The first game of the World Series went almost exactly like this picker thought it would. And that's a little scary. Chris Carpenter was the difference at home, the match up of Lance Berkman versus C.J. Wilson was won by Berkman and then the bullpens took over the game. Alan Craig, a young player with star potential, got the game winning hit with a single in a pinch hit appearance. And what would a World Series be without a blown call in the ninth by the umpire at home plate as he clearly missed what should have been a foul ball off of Adrian Beltre's foot.
As predicted here, the Cardinals jump out to a 1-0 lead in the series. Tony LaRussa probably out managed Ron Washington who allowed Gentry to pinch hit against a lefty in a big spot and then sent up little used Estaban German for a second pinch hitter. Those two outs were huge in this game.
The Cardinal bullpen has made LaRussa a genius. Can anyone remember a post season like this where a team's bullpen was asked to get so many outs and yet come up with those outs time after time? It's amazing. Totally amazing. You have to keep wondering if LaRussa can ride this bullpen all the way to the end. In the NLDS and NLCS combined, the Cardinal bullpen pitched 42 of the Cardinals' 97 innings. That means that the bullpen has recorded 43 percant of all the Cardinal outs. That works out to roughly 3.89 outs per game. Remarkable (as Tim McCarver is fond of saying).
So now we head to Game Two and again the Cardinal are at home. What's the pick?
- The Rangers over the Cardinals: Scott Feldman saved the Rangers' bullpen last night with 1.2 innings pitched. He's been terrific in the post season. Those outs will be huge as Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz should be well rested and can take over the end of this game. As great as the Cardinal bullpen has been, they have been matched by the Rangers' bullpen. The Rangers should hit Jaime Garcia. Garcia has looked like he's throwing with a dead arm as his fastball has no life and his change up and breaking pitchers are flat. The big key in this game is Colby Lewis. Lewis has performed well in the past in the post season. He just doesn't fill this picker with buckets of confidence. A win for the Rangers would give them an advantage heading back to Texas. A loss for Texas would be pretty darned devastating for their chances.