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Tony La Russa and the Cards bullpen shine as St. Louis beats Philly 5-4

Oct 3, 2011, 12:24 AM EDT

St Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies - Game 2 Getty Images

This was maybe the most Tony La Russa game ever.  Some mind games early, 125 double switches late, and a close game was won by the Cardinals, 5-4.  What did we learn, kids?

  • You can fall behind one of the Phillies’ aces 4-0 and still win.  I didn’t go back and look, but man, I bet that didn’t happen very often in 2011.
  • I’ll have some praise for La Russa below, but if that 4-0 had held up, a lot of people would have been asking why he pitched Chris Carpenter on short rest when he had never done so before.  He was probably wrong to run Carpenter out there, but he was right to have the quick hook on him too (though it did look like Carpenter was settling down a bit right before he left the game).
  • The strike zone was cause for some beefing.  Tony La Russa came out to argue about it early, thinking Carpenter was getting squeezed. Then, suddenly, it seemed like Cardinals pitchers were getting more calls and Cliff Lee was getting a bit squeezed. Little-known fact: La Russa knows how to use the Jedi mind trick.
  • Squeezed or not, Cliff Lee was able to strike out nine dudes. His problem was the death by a thousand cuts. Lots of bloops and balls that could have been caught but weren’t. It wasn’t bad defense, just great fortune, ground balls with eyes and broken bat singles for the Cardinals. It happens. Especially when you’re around the zone like Lee is. You can’t escape allowing 12 hits in the postseason, but nor can you really draw much of a negative conclusion about Cliff Lee because of this outing. Just one of those things.
  • As the game wore on, La Russa really went, well, La Russaian with his double switches and calls to the pen. Little known fact: he is allowed a 37-man roster in the postseason.  OK, not really, but seriously, he used a lot of players, with Jake Westbrook being the only guy remaining in the pen when the game ended. If it had gone extras, it could have meant trouble for him, though I suppose Westbrook is able to go forever considering he’s a starter by trade.  But let’s give some credit here: it worked.
  • And why it worked? Because the Cardinals bullpen was fantastic. Easily the weakest part of the team this year, so if you would have told me before the game that Chris Carpenter would be pulled after giving up four runs on five hits in three innings, I would have guessed that Philly won in a walk. Kudos to the 18 relievers who came through for the Cardinals. OK, it was only six, but they shut the Phillies out over six innings and allowed only two baserunners. That, my friends, is serious strength from an apparent weakness.
  • There was a great moment in the top of the eighth when Allen Craig was almost hit in the head and the Phillies fans cheered like it was the best thing ever. Never change, Philly fans! Never, ever change.
  • But at least cheer up a bit, guys. Tied 1-1, heading to St. Louis with Cole Hamels on the hill isn’t the worst thing in the world. Except for the fact that you’re going to face Jaime Garcia, and he has been tough on Philly over the past two years.

We have ourselves a series, everyone.

124 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. garlicfriesandbaseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    Gotta love it ……. !

  2. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Oct 3, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    I can breathe again.

  3. firedude7160 - Oct 3, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    Sunday, bloody Sunday for Philadelphia sports

  4. halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Storyline for this game: Tony LaRussa’s great managing with his bullpen to keep the Phillies to 1 hit and……

    Cliff Lee stinking up the joint with that pitching performance.

    • marinersnate - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:03 AM

      At least learn how to spell the name (or close to it) of the guy you are trying to troll….

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:05 AM

        Who’s trolling who? What the hell are you talking about? Clarify.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:21 AM

        I think he doesn’t believe you are who you are. Not realizing you made a new name without the t awhile ago.

    • kycardsfan - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:12 AM

      maybe every underestimated the cards offense?

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:14 AM

        I give the Cards offense credit. They had some good at-bats. I, as a Phillies fan, question Cliff Lee’s performance tonight. He grooved too many pitches. He needs to be accountable for this loss.

    • kycardsfan - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:12 AM

      maybe everyone underestimated the cardinals offense?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:18 AM

        Cardinal offense is excellent but I don’t think that is what happened last night. When Cliff Lee is good, he is virtually unhittable. However, bad Cliff Lee gets lit up by whoever he is playing. He starts leaving his off speed pitches up…all of them. Essentially, he hangs every pitch he throws. As a result, bad things happen quickly. Seen it happen all year. I think everybody could see that he was bad Cliff Lee last night and yet Charlie threw him back out for the 7th. That anti-LaRussa move was terrible and cost the Phillies dearly. If it weren’t for the stellar Brad Lidge the game would have gotten out of hand.

  5. drunkenhooliganism - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    I’m reminded of the old Italian proverb

    “May Chris Carpenter bitch about I don’t know what
    While the russian whines like a dirty slut.
    And through the infield goes another bleeder
    to satisfy the drunk wife beater.”

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:09 AM

      ???

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      Monkey: The Cardinals offense is NOT what happend? They out hit the Phillies 13 – 6.
      The Cardinals offense is precisely WHAT happened.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        I think you missed my point. I think it more had to do with Lee being wild in the strike zone. It happened to him many times this year. Mediocre offenses would pound him. When he leaves the off speed pitches up, he gets hit hard. Certainly the Cardinals capitalized on the mistakes and they should be commended and given credit for that. However, to say it was exceptional offense is mistaken…it was poor pitching.

  6. gogigantos - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    tough day out East eh,,
    Phightins out fought, Eagles downed hard

    The Red Birds battled a good tough win to get even heading back home to face Hamels. Still don’t love StL’s chances, but they will battle hard. Good to put a little fear into the Phightins, they may need some toughening up to get where they want to get.

    Would the crowd have cheered more if Craig had taken it to the skull? Save the blood lust for football baseball fans. Facing the Sith Lord TLR will get one’s blood up though for sure.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:24 AM

      Fear, no. Anger about Cliff Lee, yes.

  7. cur68 - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    I’m tired of the rain. I’m tired of baseball in the rain. Will the sun ever come out for a ballgame this post season? If I wanted to watch winter sports I’d watch pre-season hockey.

    With all that out of my system; I thought Lee wasn’t too bad. Just damn unlucky. He was killed by balls in play that his D was too cold to get to. On a dry, warm day they make some of those plays.

