What a GREAT GAME!!!!

For those of you who had to sit through six hours of Sawx-Yanks, you missed a hell of a game over in the NL. Woody Williams and Brandon Backe combined to go 15 IP with 2 hits allowed; Backe had a no-no going till 2 outs in the 6th. These guys were manhandling hitters all night. Both had to get pinch hit for in the 8th, so neither got the W even though they were both VERY deserving. Stros finally win on a Kent longball off of Izzy in the 9th. Game started 3 hours after the AL game, which Ortiz ended when the Stros and Cards were listening to "God Bless America".

AWESOME game. Can't wait for Game 6*.

*--Does not apply if Pete Munro starts :)

Hell yeah, that was some crazy shit. Go underdawg!!

TTTTEXA$

TT

I cant stand watching my cards blow another NLCS.

Will the REAL CARDINALS PLZ SHOW UP!

Munro looked effective in game 2

I'm not sure, depends on what you mean by "effective". I think he gave up 3 runs in just under 5 IP. Not horrible against THAT lineup, but he was far from sterling. Lots of runners on base, he really had to battle to keep it from blowing up in his face. If they can get 5+ out of him tomorrow and stay within a run, I think they'll be happy with that. It would let them get two innings from Wheeler or (shudder) Miceli, and two from the Dominator. Probably not gonna happen though, the Cards have been held scoreless the last 13 innings or so, that won't last long.

The big difference in this matchup from the one in Munro's last start is that St. Louis' bullpen is not the same, IMO. Houston has a better chance if they get into the bullpen than they did last week. Kline is most likely out now, King has been ineffective (twice they've brought him in to turn around Berkman, twice he's homered from the right side), Calero has been getting the ball up, Tavarez is a nutjob headcase even IF he's physically able to go, and the Astros are not afraid of Izzy at all. What about Ankiel?? He was looking sharp when they brought him back up, did he get hurt, or left off the PS roster?

I think the Cards probably outslug the Stros in Game 6, we'll probably see another 10-8 game or something similar. But then in Game 7, things are looking up:)

thoughts, shadetree?

First off, Ankiel was not quite ready as many speculated.From what I saw he had better command, but on his last outing he hit two batters in 3IP.My guess was the cardinals didn't want to bring him back in the playoff's out of the fear a bad outing might end his career.And of course our pitchers we have bullpen right now were "supposed to be really good"..Good news is he will have a chance at the starting rotation next year.

Game 6: The key to this game will be Matt Morris for the Cards.I cant remember when was the last time he pitched well or won a game for that matter.If he can pitch 6 and only allow 2 runs, we should be in good shape.

Game 7: If this game takes place, it doesnt favor the cardinals.The Rocket,Oswalt, and Lidge could pitch in that order vs. Suppan,Haren,Calero,Izzy.With that said the good news is both games are in St.Louis and as well all know in a game 7 anything can happen.Also I believe Womack and Renteria need to get rolling in order for the Cards to win.

I almost forgot the Most Impotant thing.Keep Beltran in the Ball Park and off the Bases.

"First off, Ankiel was not quite ready as many speculated."

Fair enough, you would know that better than I would, I suppose. I mostly just saw highlights and read/heard interviews. The Cards were so far ahead of everybody else, I kind of lost interest. I guess they leave out some stuff :)

"Game 6: The key to this game will be Matt Morris for the Cards.I cant remember when was the last time he pitched well or won a game for that matter.If he can pitch 6 and only allow 2 runs, we should be in good shape."

If either pitcher gets out of the sixth with 2 or fewer runs allowed, they've done a good job in this game, because the bats will be SWINGIN!!! Morris has been kind of off and on all year, hasn't he?? I remember when he'd make hitters look like high schoolers with that nasty breaking stuff.

"Also I believe Womack and Renteria need to get rolling in order for the Cards to win."

They are a big reason Houston is up right now, IMO. Womack being on base for Walker, Pujols, and Rolen changes SOOO much for the pitcher. Those guys know they're getting fastballs, and if not, he's probably on second. Renteria has being surprisingly ineffective, so there's no need to give Edmonds a ton of hittable pitches either. That is reflected in his numbers for the last 3 games; I know he hit the homer off Clemens in Game 3, but that was a tough pitch to hit out.

And as for Beltran, he won't see more than 7 or 8 fastballs the rest of this series. Junk, junk, and more junk.

Wow, another good game today. I still hate Miceli, by the way, but my distaste for Qualls and Harville has slowed down a bit.

