As game 3 enters the lenses tonight in Los Angeles between the Cardinals and Dodgers, things are looking pretty good for the home team redbirds. Why are things looking shiny red for the team in the craziness and zany lost soul depravity that is LA, here are some reasons.
*They won two games started by the Dodgers’ best starters. While only scoring 4 runs in two wins, the Cards managed to sneak past both Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw on full rest, and used the strength of a man named Wacha, their young bullpen, The Beltran and other cameo clutch appearances by guys wearing birds on the bat. If they see the two hurlers again, it may be on short rest which might not bode well for the Dodgers. Instead of escaping Busch with a win, the Cards got 2 and put the Dodgers and Don Mattingly in a pressurized situation that may seem worse than Sandra Bullock’s space odyssey in Gravity by the end of this evening. We got first blood and more.
*In a freak wild fastball, Joe Kelly broke one of Hanley Rameriz’s ribs and has thrown the hot hitting shortstop into a panic trying to get ready for Game 3. The young man will wear everything except an medieval armor set to play tonight but won’t be near 100 percent. That means he won’t be so hot hitting anymore. He doesn’t have to swing viciously to connect but Hanley will be wincing in pain and could tear a muscle or harm other vital pieces of his torso trying to play baseball with a broken rib. This isn’t football or hockey where men are thrown into a phone booth to wrestle with other human beings for 3 hours. This is a finesse game. Watch out Dodger fans, you may see the cart tonight. Adding insult to injury, Andre Ethier isn’t 100 percent and may be scratched or pulled midway through tonight’s game. This LA team is built on mercenaries and when they fail there is no waiting option like Matt Adams or Trevor Rosenthal. There is a far lesser threat waiting in Nick Punto for Rameriz.
*Yasiel Puig is very human and can be solved. His patience and mental game are way off. In 10 at bats at Busch this weekend, he struck out 6 times physically and 40 times mentally. He looked lost, mad and resembled Lance Lynn with a bat after strike calls. Mark McGwire tried to console him to no avail. He had to be talked to several times. This guy was happy as pigs in shit in August but now looks like a man who has only played MLB for 3 months. He isn’t ready for this stage and while he has the dripping juicy talent, he is a liability until the Cards make a mistake to him. He looks like the untrained kid lurking near the lions den. This young Cardinal pitching may just eat him up. He is still dangerous but the Cards have written a book on how to stop him over 2 games.
*Adam Wainwright going tonight is Chuck Norris leading you into foreign territory. He is mentally tough and stronger than any pitcher alive right now in another team’s park. In his past 6 starts, Waino has been as dominant as one pitcher can be. Deep into games. Strikeouts. Deadly curve or not Wainwright is money bags right now. He only gets better as the game progresses. Having him in Games 3 and 7 is like having a Tommy Gun waiting at the vital and end point of a knife fight. Lights out ladies and gents. Can the Dodgers beat our ace or will we just own the Hollywood hills tonight?
*Allen Craig is taking swings in batting practice. No offense music fans but that is like seeing the original group of Led Zeppelin performing a soundcheck in a Walmart parking lot. It’s gravy. If he can make it back for the World Series, the American League team has ZERO home field advantage.
*Trevor Rosenthal’s right hand is still on fire from the 14 fastballs he threw on Saturday. Holy thunderbolts from Zeus’ ass did we see him doing that after going 3-2 on the first hitter. Unless you told Andre Ethier to swing 5 seconds before Trevor pitched, he had no chance. I call him Super Smoke Stack Special. SSSS. Rosenthal deserves a barbecue joint to be named after him. For every strikeout, a free rack of ribs. Go ahead. You can use that until it goes dry.
*What else? After further testing, Carlos Beltran isn’t a postseason monster. He is just the calmest man in the ballpark at the moment. Every night. Remember when Marc Bulger was awesome and he was so quiet and blank. Beltran is the same thing minus the 256 sacks. He is a stone cold killer.
*Chris Carpenter is retiring. It was suspected but now confirmed. My take. Good for him. Get out before your arm falls off and you can’t pick up your kid. When nerve damage entered the equation in February, any chance of a Carpenter comeback was incredibly rare. He came back from 5 potential career ending injuries. He has more additional parts than Robocop and Iron Man combined. He is a true pro, future coach and my favorite Cardinal of all time. I will miss seeing him take the mound. Truly miss it. It was a special night and while Waino is almost there and Wacha is starting to resemble the older men, Carpenter is one of a kind. When his rehab mission short circuited, I wrote this column about him for my site.
That’s all I got. Go Cards and let’s take one more step towards a World Series visit.
For Max Scherzer, I am sorry man. There’s getting kicked in the testicles and then there is what happened to you last night in Boston.
Thanks for staying to the end,
Dan L. Buffa
PHOTO CREDIT-Jackson Rossi