Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Playoffs, Day 10/11/12: Much Yayness/Doodoogate/CHRISGASM

Okay, so it's a lump update since I'm lazy. Either that or I was trying to write two essays, one for history and one for philosophy, and having to resort to yanking the Ethernet cable so I wasn't tempted to get on the 'Net and procrastinate. I did finish the philosophy essay, mostly there on history. They seem to be good at first glance, but I can't shake the feeling that I am just refining myself as a bullshit artist. Thus far, however, in my experience at community college at any rate, how much I like the papers seems to be inversely proportional to how much my professors do. Therefore, I guess that if I think the current batch is crap, my professors will eat them up. Eew. That sounded so wrong.

It is a little over a week until I get to see my family. I really cannot wait.

Now. Onto the mass update. It covers, as you can probably tell, the first three games of the Fall Classic. The Cardinals won the first one 7-2 on the back of eight dominant innings by Flat-Hat, High-Sock Anthony Reyes, who I wish would make the other Cards copy his look because I love the high socks and Adam would look even more dreamy in them then he does already. The rest of it... I could do without. Reyes is as fugly as hell, but seeing as he is my team's Game 5 starter, I will refrain from talking too much smack about him. Hell, if Suppan does well in 4 and Reyes locks it down in 5... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Tigers won Game 2, behind what is rapidly turning into a controversy the size of the George Brett pine tar incident, except that wasn't in the World Series. Doodoogate, as I like to call it, involved a certain suspicious-looking smudge on the hand of one aging pitcher that, until now, had been a postseason washout...

Take a look for yourself, if you can bear the pain of having Kenny Rogers' hideous mug foisted electronically onto yours. Then compare the two shots that follow.

Kenny Rogers' mug. Note hand.

On the left: Rogers' hand from ALCS Game 3 against the A's. (I'll shed a tear for my boys, who I wish were at the big dance, but the Cards have taken so much of the pain away, it isn't even funny). On the right: Rogers' hand in World Series Game 2. And I'm sure, Kenny, that the same smudge of "dirt" got there twice, in the same spot, without you knowing. Uh---huhhhh.

Of course, after the umpires (rightly) made him wash it off, he kept the Cardinals off balance all night. But if LaRussa pressed the issue - which he didn't, for whatever reason - he could have had Rogers ejected immediately and the Kitties' starting rotation massively fucked in the event of extra games to seal the deal. I'm curious as to why he didn't.

Either way, Kenny Rogers is still a douchebag.

As for Game 3, well, the only reason that people came sprinting out to the mound to examine Chris Carpenter's hand was in the seventh inning of a dominant performance from the Redbird ace, after he complained of having a cramp. There was no scuff or smear on that masterly palm, assure you me, and it did not stop Carp from finishing out eight innings of blemish-free work, permitting only three hits. He also allowed no walks and didn't even get to a three-ball count on a batter. On his first appearance on the World Series stage, Carp was his usual brilliant self. (He missed the '04 postseason with a bicep injury, which is just as well since the Cards disappeared in the World Series anyway). What a way to debut in baseball's biggest spotlight. Braden Looper, a pitcher who causes all of the Cardinals faithful to pop a handful of antacids, finished it off with a relatively uneventful ninth, and the boys in red took a 2-1 edge.

I came into the Series with the conviction that the Tigers were probably going to win it, but it may not be easy. I'm slowly starting to shift. I want desperately to believe that my beloved Cardinals can do it, but I'm trying to stay realistic. Well, reality is that if NLCS MVP Jeff Suppan follows up Carp's masterpiece tomorrow night, the team that everyone expected to "lose in three" according to certain smug self-confident sportswriters, will in fact have a 3-1 lead and possibly, possibly be in position to capture a tenth World Championship at home.

But that's really getting ahead of myself. There's a world of difference between 3-1 and 2-2, and the latter is still entirely probable if Suppan gets on his knees and blows the game tomorrow, which he may or may not do. (Obviously, I hope not). But if it is....

The thing is, these Cardinals are playing like a championship team. They're getting outstanding pitching (even in the game that they lost, they only surrendered three runs) they're getting contributions up and down the order, and they're not the one making the stupid mistakes. Such as tonight, when Albert Pujols hit an easy, dinking grounder back to Joel Zumaya, and instead of going for the double play at second, he opted instead to throw it to third - despite the fact that a 1-5-3 DP in the World Series hasn't been turned since 1923. Zumaya possibly showed why, as his throw went into foul ground and the Cardinals added two runs to their lead.

The Cards have completely muffled the heart of the Detroit order, and, well, the Tigers just look rusty. Thus, while I'm still cautious, I'm getting warmed up to the idea that this Hunt for Red October might end in fruition.

But that's just my take after tonight. It will be appropriately more optimistic or dispirited after the results of tomorrow night. If they win, then you can bet your ass that I am watching Game 5 to see my boys clinch. If they lose, it's back to the religious avoidance of anything baseball-related while online. I'm really bad with pressure, and cannot take the pain of actually watching the game... so I'm a wimp. But I will watch Game 5. But only if the Cardinals win.

I feel like I have schizophrenia. My "optimistic" and "there's no way they can actually do this" sides are warring. I should probably go to bed anyway, as classes (depressingly) resume tomorrow after I had the first two days of the week off, which was a good thing because of those freaking aforementioned essays. Guh... wish me luck, I'm gonna need it...


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