    The Philly offence was smothered by the masterful pitching match-ups of TLR. Give the devil his due; it worked.

    Now, a final thought. You don’t mess with a superstition; if your ace slightly misquotes Shakespeare and goes out and wins, then all the Philly pitchers gotta do the same, otherwise this here thing just don’t work.

    Word to Colbert Michael Hamels; brush up on your Shakespeare quotes…

    http://www.shakespeare-online.com/quotes/juliusquotes.html

    • jwbiii - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:56 AM

      Or Cole Porter

      “Brush up your Shakespeare
      And they’ll all kowtow.”

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:00 AM

        Another genius, jwbiii or whatever that crappy handle means, joins the discussion. I will thumb you down just for your stupidity.

      • jwbiii - Oct 3, 2011 at 4:25 AM

        I agree that jwbiii is a bad screen name. When the registration changed over, somebody else had jwb, my initials, and I went with jwbiii. Such is life.

        I agree that I am stupid. But your stupidity towers over me, as a massif to a sand dune. If I were to wish to attain those heights, I would worship you and dwell on your every word. I would wish wish to scale those heights and to taste the ever present snow at your summit (and, frankly, to piss on it), but I fear I that would collapse before I reached the half way mark, as I find breathing out of oxygen bottles intolerable for after an hour or so.

        Hope for strikeouts. The Phils aren’t so good at turning balls in play into outs.

    • ditto65 - Oct 3, 2011 at 6:26 AM

      It might not rain in Detroit today.

      It will not rain on the game in Tampa. But they play in a covered dump.

      It’s always sunny in St. Louis (at least tomorrow it is).

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 3, 2011 at 7:07 AM

      On a warm day, Jimmy’s doubles would have been home runs, too.
      Oh, well . . . it’s a cold, gray Monday morning in Philly, and it all looks bad in retrospect. Lee let Meals get in his head, the Cards took advantage. TLR’s moves worked, our bats didn’t. Onward…

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:41 AM

      I predict NO rain for the NL games today Cur, how about that :)

      • cur68 - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        *cheers wildly*

  8. halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    “With all that out of my system; I thought Lee wasn’t too bad. Just damn unlucky. He was killed by balls in play that his D was too cold to get to.”

    Are you being sarcastic or did you watch the same game as I did? Lee wasn’t too bad and the defense couldn’t get to balls in play? Are you joking?

  9. halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    Someone here answer my question, preferably from a Phillies fan: Why the fuck are the Phillies paying Cliff Lee 120 million dollars for? To lose games in the playoffs after being given a 4 run lead? What is going on? He was manhandled and there is no outrage? I’m perplexed.

    • cup0pizza - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:48 AM

      You seriously need to get a life.

    • thevandalen - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:44 AM

      You’re the worst.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:48 AM

        Go f yourself. I stated fact, and you put that crap out there.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:40 AM

        Biceps- you’re a douchbag.

      • bravesman1983 - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        Hear, hear.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:47 AM

      Yeah, an hour later, I look back at my comment and see 6 thumbs down on my comment. No one can answer the question, can you? Are you in denial that Cliff Lee stunk up the joint with that performance? He SUCKED. His pitching cost us the game.

      • clydeserra - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:25 AM

        because he is on of the 5 best pitchers in Major League baseball, and if you didn’t he would not have worked for the Phillies this, or the next few years.

        I don’t understand the question.

      • kiwicricket - Oct 3, 2011 at 5:04 AM

        Have another Miller High Life cept’s….

      • ditto65 - Oct 3, 2011 at 6:30 AM

        Possibly his 7-2 record and 2.13 ERA going into this post-season.

        Grow. Up.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:38 AM

        Dude, you are seriously the worst commenter ever. These forums are much better when you aren’t around. Plus you epitomize everything stereotypical about Philadelphia fans.

        Lee wasn’t perfect but he wasn’t as awful as some are trying to make him out to be. As Crashburn Alley pointed out during the game last night he was getting BABIP’d to death. He’s a pitcher who relies on location and when the strike zone is awful (for both teams) then he may get hit a bit more.

        But hey let’s not let something like his 17-8 2.40ERA 1.03 WHIP season (2.68 xFIP; 9.21K/9; 257K 5th in WAR) get in the way of overreaction right?

    • Bill - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:20 AM

      One game, man. He’s a great pitcher who had a bad day. That’s all. Calm down the inquisition.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:28 AM

      People will say that Lee was rattled, but he wasn’t. We’ve all watched Lee pitch all season, these bad outings happen to him rather frequently. It all comes down to his ability to locate. When he runs bad, everything off speed is hung over the plate and he can’t keep anything down. I don’t think people are outraged because he was trying his hardest….he didn’t make an atypical mental error or do something stupid to cost the team the game. He simply was not on last night. It happens. One thing I hope people have learned is that he is not Roy Halladay. Doc has the ability to battle threw games when he doesn’t have his best stuff. I don’t think it is a mentally tough thing either. Halladay has so much movement on all of his pitches that even if he is off, he can get hitters out. When Lee is off, he gets hammered because he relies so much on location and that is what fails him. Lastly, when Lee is off everything misses in the strike zone.

      • Bill - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:59 AM

        I dunno. He walked only two and struck out nine in six innings. It’s hard to do that while struggling with your location. From the look of it, he may have been throwing too many strikes, not too few.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        That’s the point. Lee gets wild in the strike zone. Look at the balls hit by the Cardinals, everything was middle of the plate with off speed pitches. That is why things go bad quickly for him.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:30 AM

      Now that I am at work and getting paid to come on here, I’ll respond HB. I’m pissed that Lee gave up the 4 run lead they handed him after 2. I’m outraged. I’m annoyed. But the fact is that Phillies weren’t going to go 11-0 in the playoffs. As far as I am concerned, this is a speed bump on the road to the World Series. If the Cardinals beat Hamels and Oswalt(or Doc if Uncle Cholly decides to start him down 2-1) then I’ll be beyond pissed.

      Right now…on a scale of 1 to 10, my panic meter is at around a 3.5.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 8:52 AM

        Panic meter? Damn, I don’t have one. I mean, I DO have a life outside of baseball and the Phillies. Will I be disappointed if they don’t keep forging ahead? Sure. But Panic? I must not be a die-heard Philly Phan, gotta go give up my membership.