Game 7 should be great. You HAVE to like Houston's matchup in that one.

"You HAVE to like Houston's matchup in that one"

I do.I would be lying if I said wasn't worried about the cards facing the rocket in game 7.But with that said, anything can happen in a game 7 and it is in St. Louis.

Rocket is 10-6 in the Postseason all time.Hopefully 10-7 after tommorrow. Lidge pitched 3 innings, so I assume he will be available for one inning at the most.....

I wouldn't assume anything right now.

A safer assumption would be that he's available until his arm falls off. He threw 3 innings yesterday, but it was only 32 pitches, after an off day. He's got a guaranteed day off tomorrow. And the fact is, he's Brad Lidge. LaRussa is PRAYING Lidge is unavailable. I think he can give them 2+ effective innings tonight if needed.

Damn, only 3 hits. You're not going to beat the Cardinals with 3 hits twice in the same series.

Great job by Suppan.

I guess the wait for next year starts......now :(

Great series all around. Cardinals got great pitching for the most part. Suppan really pitched great both games, as did Williams. I am not sure if Carpenter will be available or not. I am also hoping for a miracle that Kline will magically recover. Regardless at least they will be able to put someone on the roster in Kline's place if he can't go.

Awesome turnaround by the Astros this year. Be an interesting off season for those guys. I am sure Jeff Kent is likely heading to the evil empire. He fits in well there(meaning that he is not a real personable teammate type of guy, more of an EMPLOYEE only). I don't think the Astros will pay what it takes to keep Beltran. Boras will likely put the tag so high that Beltran can only play in New York(Mets or Yankees), or one of the major markets.

Who will the Astros play next year? I think everyone knows that Chris Burke would have to perform horribly to not be the starting 2B. What about CF? Is Willy Tavarez ready? I know he played AWESOME at the AA level. Oh well will be an interesting offseason for the Astros.

"Be an interesting off season for those guys."

Absolutely.

Kent is gone, my clubhouse source tells me he's dead-set on retiring. Burke will be the guy next year. Kent wouldn't fit in well in NY, mostly because he wouldn't fit in.....well, anywhere really. He's kind of an asshole, as most of us know. Tavares is probably not ready offensively, but is good with the glove, and one of the fastest guys around. He can cope with the huge CF at MMP as well as anybody I think. Beltran says he likes Houston and the core of younger talent in place, but we'll see if he likes George's money better. He may have put Houston out of the running financially with this postseason. Clemens may or may not come back, that's probably a coin toss.

Starting pitching looks promising with Oswalt, Pettitte, Miller, and Backe coming back for sure. The bullpen needs some tinkering, but Harville has potential, Gallo is getting there, Wheeler has proven to be solid, and Lidge is, well, Lidge.

Next year they'll be without Kent's bat, probably Beltran's bat, and possibly Biggio's bat. If Biggio retires or the team doesn't pick up his option (3 mil), you'll see Lane starting. We might see Chavez instead of Ausmus as well, but that's a push IMO. So Berkman is the only consistently dangerous hitter coming back; Ensberg was spotty this year, Bagwell is old and has one arm. They'll need some work.

If they don't get Beltran back, I'd like to see them make a run at Varitek and/or Beltre, but I don't like the odds of getting either guy :(

Could be a long year in '05.

What about the Cards??

I know Renteria's going to be a FA, who else has a contract coming up??

Matheny, Kline,Morris,La Russa, and Woody Williams are the names I can think of the top of my head.

The Cardinals must keep Renteria, La Russa, and Matheny.Renteria say he likes the City, but his agent has already rejected offers earlier this season..La Russa is well liked and atrue professional,but his family lives in California.He did say before the season, he would coach for free in 2005 if the Cards won the world series..Matheny is 34, but his defense and pitch calling is still priceless.A two-year deal would be perfect, until Molina is ready.
As for Morris, I think his days are over for the Cardinals.He turned down a very nice deal in the Spring and after watching his stuff become average, Im glad he did.Williams will probably retire after the World Series, but I hope he signs a one-year deal.Kline will be offered more money than the Cards are willing to match.

On the positive side we have two young promising starters in Haren and Ankiel.And of course the Cards will still have a potent offense from which to work with.With all that said it will be tough too match the Chemistry they had on this team this year.

I almost forget about Womack, who has been huge this season and GM Walt Jocketty who has pulled off some amazing deals in the last 6 years.