Monday, October 09, 2006

Playoffs, Day 6: I Lied. There Is No Other Man For Me

....besides him.

Yeah, yeah, you say. Why am I singling in on somebody who only closed out the ninth inning, instead of the true hero - a certain Christopher John Carpenter - who after looking pretty damn shaky in the first inning, locked in and locked down and went seven of them, only allowing two runs, in a brilliant ace-like outing to show all the Redbird doubters that the Cards are never dead?

Dunno. Why am I centering on him? Because I love him? Awww, I suppose I can give Carp some love as well.

I love you too, Chris Carpenter. You and Adam have the most adorable smiles on this entire team.

As you may have guessed by now, the Cardinals secured their playoff berth today with a 6-2 win over the Padres. Carpenter had a bad first inning, as mentioned, but he's Chris mothafuckin’ Carpenter, and he doesn't give up easily to a bunch of ballplayers named after an order of tonsured nincompoops. He instead, brought the pain. 96-mile-an-hour fastballs paired with a devastating, disorienting big-hook curveball, a filthy slider, and just plain unfair breaking stuff. The Padres didn’t have a chance.

By the top of the eighth, however, Carp was gassed, since the Cardinals did not allow him to sit down for more than thirty seconds at a time, seeing an average of 1.6 pitches per at-bat, which all added up to scant rest for him. Therefore, it was probably understandable that a pair of dink singles to open the eighth finally chased him. However, what threatened to make the game too close for comfort was put out by the firemen corps now known as the Cards bullpen, instead of the fire-starters. It is a nice change. Ty Johnson and Josh Kinney did their thing again and the ball was handed off to Adam to inaugurate the ninth.

Of course, he does his thing... kid is too nasty and amazing for words. Not before he let his nerves get the best of him a bit, and allowed a pair of base hits, but neither of them scored, and he got a little sweet revenge by getting major pest Dave Roberts to ground out to Albert for the final out, setting off a wild celebration in Redbird Land.

So, we'll see if they can pull off the scrappy underdog mojo as effectively as they did in the NLDS, in which all the so-called experts at ESPN gave them zero chance of getting out of the first round. In case you've noticed, almost all of ESPN's picks are wrong to date, and I love it.

Also, I'm planning to see if I can actually bring myself to pony up $250 for NLCS Game 2 tickets at Shea Stadium. I'm going to have to see if I can rope a few of my guy friends, Steve and Nick, into coming with me. However awesome it would be, I'm scared of going alone, since I'd be an eighteen-year-old girl in the colors of the enemy riding back and forth on the subway at night. Not a good idea. If not, I may get together with some other of the NYC-area Viva El Birdos posters to invade a bar in the Big Apple and watch the game. I'll be the one with a ponytail, a Cards hat, and a Wainwright #50 shirt.

Wow, this post is way more coherent than some of my other celebratory posts. Probably because I cheated, and cut-and-pasted some of it from a bit I already wrote for my sister. But before I sign off, I must leave you with this photo and its caption (major hat tip to Deadspin).

The Happy Italian Vegetarian Lawyer Genius Elf

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