        Anyways it’s 1-1. And the bullpen kept the game close for the hitters. Lidge was awesome in making sure his inherited runners didn’t score. I mean he could have gone for the 1-6-3 DP, but he ran down Pujols instead. 1IBB and a ground ball later to Theriot (who had tearing the cover off the ball all night), and it’s an inning ending DP ground ball. Tell me that wasn’t a great performance to watch.

        Give LaRussa credit, he plays to win, not to – not lose.Will it blow up in his face from time to time? Sure. It did in Houston when his BP blew the first game and he went into extras having yanked the teeth out of his lineup for better defense.

        As for Lee. Well, hindsight is great. But I do admit after watching the 6th I thought Lee was done. I understand Charlie trying to get one more inning out of Lee since bringing in Worley would have meant pinch hitting for him in the very next inning. But I would have brought Lidge maybe, just to make for a change of pace and screw up the Cardinals timing. Sometimes that’s all you need to put the opposing hitters on ice.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:06 AM

        I’m with FC on this one. I love the Phillies…watch nearly every game, discuss them on this board and twitter, own shirts and whatnot. However, I refuse to have my mental state defined by sports. If the Phillies lose the series (which I don’t think will happen), I will be bummed and pissed for about 45 minutes then I will shrug my shoulders and go back to life. I follow 3 sports teams closely. Phillies obviously as well as the Eagles and the soccer team Arsenal from England. If I let them define my mental state, I would be in a constant state of rage and anger. All 3 get off to promising starts only to not get the job done (exceptions being 2003-2004 Arsenal unbeatables and Phillies 2008).

      • TomTom - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:07 AM

        Man, you need to take a page from Red Sox Nation’s “Handbook for Panic Meter Adjustment” and dial it up to about 9.5.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:14 AM

        I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret…you listening…OK…ready…

        I DON’T REALLY HAVE A FUCKING PANIC METER!!!!

        Jesus you guys make it sound like I said I am going to jump off the Walt Whitman if the Phillies lose or something. Relax with the whole “I have a life outside of baseball” nonsense, OK?

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:39 AM

        On a scale from 1-10, a 3.5 is rather low guys. It would be classified as Anxious. Overreact much?

        I’m with you Chris, but mostly because I’m not used to seeing other teams throw up 11 runs in 2 games. It’s the playoffs, and this is the chance to bring the third WS trophy to this team in 128 years. Let’s not pretend that this is no big deal, if it’s no big deal if they lose then why applaud at the games even? Why is it soooo loud at CBP if it’s no big deal? Why pay people millions upon millions of dollars to do something that is no big deal? I think you guys are fronting here just to seem cooler than you really are. It’s not the end of the world if they tank, but it does suck. I jump up and clap when they win, so what’s wrong with being anxious when they don’t?

      • cur68 - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        My panic meter froze off last winter and was enshrined by a family of arctic foxes as their dog.

    • loungefly74 - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      cliff is worth the money, that said, he had a bad outing. unfortunately, bad outings are magnified in the playoffs. i cant think of a better #2 starter i’d rather have on the mound. an old saying comes to mind, ” sh*t happens”…don’t fret too hard, i cant think of a better #3 starter, CH, to have on the mound.

  10. Jonny 5 - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    I think the crowd cheering for the dome music Worley threw was fine, had he made contact, i’m sure it would have been a different reaction. I think pretending it was wrong and a “philly thing” is one of the most lame bait jobs i’ve seen from Craig “evah”. Get a new Shtick, will ya? This is a team who’s seen many, many, pitches hit players with absolutely no retribution what so “evah”. Earlier on Polanco had one almost take his head off. So the first high and tight pitch of the season was a welcome sight, let’s not pretend the man was beaned and the crowd rejoiced, that’s just really lame. Now let’s talk some baseball.

    Do not forget Lee is human. Pressure has a funny way of getting into a man’s head. Sure it sucks to see a guy like him lose a lead like that, but the Cards do have an excellent offense, plain and simple. It’s not all bad pitching.

    Let’s also not look past the fact that the Phills have given up 11 runs in the last 2 home games. It’s not that good. Sure the first game had some things happen to lessen the need for shut down innings, but it’s 11 runs in 2 games, not so good.

    I thought the Ump was terrible behind the plate.

    Hey Philly, is it me or does this feel like 2008 with all of the offense? BTW, J-Roll tweeted on you saying you let him down because you were quiet. huh? Pissing away a 4 run lead, in the rain, on a late Sunday night will do that Jimmy, chill.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:08 AM

      J5, check out the live chat and you’ll see just how lame most of these guys are. It was almost time to call the waaaaaaah-mbulance. Then I asked a pretty good question which actually was posted by Craig with a response of “That’s one way to look at it.” My question…”I’ve never seen people cheering for a guy NOT getting hit called classless.” Just a bunch of lame haters getting their panties in a bunch over absolutely nothing. Zero. Zilch.

      I said it about J-Roll on the other thread…when you go up there with all those crappy at bats against that shitty bullpen, you don’t give the crowd a chance to get fired up.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:17 AM

        They got a little aggressive on Motte which I didn’t like at all. Being the last time they faced him they patiently let him walk guys until he lost his cool and gave up hits. Seemed to me to be the best plan they didn’t follow.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        Their at bats against Motte were a disgrace. All panic and no thought.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:18 AM

        Since Game 1 ended well, nobody commented on how impatient the Phils were at the plate for the first 2-3 innings. Lohse got through the first 2 innings on 7 pitches.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        But they were putting the ball in play against Lohse…against Motte, they were not. Bad swings. Terrible approach. They were hitting Lohse pretty good and I even pointed out that his luck would have to turn around and it did.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:17 AM

      Finally…somone with the balls to actually admit is was not all bad pitching. Pretty sure we had our share of bad pitching (see innings 1 – 4). Also agree 100% with respect to the home plate umpiring. I was kind of surprised that Carp actually cut him some slack. Said umpires are human. No different from a guy making an error…someone getting caught in a rundown…or a pitcher grooving a fastball down the middle. He said people make mistakes and Jerry only made a couple all night (which I am not sure I agree with). But nevertheless, umpiring bad all the way around.

