the game is on the line.

                          Sure, they ran into great pitching...should you expect to see anything else that deep in the playoffs?
                          "Can I borrow your towel? My car just hit a water buffalo."

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                          • #14
                            Houston simply didn't belong there. I personally don't believe in the Wild Card, and think it does nothing more than dilute the game, and put more money into the owners pockets and the networks pockets.

                            For a long time, baseball was a game that rewarded the season long team play with a berth in the post season. This year, like many other recent years, the Wild Card team is nothing more that a team that sucked for most of the season and gets hot late in the year. They slide into a playoff spot and get equal billing to those teams that played consistantly winning ball all year long.

                            In the case of Houston, they had a team built to win a 5-game series and compete very well in a 7-game series. However, thier team was not built to win a season long tournament. They were very strong with starting pitching with the big-3, but get to the 4th and 5th starter, they were weaker, as shown by the losses over the long grind of the season. By the time the 3rd round of the playoffs come along, the weaker team's pitching staff gets exposed. This happened to STL last year due to injuries, and happened to HOU this year due to fatigue.

                            In addition, I think its a farce that MLB has let the TV networks dictate when and how games are played. Altering days off does allow a weaker competitor with a dominent pitcher to throw more often.

                            Selig sold out the game for more money, and this era's winners will never be on par with yester-year's winners.

                            And I would say that even if we were talking about a Cardinal WS winner, that got in because of the WC.
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                            • #15
                              I will say this.


                              Garner is not good at producing runs. TLR excels at small ball....or at least he did this year. But, he had a man on 2nd with no outs several times and failed to get the runner over. Instead, he let his guys swing away.


                              In the WS, you gotta put runs up.
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                              "When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."
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