Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 26, 2006
BASEBALL: Party Like It's 1964

It remains too early to panic, but Cardinals and A's fans are starting to get that sinking 1964 Phillies pheeling just about now; the A's have lost 3 straight and, despite a magic number of 2 to KO the Angels, have 4 of their last six games against them (the other two against the Mariners) and all six on the road; after a 6-game losing streak, the Cards' lead is down to 2.5 over the long-given-up-for-dead Astros and 3.5 over the Reds, although St. Louis has its final six games at home and four of them against the Brewers after two more against the West-leading Padres.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:29 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

But remember the real highlight of 1964 when the heavy underdog Cardinals stunned the Yankees in the World Series. Could be deja vue all over again.

Posted by: maddirishman at September 26, 2006 11:09 AM

You realize what's going to happen, Crank, don't you?

Astros are playing great baseball down the stretch. They catch STL at the very end. The Mets then have to play Houston in the first round. Meaning the Mets send up their contingent of aged, inconsistent and infirm pitchers against the likes of Clemens and Oswalt and a hot team behind them.

A first round exit seems inevitable.

Posted by: Al at September 26, 2006 11:30 AM

I see a difference with the Cards today and Gene Mauch's Phils. Mauch was a manager in the Charlie Dressen mode. No, not as stupid or uneducated. Mauch was bright. But he clearly overmanaged, and was out of his depth, at least then. LaRussa has done a lot, and for so many years, that he will pull the right strings. Doesn't mean you are going to win, the Cards aren't all that good. But neither are the Astros.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 26, 2006 12:37 PM

I would not welcome the Astros in the first round, weak as their offense is and unreliable as their bullpen is. Actually, the Padres have already steamed past the Cards, so the likely matchup is now with StL, Houston or LA.

Posted by: The Crank at September 26, 2006 1:25 PM

You can make a pretty good case that LaRussa has lost at least 2 of the games of the current losing streak by making stupid moves.

LaRussa almost always chokes in the playoffs - it's just this year he's started choking early. Not that the Cardinals are a very good team, either. But Tony is in playoff form.

Posted by: JeremyR at September 26, 2006 4:43 PM

A little off topic perhaps, but the Mets are beginning to worry the hell out of me. Their play has been crap, hell they spotted they Braves 3 runs already, which seems to have become a habit. I know, I know, they aren't playing their best as regularly as they will, and they don't want anybody getting hurt, but still - they had better pray they can switch the intensity back on as quickly as they turned it off. Because if the playoffs started now...first round exit, baby.

Posted by: drano at September 26, 2006 8:10 PM

Well if I were a Cardinals fan I'd be in full fledged panic I'll tell you that straight out, especially after they lost last night to the Padres and the Astros gutted up another win.

Its now 1 1/2 games. The Cards have another game against the Padres, then a series against the Brewers - plus a makeup against the Giants if necessary. The Astros have 2 against Pittsburg and 3 against Atlanta.

The Astros are 2 down in the loss column, but they just swept the Cards in 4 games and the Cards have lost 7 in a row while the Astros have won 7 in a row.

So yeah, if I were a Cards fan that liquid running down my leg wouldn't be rainwater.

Posted by: Dwilkers at September 27, 2006 7:52 AM

Oh.

As far as a possible Mets - Astros series, it would be fun of course but I wouldn't be too worried Mets fans. I'll say again, the Mets are one of the 3 best teams I've watched this year.

Yeah, I know, good pitching beats good hitting, blah blah. Decent pitching plus superior hitting beats Good pitching plus NO hitting every time though - I learned that one the hard way the last 2 years.

You have to score runs to win, it doesn't matter if you've got Cy Young's ghost taking the mound. No runs = you lose.

Posted by: Dwilkers at September 27, 2006 7:58 AM

Now that the A's have clinched with five to go, thank you very much, and the 'Stros have picked up another game on the ailing Cards, I see in the mist the figure of the perfect World Series beginning to emerge: A's and Astros. Highlights will include Jason Kendall hitting a salami to the Crawford boxes, the A's executing a squeeze play, Frank Thomas playing first base, and Luke Scott going cold while Huston Street and Brad Lidge have a blown save contest. Should be a classic.

The New York teams won't make it because they, like the Twinkies, have weak pitching. Whoever comes out the NL West will be a pretender, obviously, so all that leaves is the Tiggers, and I still don't believe they're for real.

The A's will win the Series in 6.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at September 27, 2006 8:03 AM
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