  11. stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    It’s funny…the Cardinals out hit the Phillies 13 – 6 and all anyone wants to do is whine, bitch and moan about the performance (or perceived lack of…by Cliff Lee). I mean seriously? NEWSFLASH: Carp pitched on three days rest. He was NOT on top of his game. Curve Ball NOT working. He could NOT locate his fastball. Phillies staked to a 4 run lead. Yeah…all about Cliff huh?
    You people do realize the Cardinals have an offense right?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:17 AM

      Yeah, the same offense that went 21 up and 21 down in game 1. Against a guy who is only a hair better than Cliff Lee. If Lee pitches his game, the Cardinals are down 2-0 no matter what their offense is. But the Cardinals took advantage of a Cliff Lee that wasn’t 100% on his game and good for them. If they can beat Hamels and Oswalt/Short-rested Doc then they deserve to be in the NLCS.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:22 AM

        Don’t sell the Cards Offense short Chris, they are good and took advantage of situation many teams wouldn’t have been able to.

        What do you do if you’re Charlie and Cole loses Tuesday? Do you use Little Roy or Big Roy?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:25 AM

        If your Aunt had balls she would be your Uncle. Again…pretty sure the Cardinals had their share of pitching issues the first FOUR innings. Out hit 13 – 6. You guys are lucky it wasn’t worse. 1st inning lead off triple (NO runs). 2nd inning lead off double (NO runs). Guys on 1st and 3rd w/ no outs midway through the game (NO runs). You guys act like you should be annointed the champion and handed the phuqing trophy or something. In the 90’s the Braves had a pretty good staff if you recall. How many titles did they parlay that into? That is why you play the games. Now…we go back to the Lou’ tied up. You didn’t expect a competition though did you?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:39 AM

        J5…Not selling the Cards offense short, but let’s not forget that Doc put them down 21 in a row on Saturday. Same guys. And Lee is only slightly worse than Doc. So let’s not go too crazy about their offense…they hit Lee’s mistakes, but when you get right to it, they were balls left over the plate which was very unlike Lee. To answer your question…I’m throwing Doc.

        St Louis…relax man. I don’t play for the Phillies, so don’t say “you guys”. The Cardinals hit Lee’s mistakes all over the park…when they weren’t striking out 9 times. Same offense that went 21 up and 21 down on Saturday night against a slightly better pitcher. You obviously don’t read what I write, or you refuse to accept it, when you say that I didn’t expect competition…I am the one saying that the Phillies fans couldn’t have thought the team was going to go 11-0 could we?

        The Philles and Cardinals do go back to St.Louis tied 1-1 and I’ll take Hamels/Oswalt-Doc over Garcia/Jackson every time. I’m confident the Phillies can do what they did in 2009 when they lost game 2 at home…go on the road and win 2.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        Not to pour gasoline on the fire, but that same offense that capitalized on Lee’s mistakes was then unable to pile on later with men on 1st and 3rd with 0 outs. The point is good pitching beats good hitting. If the pitching isn’t sharp then good hitting will prevail. Which is why you can’t make those mistakes against good hitting teams in the 1st place.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      So wait, you’re saying the Phillies had that nice lead thanks to poor starting pitching… had nothing to do with the Phillies also having a good offense? :)

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        No…I am saying the Cardinals ALSO had a pitcher who struggled. You guys act like you had the market cornered on a struggling starter last night. You should be embarassed whining about it with the way Carp struggled. Listening to all this bitching…you would think Carp was throwing darts all game. Again…the Cardinals ALSO had a pticher who struggled. Ours just struggled from the beginning (all the more reason for you guys to jump on him early and often). That didn’t happen. Regardless of the pitcher (and how he is throwing)…you still have to put wood on the ball. Which the Cardinals did the entire game. If you truly follow baseball…the Cardinals offense should not surprise you. The 1st game also reflects this.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:44 AM

        stl, I’m not sure what you are trying to say. Are you saying that Phillies fans should expect Cliff Lee(17-8 2.40 ERA in 2011 and 7-3 2.52 career postseason ERA) to give up 12 hits and 5 runs against the Cardinals offense? Nobody is saying it was ALL Lee struggling…they hit his mistakes. But you can’t have it all here…Doc set them down 21 straight on Saturday night so it isn’t like they weren’t capable of going down quietly. They picked it up and crushed Lee’s mistakes all night last night. Enjoy the win and stop worrying about how it is characterized.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:53 AM

        I’m just pointing out that you’re doing the exact same thing you’re complaining about, selling the Phillies offense short by blaming everything on Carpenter’s short rest and bad pitching location. In the 2nd half of the season they were as good as the Cardinal’s offense. I have yet to see you credit Phillies bats for taking advantage. But then again, it should follow that if a great starter struggles a good offense will capitalize.

        Take a chill pill. I only see one person whining here: An overbearing St. Louis fan who feels slighted his offense isn’t given enough credit when Phillies fans naturally observe that Lee wasn’t pitching good.

    • gogigantos - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:45 PM

      the only ones whining about C. Lee are Phightin Phans
      good swings of the bats from a good offense beat a good good pitcher on a night he had not all working for him, most of all the favor of the broken bat and seeing eye gods,,,,
      yo, StL fans,, all that worked against C effing Lee and the Phucking Phightins made for a tight oh so almost not win,,,,
      even 1-1,, this is good

  12. paperlions - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    I’d just like to point out that if Jay slides into home, he’s likely safe. He had 1/2 the plate open and Ruiz would have had to shift across and down to tag him. By running over the catcher, Jay essentially tagged himself out. As usual, trying to get to the plate as quickly as possible is always the better play.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:50 AM

      I agree with you there paper…and I thought it was a pretty cheap forearm shiver he threw to Ruiz too. Run over a guy, that’s fine, but to go in forearm first was pretty lame.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:57 AM

        Ruiz is tough he can take it. I thought Ibanez made a strong throw on the go ahead run, if it had been lower Ruiz would have had a chance of tagging him out. But just getting one kill for Ibanez is saying a lot already.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:59 AM

        Forearm to the face. That wasn’t very nice was it? Chooch is one tough player, He’s been bowled over frequently this season.

