FROM THE RED STATES
Well with the NLCS beginning tonight I thought I might make a few observations for the blog. I am not too big on position by position breakdowns because in the NLCS anything can and probably will happen. So what good does it do to sit here and say, "well the Cardinals have Pujols at first and the Astros have Mike Lamb, so the Cardinals have the edge at first."
Sure over the course of a full season, anyone would want Pujols, but for a week anything can happen. Pujols could go into a slump and Lamb could get Carlos Beltran hot, so if that happens in reality, the Cardinals would lose that match up at first.
The Astros took the Cardinals to 7 games last season in one of the most exciting series' ever. All while sending Pete Munro to the mound for two starts. The Cardinals will not have that luxury this year. We are going to have to beat Pettitte, Oswalt, and Clemens at least 3 times and hope to beat Backe in game 4. Not likely, but certainly possible.
In the series between the Cards and the Astros right after the All Star Break the Astros sent the big three out there in consecutive starts, and the Cardinals swept the 3 game series. Now, I grant you that that was the regular season and this is the NLCS, but we have faired pretty well against the Stros this year.
A lot of commentators ala Harold Reynolds, and Skip Bayless seem to think that Pettitte will make the difference this year, but remember the Cardinals are sending 2 guys out there this year that we didn't have last season in Carpenter, and Mulder. Carpenter has been tough this year against everyone and Mulder's best game was a 10 inning shutout against the Astros in May.
The Astros are also without Carlos Beltran, who almost single handily won that series last year. Not to mention they are w/o Jeff Kent who won game 5 last year with a walk off HR.
I guess the point of my post is that I don't have a clue what's gonna happen, but I know I am going to have a heckuva lotta fun finding out. It should be as exciting a series as last year’s epic battle. I think the baseball world will see what they missed out on last year because this year the NLCS will actually get some publicity, unlike last year when ESPN and the SOX , oops I mean the FOX Network were busy slurping up to the Yankees and Sox, both of which are watching this series on TV, all with a combined payroll of 326 million dollars this season. I guess with inflation 326 million doesn't go as far as it used to.
But since I got a pair of stones and will make a prediction I am going to go with the Cardinals in 6 games. You didn't expect me to pick against my beloved Cardinals did you.