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Looking ahead to tonight’s playoff action

Oct 17, 2012, 8:53 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lohse delivers a pitch to a Washington Nationals batter during the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in St. Louis

Sad jams:  this could be the last time we have multiple baseball games on one day this year. What’s on tap:

Giants vs. Cardinals, 4PM Eastern: Fox:  The series is tied 1-1, but in some ways it feels like the Cardinals are behind. Probably because their starting pitching is in need of some stability. Indeed, they haven’t had a starter go more than four innings in three straight playoff games. Sure, they’ve won two of those three games, but they can’t really expect to make it through a seven game series with the tightrope act they’ve had on display.

Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86 ERA) takes the hill for the Cards and will try to turn that dynamic around. This will be his first action against San Francisco this season.  Matt Cain (16-5, 2.79 ERA) goes for the Giants. He faced the Cardinals twice in 2012 and was beat up pretty badly, surrendering nine runs in 11 and two-thirds innings over two starts.  At present it looks like Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro will play despite the strained hip he suffered as a result of Matt Holliday‘s farkakte slide in Monday’s game, but he is in some pain and we could just as easily see Ryan Theriot take his place.

Yankees vs. Tigers, 8PM Eastern: TBS: It’s do or die time for the Bombers, and if they have to do, at least they have CC Sabathia on the mound. The Yankees ace came up aces in each of his two playoff starts so far, and they need him to do it again or else it’s fishin’ season for New York. He’s 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA on the year. He made three starts against the Tigers in 2012, winning all three, while allowing eight earned runs in 21 and two-thirds.  Countering Sabathia will be Max Scherzer (16-7, 3.74). He was rocked by the Yankees in his lone start against them this year, but that came way back on April 29, and Scherzer in the second half of the season was a way different pitcher — a way better one — than he was back then.

The real issue isn’t the pitching, though — the Yankees’ pitching has been pretty fantastic, actually — it’s the dead bats. A-Rod and Nick Swisher seem like personae non gratae in Joe Girardi’s lineup, and even when they’ve been in it, they have been non-entities. As has Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and just about everyone else.  You can’t win if you don’t score, and the Yankees just haven’t done it. If this is the last time they play in 2012, it’ll be because the bats just died.

  1. sdelmonte - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Just worth noting that the Tigers’s bats haven’t been doing a lot, either. If there is any room for hope in Yankees fandom, it’s that it might not take much hitting to eke out a win, followed by another win, and so on.

    It’s not likely that the Yankees come back. I would bet on the Tigers by now. But if it can happen once, it can happen again.

    • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      True, there was 1968. But that was down 3-1 for the Tiggers and ’68 was full of all kinds of weird juju. Then again, this is beisbol, last bastion of the unlikely in the real.

    • kevinbnyc - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      No question that both teams’ strengths have been their pitching staffs. But the Tigers have been able to do something with the rare mistake. The pitch Delmon yanked out caught too much of the plate, and he was able to take advantage. The Yankees just haven’t been able to do the same.

  2. sfm073 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    The cardinal game will be rained out.

    • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      I slept late. Did Stephanie Abrams say that? If she did, I believe it. I believe whatever she says. If she didn’t, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Thanks alot SFM. I appreciate the gloomy forcast I now get to look forward to all day.
      Jeesh! Go fill your cup up. It’s half empty.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      And now Csquared just posted an article about it. 90% chance. It’s your fault SFM. You said it first!

  3. legacybroken - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    I think the Yankees can force a Game Five or even a Six, but I don’t think they can come all the way back. That 2004 Red Sox group played fast and loose with a nothing to lose attitude. Whereas these Yankee’s are a tightly wound group of mercenaries now that Jeter is out.

    • blues1988 - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      not to mention the 04 red sox were led by juiced up manny ramirez and juiced up david ortiz

      • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        Unlike the 2004 Yankees, who were as pure as the driven snow.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM

        I’m sorry, I’m not done here. The Yankees had A-Rod, Kevin Brown, Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi. And Blues1988 would have us believe that only one team had steroid users.


      • richwizl - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        But The Yankees were all clean as a whistle, only using Wheaties; just not fair.

  4. legacybroken - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Manny was alsothe rare superstar that never cared what people thought of him. That was a blessing when they were in pressure games but a curse when he didnt feel like playing.

    • richwizl - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      Hail The Idiots!

  5. sfm073 - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I’m sorry, but I’m in St. Louis and it’s supposed to rain until 8.

  6. jprcox - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    When I first read the article I thought it was calling ARod a “dead beat” – not “dead bat” … for ARod is there a difference?

    What the heck do the Yanks do with his contract? Getting to the playoffs is not the problem for NY, its winning once there. How can they pay him that kind of money and get that kind of effort/result? This may be his last year in NY – and I dont think there will be any wet eyes when he leaves.

  7. untamedride - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    I think I know what is wrong with these Yankees! I haven’t seen one “rally cap” occasion from these guys! The O’s were trying every vudu trick in the book and lasted way longer than they should have. Verlander’s rubbing bald heads in the dug out! There is zero excitement in this team. Last night was a monster game and everyone is half asleep like its a spring training game. Flip some hats inside out! Someone grow a power stache (i know, little late for that), bust out gold thongs for the whole clubhouse! I don’t care! Do something! I don’t want to see Cano sitting in the dugout playing with his gum in the Ninth when your down by 2! This club has about as much personality as an insurance conference..

    • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:15 PM

      When the Yankees win, this is called professionalism.

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