      • paperlions - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        I thought the forearm was cheap…but probably somewhat inadvertent, running full speed into a guy with armor on you probably feel like you need to throw something up there to protect yourself and/or to knock the ball out….but still, a problem avoided if the runner tries to score instead of running over the catcher.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        I agree with PL. I didn’t think it was an intentional cheap shot just something that happens as a by product of trying to truck the catcher.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      I agree Paper. I made the same comment right after he did it.

  13. stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Chris: You keep bringing up Doc and him sending the Cardinals down 21 straight times. What I am saying is Cliff wasn’t “your guys” primary problem. Your lack of offense was. Carp struggled just as bad (moreso from where I am sitting). You guys had 6 hits. Yet…everyone wants to complain about Cliff. The Cardinals shut down the Phillies offense what…16…maybe 17 straight times (see your Doc references). So again…the 6 hits are what cost you this game. Now it’s tied up and I look forward to this series becoming increasingly more competitive (if that is even possible). LOL!

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      FC: You are dead on. Had Ibanez’s second throw been on-line he has his 2nd assist.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      No, the Phillies handed one of the 3 or 4 best pitchers in all of baseball a 4 run lead going into the bottom of the second. I’m willing to wager that the Phillies win that game 95 times out of 100. The Cardinals gutted out a win, but let’s not pretend that they were facing the best of Cliff Lee. They weren’t. Why you are taking that as an offense to your mighty offense is beyond me.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:18 AM

        I think you are being a little conservative. I am willing to wager (when staked to a 4 run lead) the Phillies win that game 97-98 times out of 100. The problem was…the offense didn’t continue to hit. It’s just hard to complain about Cliff when you only get 6 hits (against a bullpen that came in during the 4th inning no less). On a different note…what is Jimmy talking about with regards to the crowed bringing more noise? It sounded like you guys were deafening in that park last night.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM

        When the Phillies scored 4 runs or more on a day that Cliff Lee started, they were 14-2. Do you understand that when they scored the 4 runs, the game was about 90% likely to be over? The Cardinals bullpen pitched very very well. I tip my cap to the Cards bullpen. But on the 100% scale of blame on this game, here’s where mine would be…

        90% Cliff Lee
        6% Phillies Defense
        4% Phillies Offense

        and I am sure Lee would assess the blame closer to 100% to himself. 4 runs is plenty for the 3rd or 4th best pitcher in the game. Period.

  14. thefalcon123 - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    The Cardinals bullpen that had so many problems in the beginning of the season is very, very different from their bullpen now.
    Ryan Franklin (44 ERA+), Trever Miller (93 ERA+), Brian Tallet (45 ERA+) caused a lot of the problems and are long since gone.
    Motte, Salas, Dotel and Rzepczynski all K a batter an inning and aren’t very home run prone. Their bullpen is a lot better than it was the first two months.

    So, remember that the next time the announcers talk about what a problem it is.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM

      Dotel was looking good last night, but Rep had an ineffective game 1. They can get the job done but it can be hit and miss at times, ask Cur :)

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        Yeah…and I gotta’ tell you. When TLR sent those guys out their after pitching the night prior (especially Zeppy after he got lit up) I was NOT feeling real well. I pounded beer #12 at that exact moment. LOL!

  15. sportsdrenched.com - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    When Dick Vermil was coaching the Chiefs he had a quote similar to “You know, they pay the other team too.”

    Both these teams are professionals and capable of winning baseball games.

    I just love the playoffs when the minor stuff you don’t always notice in the regular season becomes huge and topic of heated conversation.

  16. paperlions - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Kudos to LaRussa for not having Patterson on the roster. I was shocked and happy to see Chamber there instead…..shit, I would have been happy to see a 24 man roster rather than one with Patterson on it.

  17. stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    FC: Come on man. A Phillies fan calling someone else overbearing is just a little hypocritical don’t you think? The offense is precisely what I am (and have been) talking about the entire morning. In a nutshell…last nights outcome had far more to do with offense than either teams starting pitching. When you only get 6 hits (to your opponents 13)…life is typically difficult. So let me be clear…I do not feel your offense deserves ANY credit from last night’s game. Game #1…your offense was lights out. Again…Game #1…your offense was on fire. To reiterate…your offense deserves ALL THE CREDIT in Game #1. In a nutshell..I find it kind of funny that the Phillies got all of 6 hits and yet everyone wants to bitch about Cliff. The fact that you feel your offense deserves credit after only scratching out 6 hits is hard to believe. That pretty much sums it up.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      LOL! There you go again. You’re just proving my point. Two great starters struggled yet you feel that only your offense deserves credit for scoring against the opposing team and you complain that the opposing team’s fans aren’t giving your team’s offense credit while simultaneously dissing the opposing team’s offense that put wood on the ball (as you put it) to your team’s ineffective starter. And you call me hypocritical? Keep going man, you’re digging your way to China :)

      You win by scoring more runs than your opponent. In the Phillies case 6 hits was good enough for 4 runs. St. Louis needed 13 hits to get 5, hmm. There are different valid ways to evaluate a game. One way is to observe that a great Cliff Lee takes a 4 run lead and rides it to the finish or hands it to the BP winning. Another is to say the Phillies offense failed to get to the Cardinal bullpen. It’s all good. But many Phillies fans are accustomed to seeing Lee take a good lead and dominate, carrying the team with great pitching when the offense stakes him to a healthy lead. Quite often 4 runs is all the Phillies needs with their 1-2-3 starters. That’s a valid observation to make. Have you seen the Phillies season record when they score 4 runs? They virtually win them all. That’s why you see that focus. This teams is mostly about its star pitching. I don’t see why you should complain when the fans commenting here take that particular angle.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:00 AM

