Monday, October 24, 2011

Night and Day

I am somewhat happy about skipping yesterday's preview of World Series game four. After both teams scored a total of only eight runs in chilly Missouri, everyone expected the ball to fly off the bat in warm Texas. The St. Louis Cardinals answered those initial expectations by scoring almost twice that many runs by themselves in game three to win 15-7.

The Cards recorded 15 hits in that game, five were by Albert Pujols. Of those 15 hits, four were home runs and Pujols was accountable for almost a quarter-mile of them (3 HR = 1,275 feet total).

I had other engagements earlier in the afternoon and was not completely familiar with Edwin Jackson nor Derek Holland, aside from their above-average regular seasons and below-average postseasons thus far, so I thought I could skip the preview and analyze game four's outcome.

Would the hot offensive streak continue? Oy vey.

The Texas Rangers won, 4-0, and tied the series 2-2. The game almost hurt to watch as a Cardinals fan. Holland completely shut down the Cards offense in 8.1 innings pitched, while allowing only two hits. Lance Berkman was the owner of both hits and he very well couldn't create four runs by himself. Jackson allowed seven free passes over 5.1 innings. Let me emphasize that:

Seven walks.

He was pulled in the sixth inning after issuing two back-to-back walks, then Mitchell Boggs threw a fastball higher than intended, which traveled farther than he wanted. Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer to make the score 4-0, which is how the game eventually ended.

It is amazing how a lineup can be so devastating one day, then so fragile and weak the next. It's like night and day, but that's just how baseball works sometimes.

Game five marks the last game played in Arlington. The outcome will result in a do-or-die situation for the losing team in St. Louis.

Will we see a night or day performance?

Will the Cardinals have a happy flight home tonight or will they face elimination on Wednesday?

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