October 2006


To all of y’all who read this site and this blog and care about this team, congratulations. Enjoy it.


Game 4 lineup, if there's a Game 4

We may or may not get a game in. But if they play tonight, Belliard is sitting. He’s 3-for-21 against Bonderman, so Miles will be in the game in his place. Encarnacion is sitting as well, with Duncan in LF and Wilson in RF. Duncan is batting second, Wilson sixth, Miles eighth.


We've got a nice, quiet little river community here

As this postseason has gone on, I’ve been asked a few times by fellow scribes for food recommendations in STL. And now with the potential of a rainout looming either tonight or tomorrow, it occurs to me that some of you may be in St. Louis from out of town and wondering how to spend a free evening. Here’s what I’ve got…

* The best meal I’ve had in St. Louis, regardless of price, was at the Sidney Street Cafe. Steak au poivre? Yes, please.

* As a lunch option, there’s the Crown Candy Kitchen. Sadly, I’ve never been there. But people love it, and every out-of-towner I’ve ever pointed there came back raving.

* Hard to go wrong with a good brewpub, and we have a very good one here — the Schlafly Tap Room. Excellent beer, good food, and in particular, their fries are the best I’ve ever had.

* Place to go for just a beer? An unusual beer? Growler’s Pub, easily. Unbelievable beer selection, friendly service, good jukebox.

There’s plenty more, and by no means are these the only four best establishments in St. Louis. But (with the one obvious exception) they’re personal favorites of mine. Enjoy. But really, let’s just get these two games in and not have to worry about rainout contingencies, what say?


(now playing on the computer speakers: a selection of all the various free songs I’ve gotten from the iTunes store)

Well, you don't see that every day

Very different looking lineup today.

Rolen is back in the cleanup spot against the lefty, with Encarnacion fifth and Edmonds sixth. Spiezio is DH’ing, thanks to his outstanding career numbers against Rogers (15-for-38, .395, with 4 XBH). Wilson is in left, Taguchi out of the lineup. And most striking, Belliard is out in favor of Aaron Miles. Belliard is 2-for-22 against Rogers lifetime.

1. Eckstein SS
2. Spiezio DH
3. Pujols 1B
4. Rolen 3B
5. Encarnacion RF
6. Edmonds CF
7. Wilson LF
8. Molina C
9. Miles 2B

Weaver, RHP

Also, I’m told it’s fully expected that we’ll get the game in tonight. But it’s cold, and windy, and will be miserable conditions in which to play baseball.


Like the weather

It actually looks like things are turning for the better, weather-wise, here in Detroit as of 2 p.m. ET. Of course there’s no way to know what we’re going to have between now and 8 o’clock, but it’s progress. As of around noon, it looked pretty bad. Now the sky is a little brighter, and from what I can tell from my 55th-floor hotel room, it looks like it may have stopped raining, or at least slacked up significantly.

Of course, rain might actually favor the Cardinals, depending on how they elect to set up their rotation. But I think MLB and FOX have zero desire to postpone this thing, so I imagine they’ll try to get it in.

-M, flipping between the race and the Lions game.

Pregame color

With all due respect to Ernie Hays, the organist at Shea is absolutely rolling tonight.

Selections in the last 30 minutes or so (now updating in real time, because this is great stuff; I’d love a radio station that played this kind of variety):

"New York State of Mind" (Billy Joel); "Crazy" (Gnarls Barkley); "Clocks" (Coldplay); "Hold On, I’m Comin’" (Sam & Dave); "In the Midnight Hour" (Wilson Pickett); "I Wanna Be Sedated" (Ramones… RIP, CBGB); "Dirty Little Secret" (All-American Rejects); "Tequila" (The Champs); "Dani California" (Red Hot Chili Peppers); "Brown Eyed Girl" (Van Morrison, though on the organ it sounds more like the Jimmy Buffett version).

They’ve all sounded good, lively, and you can’t top the variety. Great stuff. I’m actually dancing in my seat a little bit. Then again, maybe that’s the gallon of coffee I’ve consumed.

Now let’s have a memorable game to top it off.


Not THE Game 7. But A Game 7.

I’m very much of the opinion — and I know I’m not alone in this; it’s not exactly a revolutionary thought — that the team that wins tonight’s game, wins the series. If the Cards win, it’s hard to imagine Carpenter not closing it out in Game 6. If the Mets win, it’s hard to imagine them losing twice at home with the chance to win the pennant.

None of that is certain, of course, but it seems fair to say that this is a pretty definitive game in this series. So I asked TLR before the game if he manages it that way. I asked if, essentially, he plays this game like a Game 7, with all hands on deck. And he said yes. Here’s his answer, and I think if you’re Cardinals fan, it’s exactly what you would want to hear:

"I think so. You’ve got a couple things going. It’s the get-the-edge
game. And you do have Chris (Carpenter) behind (for Game 6), who’s got a real good opportunity to pitch deep
into the game. So, yeah, I don’t think it’s a game where you think about not
using the whole pen — except probably Looper — as early and as often as you
need to."

The double-negative might make it a bit harder to follow. To translate: all hands on deck, all relievers except Looper (who pitched 3 innings, 2 days ago) available, sell out to win this game. I think it’s the right play.



UPDATE — Tonight’s game has been postponed. They will play at 7:19 p.m. CT on Tuesday.


For those of you not in STL, it’s been pouring all day, since before I got up for sure. Still no word on whether we’re playing tonight, but it’s hard to see playing a baseball game in conditions like this or soon after. I’ll keep y’all posted, but put it this way — if you are pondering whether or not to go out to dinner or something like that tonight, you might want to go ahead and make plans.


Spiezio in for Rolen

Just got here and grabbed a lineup, and Scott Rolen is not in. Spiezio is starting in his place, batting fifth. Chris Duncan is in LF and batting second, Edmonds is in CF and batting cleanup.

I’ll have a brief story on this up on the site in a few minutes, and a longer take on it with quotes and all later in the evening.


Night game Friday

MLB has just announced that tomorrow’s NLCS game will be a night game. TV time is 7 p.m. CT. The press release lists a start time of 7:05 p.m. CT, but I expect it will be a few minutes later than that. It will be carried on FOX (KTVI channel 2 in STL). The AL game has been moved up to the afternoon.

Looks like a short night of sleep before a morning flight on Saturday, but oh well. Glad I’m staying near the airport.