        I do NOT agree. I think it is kind of shortsighted to pile on Cliff when you collect a grand total of (6) hits. That is it in a nutshell. If I am Cliff…my response is going to be…bring your damn sticks and give a guy a little help when he isn’t on top of this game. You know…like the Cardinals did for Carp. Sure…I will credit you with scoring 4 runs on those 6 hits. Once you scored those runs you were done. The Cardinals scratched, clawed, fought and willed their way to a ‘W.’ They got 13 hits (12 off Cliff). My guess is…that is the most (or close to the most) he has given up this year. So yeah…he wasn’t on top of this game. But again…neither was the guy he was facing. You see now? The Cardinals ALSO had a guy who was struggling. This guy gave up (4) early runs and was removed in the 3rd to bring in the pullpen. Based upon that…those 6 hits weren’t enough.
        I think we may have to agree to disagree.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        stl, your guy was on 3 days rest and even at his best, isn’t the pitcher that Cliff Lee is. Did you see above where I said that the Phillies were 14-2 when Lee was given 4 or more runs? 88% is pretty high standard and when it failed, especially on the biggest of stages, it is more shocking than Carpenter on 3 days rest failing.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        If I am Cliff…my response is going to be…bring your damn sticks and give a guy a little help when he isn’t on top of this game

        You obviously don’t know Cliff Lee. Even Cliff Lee blames Cliff Lee. Some quotes:

        “”Any time you give a starting pitcher a four-run lead in the first two innings, he’s in a pretty good spot,” Lee said. “That’s the situation I was in. I somehow squandered it away. They got a ton of hits.”

        “They continued to fight,” Lee said. “They got some big hits when they needed to. I wasn’t able to make the pitches I needed to in the situations I needed to. I take full responsibility.””

        So NO. Cliff Lee would NOT whine about bringing sticks and telling his offense to score more runs for him because he’s not on top of his game.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      FC: Come on man. A Phillies fan calling someone else overbearing is just a little hypocritical don’t you think?

      Oh and by the way: Stereotype much? Do you know me at all? Or do you just assume I’m like that because of the team I follow? The only reason I called you overbearing is that you’ve posted your complaints over and over again when once was more than enough. Chris is a little aggressive, but aside from that I think all other Phillies fans have been more than cordial in their posts.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      Here is the point: The feeling is that 4 runs SHOULD be enough for Cliff Lee. In what fashion and how many hits they had is irrelevant. People are “bitching” about Lee because he did not pitch well. Sometimes hitters hit good pitches…that was not the case last night in my opinion. As I’ve stated numerous times, when Lee leaves the off speed pitches up he gets crushed. Hard. Repeatedly. Quickly. That was the case last night. As I’ve also stated and others have as well, the Cardinals should get credit for capitalizing on those mistakes. However, many teams have done the same to him this season when he pitches like that. If Lee pitches well last night, the Cards get maybe 2 runs. If he pitches at his best, Cards get nothing.

      • cintiphil - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        You can say the exact same thing for Carpenter.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM

        I completely agree with you but that is irrelevant to my point. Just stating why people are complaining about Lee to some extent today.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        Not on 3 days rest for the first time in his career. Carpenter clearly wasn’t himself last night. 4 runs should have been plenty for a guy in Lee’s class and it wasn’t. Disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        Probably. The only difference is that Carpenter blew it first. Usually a healthy lead gives the other starter the confidence to go out, attack the strike zone and get the outs. There’s a difference between blowing a 4-0 lead and starting your game 0-0 and immediately getting pounded. Carpenter never really recovered.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:07 AM

        I agree Monkey. And said as much in response to Chris previously. Typically, 4 runs would be enough…my guess 97 – 98 times out of 100. The point I am making here is…Carp struggled mightily as well (from where I am sitting far worse than Cliff). Yet…the Phillies only manage 6 hits. Had your offense NOT stagnated after the early 4 runs we have a different outcome. That (in my opinion) is equally important.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        Ok, fair enough. Except the overwhelming strength of the Phillies is starting pitching. 4 runs is good enough to win in my book. Should they have scored more runs? Probably…but is shouldn’t of mattered. In fact, 4 runs has been the bench mark for them all season. I don’t have the stats in front of me and am too lazy to look them up, but when they score 4 or more runs, they win roughly 80% of the games.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        That (in my opinion) is equally important.

        And that’s where we differ. A good portion of the fan base believes that offense did enough to give a guy like Cliff Lee the opportunity to win. That’s why you see the focus of the commentary on Lee. So the failure of the offense to score more runs is not given equal importance. But that’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion.

        I just get the feeling from the dozen or so posts you’ve made on the subject that the rest of us aren’t entitled to our opinion and that we need to stop putting the blame on Lee on look at the bats.

      • kycardsfan - Oct 3, 2011 at 12:57 PM

        Any pitcher at their absolute best can shut down an offense, didnt E jax throw a no no last year? People saying that cliff lee at his best is better than carp at his best is foolish, i think if they are both on thier game they are almost impossible to beat…They are BOTH great pitchers

  18. cintiphil - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    As an uninterested observer, I noticed the most important part of the game. The Phills failed to hit & pitch when the had to. The Cards hit & pitched when they had to. The game is not much more complicated than that. One thing the Philly fans have to admit. In the last three weeks of the regular season, the Phills were one of the worst teams in the NL, and the Cards were one of the best. Is this a trend? We won’t know until this is over, but it is a caution to the Phills. they have to pick up their game or they will lose. The Cards starters will have to pitch better, or they will lose.

    I really like this game and will be watching with all of you guys. I am not sure who I want to win YET!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      Is that not the most important part of every baseball game?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 11:10 AM

        Hahaha! Yeah…fairly important.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:06 PM

      Francisco: I will state it again…we are going to have to agree to disagree. I will leave it at this…had you guys NOT stopped hitting after putting up (4) runs we could quite possibly be discussing a different outcome (regardless of how poorly Cliff threw). Cause’ you see…the Cardinals continued to hit IN SPITE OF how poorly Carp threw. In a nutshell…the Cardinals played a full (9) innings. Please know I am NOT coming on this site and trying to offend you (by calling you overbearing)…or otherwise start an argument (by incorrectly stating you feel other people aren’t entitled to their opinion). I thought we were debating the game (as opposed to trying to bait someone into an argument).

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:11 PM

        stl, had the Phillies kept hitting, they may have won the game…in spite of how poorly Lee pitched. Is that what you are saying? OK, I agree with that. However, had Lee pitched better, they would have won the game doing exactly what they did. Do you disagree with that?

        And again, no offense, but really…enough with the whole Carp thing. He was pitching on 3 days rest, threw 3 innings and wasn’t really a factor at all in the game, other than being the guy who handed the Phillies 4 runs because he was tired. Shoot…Lohse pitched better than Carp did. The difference was the Doc put the Cards offense down 21 in a row while Lee struggled all night.

