Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cards bounce back from rainout & beating to take 3-2 series lead

St. Louis, behind another quality start from Jeff Weaver & a
Phat Albert HR defeat New York, 4-2
Cards lead series, 3-2
WP: Weaver (2-1)
LP: Glavine(1-1)
SV: Wainwright
HRs:STL:Pujols, Duncan

This series is really getting bizarre now. Momentum, what momentum? Each team has appeared to steal 'Uncle Mo' from the other, like New York's emphatic 12-5 Cardinal clubbing in Game 4 after St. Louis's 5-0 smack talk-silencer in Game 3. But just when you think you got this NLCS figured out, it comes back to surprise you again.

Tom Playoff Vet Glavine was taking on Jeff the Underachiever Weaver and all the odds seemed to be in New York's favor, coming off of that Game 4 win plus the rain-induced off day, which allowed Tommy G. to pitch on his normal 5 days rest. But then a funny thing happened: they played the game. And wouldn't you know the Bust beat the Best with superior pitching and timely hitting. Perfect formula for a Series-winning team.

Weaver baffled the formerly unstoppable Met hitters with 6 innings of 6 hit, 2-run ball; even though he allowed 3 doubles, the only time it hurt him was when Jose Valentin doubled in 2 in the 4th for the Mets short-lived 2 -o lead.

Before they could think about building on that lead Albert Pujols came up with one out and promptly torched a Glavine(4IP, 7H, 3ER) offering into the leftfield seats for a momentum-swinging HR. Bad hammy, huh Albert? The Cards tacked on another after a walk to Rolen and singles by Belliard & Edmonds to leave the 4th with the score tied at 2 and Uncle Mo clearly swaying towards the home dugout.

The next inning the Cards stole the momentum and the series advantage by knocking Glavine out of the game. After losing the lead on a single, double & a walk, he was relieved by Chad Bradford. The hard-throwing sidearmer combined with Pedro don't call me Jose Feliciano to get out of the inning without allowing another run, but the damage was done. Chris Son of Dave Duncan added a solo shot in the 6th off of Feliciano for the final margin.

So the series goes back to the Big Apple for the do-or-die (for the Mets) Game 6 tonight at 8 on FOX. The hopes for New York will reside on the arm of rookie John Maine against Cardinal ace Chris Carpenter-GULP. But the Mets roughed up Carpenter in Game 2 (6H, 5R), and my instinct tell me that although they might not beat him up again, they will score enough runs to force a Game 7.
MY PICK: Mets 3-2

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