Watching the 2011 Cardinals is like living in a cement truck – you’re up, you’re down…
You’re being battered before taken to new heights again and then spit out the backend.
The Birds haven’t just taken a liking to dramatic turns within the day to day grind, but are now openly antagonizing us within the game itself.
To wit- Tony LaRussa decides to start Chris Carpenter on 3 days rest for the first time in his career. A career that started in 1997.
Chris Carpenter promptly gives up 4 runs in three innings and is pulled when the Cardinals get base runners in the top of the fourth. Nick Punto comes in and strikes out.
So, it’s the Cardinals bullpen, which has been suspect many times in ’11 against the potent Phillies line-up for 6 innings. Down 4 runs. With a former Cy Young winner and one of the all time great post-season pitchers on the bump.
Of course the Cardinals win 5-4.
I think if you’re reading this site today, you’re probably like me and have watched your fair share of baseball. And I also think that you’d have a hard time convincing me that a single person on the face of the earth knows what to make of this Cardinals team.
They are very capable of losing the next 2 games by 15 runs and ending the season. They are very capable of winning 10 games in a row and clinching another World Series. The complete spectrum of possibility is out there for the Cardinals. They are the wildest of Wild Cards. And I think, I mean, I think I think, this is a good thing.
They’re a team just going with it. Rolling with the stupid “Happy Flight” and @TortyCraig memes. Whatever massive fails they’ve had this season (and, yes, there have been many) are in the past and this team is still playing ball.
Until they’re not playing ball.
Not one single person has a clue when that will be.
STUD: Cardinals bullpen. 1 hit and 0 runs over 6 innings on the road against the best team in the NL? Outstanding.
DUD: Chris Carpenter. Not the start you needed from your ace on the road already down a game. Needs to bring it if there is a game 5.
BOTTOM LINE: Cardinals coming home for 2 have at least drawn the odds even for this series, if not pushed slightly ahead. They took the Phillies best 2 pitchers and got a split. However, Hamels is no gimme in game 3.