        If that doesn’t make sense to you, then I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:31 PM

        Chris: Pretty simple…you continue to bring the sticks (by that I mean…play a full 9)…and the outcome is quite possibly different (regardless of how Cliff pitches). Not sure I am following you (waite…in fact, I flat out don’t see your point with your “enough of the whole Carp thing.”). I mean…didn’t he pitch atrociously and get pulled in the 3rd? Yet…that had no bearing on the outcome (aside from giving up the four runs of course)???? And yes…Lohse was more effective (until the 6th inning of course). And still with the Doc (21 up…21 down thing). Not sure what you are getting at. Yes…he flat shut em’ down after the 1st innning (very similar to the 17 up…17 down from our bullpen last night). No offense…but really…enough of the whole Doc thing.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:52 PM

        stl you want to keep on giving more of the credit to the Cards offense and less to the fact that Lee sucked. But the fact is that the same exact offense that you are saying is so responsible for all the success against Lee was pretty much shut down the night before. And it isn’t like the Phillies went from Doc to Blanton…it was Doc to Lee.

        Sure, I’d like to see the Phillies score 15 runs a game. But I give credit to the Cardinals bullpen on shutting down the Phillies offense…kinda like how Lee should have shut down the Cardinals and kinda like how Doc did the night before. Do you get that notion?

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        We’ve been disagreeing all day, and I’m fine with that. I happen to agree with the position that 95-98% of the time you give Cliff Lee 4-0 lead and that’s a sure bet to win regardless of how the offense performs later. So folks are leaning more on observing a rare event (Lee faltering) than an all too common event (Phillies offense not getting the job done late in the game).

        As for starting up arguments, you’re the one who came first with a pretty aggressive position brooking no argument or counterpoint.

        Don’t accuse people of having no balls for not agreeing with your side of the argument. Or belittling their arguments:

        Finally…somone with the balls to actually admit is was not all bad pitching.
        If your Aunt had balls she would be your Uncle.

        Don’t call them hypocritical or stereotype them.

        Phillies fan calling someone else overbearing is just a little hypocritical don’t you think?

        You could have agreed to disagree from the beginning perhaps something along the lines of: “Guys I disagree with your notion that Cliff Lee was the primary problem here. I believe your lack of offense against the St. Louis pen was why you lost the game. When you only get 6 hits and the opposition gets 13 bad things will happen.”

        But you instead started by stating your opinions as flat out facts:

        So again…the 6 hits are what cost you this game.
        The fact that you feel your offense deserves credit after only scratching out 6 hits is hard to believe.

        So you’re going to have to excuse us folks for being a little miffed at being attacked so aggressively and continuously on the finer points of baseball. It’s only much much later that you started couching your posts with: hey, this is just my opinion. But in the beginning you came out really really strong. I think you were miffed at a perceived slight of the St.Louis offense when nothing of the kind actually happened.

  19. ramsfan1818 - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Come on guys. David Carpenter pitches for Houston and therefore is not even in the playoffs. Oh…CHRIS Carpenter.

    All kidding aside. Cliff Lee and Chris Carpenter’s career stats are very similar. Both are excellent pitchers.

    Cliff Lee Carpenter
    Winning % – 63% 61%
    CG – 26* 33
    Shutouts – 11* 15
    ERA – 3.65 3.76
    * Lee has only pitched about 80% as many games as Carp, so the CG & SO stats come up similar as well.

    Carpenter’s numbers have looked bad this year partially due to the middle infield defense(less).
    So, all in all, it is team sport. I’ve seen pitchers lose a 2 hit performance. If the run support or defense is not there, it doesn’t matter much how good the pitcher is pitching.

    That is why they play the game. I do give kudos to the Phillies fans for being loud last night. I hope the Cardinals win the next two so we don’t have to go back there. lol

    Also, sorry for my spelling. I’m not an English teacher.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      Chris: NO…I do NOT want to give any more credit to the Cardinals offense last night than I did to Doc in game #1. The Phillies played a full (9) in game #1. From innings 2 – 8 Doc flat shut down the Cardinals offense. Again…Doc flat shut them down. One more time…Doc flat shut them down. Game over. The Cardinals played a full (9) in game #2. From innings 4 – 9 the Cardinals pen flat sut down the Phillies offense. Game over. Pretty simple…The Phillies hit in game #1 and Doc was throwing Darts. The Cardinals hit in game #2 and the Pen was lights out. I am sure you see the correlation I am making here. Neither of which speaks to the level of innefectiveness from BOTH starting pitchers last night.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        stl, this is true that both starters were bad last night. However, Carpenter being bad was not a surprise…on the road on a cold night with 3 days rest even TLR didn’t expect much and pulled him after 3 innings. However, Cliff Lee is money in that spot, as you agreed, 97 or 98% of the time. So yeah, this was that 1 time in 50 that it would have been nice for the Phillies to score a few more runs. But they didn’t and since you think the Phillies win the game 49 out of 50 times in that scenario, you should be as shocked as everyone that Lee choked the game away. I’m not even sure what the heck your side of this debate is anymore :D

  20. stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Francisco: Finally…something we can agree on. Yes…I feel the Cardinals offense was slighted. You out him someone 13 – 6 and find the only thing people want to talk about his their Pitchers struggles. As if (again)…the Cardinals starting pitcher was dealing a complete game shutout. Enough though…we are not going to agree on this so I think I am ready to call it a stalemate. Good debate though. I really enjoyed it.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      Well I’m sorry you feel the Cardinals offense was slighted, that was not the intention. Maybe Phillies fans are way too enamored with Cliff Lee. But at least I had good reasons for higher expectations of Cliff Lee’s performance. You’re correct we won’t agree on this point. I understand what you’re saying, but I will still lean more on the “if only Cliff Lee had been dominant” position than the “if only the Phillies bats had been more clutch” position and it has nothing to do with perceiving the Cardinal’s offense as inferior or underwhelming.

      In any case, a good rule of thumb is this: if you find yourself going back and forth more than 3 posts, it’s a good bet you’re not going to agree on a particular position. Continue to debate the finer points and try not to take it personally. I’m trying to have fun and it’s not my intention to offend anybody (even though my snark gets the better of me at times).

