John Lackey pitched a heck of a game. No matter how unlikable the guy is to anyone outside of Boston for his body language, his past or his continued carping to the press about PED users, he beat Justin Verlander at his best. And Verlander was crazy good. Eight innings, four hits, ten strikeouts and one run. That one run though was enough for Lackey who completely shut down the Tigers until the bullpen took over and kept it there.
Frankly, I could not see that Lackey performance happening. It was one of those post season things that just takes you by surprise like a Shane Robinson home run. Thus, the pick in that game was incorrect. But I was right in my NLCS pick as the Cardinals now have the Dodgers knock, knock, knocking at heaven's door. Robinson's unexpected homer gave the Cards a little breathing room so the bullpen could hang on. And they had help. That Punto pick-off was embarrassing for the king of scrap as TOOTBLAN ran like wildfire throughout Twitter.
There are two more games today and if the Cardinals win, this will be the last time of the season there will be multiple games to thrill us on the same day. The picks:
- The Cardinals over the Dodgers: The Cardinals have to be like sharks smelling blood. They have the Dodgers on the ropes and no team wants to let such a situation continue further. The more I watch this Dodgers' lineup, the more I wonder how they won as many games as they did. Take away Hanley Ramirez and you are left with Adrian Gonzalez and the sometimes heroics of Yasiel Puig. Joe Kelly has had his first post season start and he did pretty well considering how nervous he was. He will be considerably more comfortable this time out. Zack Greinke has the ability to shut the Cardinals down, but I think he will give up two or three runs and give the Cards a chance to win. The Dodgers went completely dead once Punto got picked off. I believe they will stay that way.
- The Red Sox over the Tigers: I put Jake Peavy and Doug Fister in the same category. They are both very good but not great pitchers. They have great moments and stumble sometimes. The team that wins this game is the team that gets a good performance from its starting pitcher. The Red Sox are simply the better team here. So if you make it a starting pitching wash, then the better team should win. That doesn't always happen though, especially in the post season. I have always maintained that the post season was a crap shoot not always dictated by statistical means. You need to look no further than last year's Giants to see that. Anything can happen and all a picker can do is pick a team and then watch to see what happens like everyone else.
Post season: 17-11