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        We are good (both you and Chris). I could talk baseball all day (as evidenced by our continual debate). LOL! Good luck tomorrow evening fellows…I am just hoping my Cardinals have more of it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:54 PM

        FC, my %’s of blame for the Phillies loss last night would go as follows…tell me if you agree or disagree…

        Lee 85%
        Cardinals Offense 10%
        Phillies Defense 5%

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 4:46 PM

        I trend in your direction. You expect Lee to be awesome. Then again he did have an awful April and July… man I hope this doesn’t mean he’s going to have an awful October… assuming he gets another start naturally.

  21. spudchukar - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Still think LaRussa should have started Garcia in Phillie Fior et al? Now he is rested, at home, and in the position to put the Pheelies one game from elimination. No guarantees or predictions, but I like our chances in Game 3 more than any other.

    I watched Lee pitch his last game vs. the Braves and was surprised he threw so many breaking balls. I wondered if his arm was 100%, not saying he is injured, just not in top-notch shape. But the many call outs on fastballs has to make you wonder about pitch selection.

    Hey, Phillie Phans how about a little consistency here. Lohse made a couple of awful pitches to Howard and Ibanez. Most hitters would have blasted high change-ups over the heart of the plate. So either it was poor pitch selection and location by Lohse, not just great hitting, or else the Cards offense was fully responsible for Lee’s defeat. You cannot have it both ways.

    Many questioned LaRussa in Game One for his two inning use of Dotel. Perhaps the most difficult decisions he makes is not shooting all your ammo in one game. Looked like at the time Halladay was unhittable, so his choice to save arms for Game 2 payed off handsomely. It is tough to not go all in, especially in a short series, but having Garcia ready in Game 3 is more unconventional strategy that looks better every day.

    Now the Phillies are in a tough spot. “If” and it is a big “if”, the Cards can prevail in Game 3 do they force Cholly to go to Halladay on short rest? That leaves Carpenter vs. Lee again in a possible Game 5, if Halladay can beat St. Louis at home. Not saying we are in the driver’s seat, but I like our chances more than when the series started, and a lot of that can be attributed to the choices TLR has made.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:40 PM

      To answer your first question, Yes. I would rather have Carpenter on full rest in game 3 than Garcia in game 3 if I were a Cardinals fan. The way the Phillies were swinging the bats yesterday, I don’t think they would have hit Garcia any more than they would have hit the bullpen. Carpenter was as useless as a third tit last night and it showed.

      About your second paragraph…are you seriously going to compare Kyle Lohse to Cliff Lee? Seriously? Potatoman, are you mashed?

      Finally, you “like your chances more now than when the series started?” Really? After splitting in Philly you actually like your chances more? LOL. Good one Einstein.

      • spudchukar - Oct 3, 2011 at 4:08 PM

        But if Carpenter pitches Game 3, then he is most likely finished for the series. This way you get Garcia at home for Game 3 and a fully rested Carpenter in Game 5 if necessary. It also makes Cholly’s decision tougher on the Game 4 starter, assuming he is down 1-2, which is not a prediction just a discussion point.

        Had LaRussa saved Carpenter for Game 3 then Game 4 would be Westbrook or Jackson and then either Lohse or Garcia in a possible Game 5 match-up, not a scenario most Cards fans would welcome. If it happens to go 5, we want a rested Carpenter for all the marbles.

        I doubt if the Phils will or should go to Halladay in Game 4. Oswalt has pitched well lately, and I gotta believe Cholly would prefer Oswalt in St. Louis, rather than Lee vs Carpenter rematch. The Cards know Oswalt well, and have had some success against him, but when he is “on” like he has been lately, then it will take everything we have to beat him, especially if it is Westbrook or Jackson. I hope they go back to Lohse, let him go about 5 and then turn it over to the pen.

        No where did I try to compare the talents of Lee and Lohse, what I was emphasizing was when both made mistakes in the middle of the plate they got hit. That is what big league players do. So either it is poor pitching or hitters capitalizing on mistakes. Phillie Phans want their cake and eat it too.

        It also seems to me that what LaRussa was hoping for was a split in Philly, then everything would be set up nicely, it was a gamble and it paid off. Now we have to take advantage of the advantage. Easier said than done.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        But when Lohse misses in the middle of the plate, it is expected. When Lee does it, it is that 1 time out of 50 where he blows a 4 run lead.

        Look, Cardinals fans…you guys deserved the win in game 2. No question about it. Lee sucked, but the bats also have to hit and I give them credit there. But the offense of the Cardinals is not and should not be the story of game 2. They actually scored more runs in game 1!!!!! The story of game 2 was the bad pitching of Cliff Lee. Plain and simple. You want call that a slight to your offense, OK. But Ryan Howard hitting a 3 run bomb off Lohse is nowhere near comparable to Ryan Freaking Theriot hitting a pair of doubles off one of the best pitchers in baseball.

        And again…of course TLR wanted the split. Without that, the series would be over. Now, it’s a series. Beat Hamels or else the best you guys can hope for is a game 5 reunion where Doc will try to build on his “21 consecutive Cardinals hitters looking silly streak” :D

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      Well stated Spud. Be careful giving TLR any credit though. In today’s world…it seems the trendiest thing to do is bash or otherwise question every move he makes. The only thing trendier is to do so while wearing flip flops made of hemp and sipping on a “Coffee” with whipped cream.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 4:10 PM

        Chris: You were 90% Cliff earlier in the day. Do I sense some credit actually going to the Cardinals offense? LOL! Joke…Joke…I AM ONLY JOKING. Hahahaha!

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 3, 2011 at 4:22 PM

        I actually have reasoning behind those percentages…the first ones were only the blame on the Phillies part. The second ones were sort of “reasons the Cardinals won”. Either way, Lee’s breakdown was far and away the major story.

  22. spudchukar - Oct 3, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    So who is it going to be in Game 4 if the Cards happen to win Game 3?

    One thing for sure the weather will be perfect for the 2 Games in St. Louis.

    Is It Always Sunny In St. Louis?

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2011 at 4:39 PM

      I sure hope it’s Jackson. I like the kid. I think he has great make up. Seems to stay even keeled…paces himself. Westbrook scares the hell out of me. Let’s keep him in the pen.

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