And here we are again. The Cards and Pirates are once again locked up in a tie in the National League Division Series. When I wrote my previous 7-10 split post on Sunday, it was only the third game of the series and the Cards would have another game to play if they had lost, and sure enough, they did.
We all know what happened on Monday, though. Michael Wacha pitched the game of his young career, making manager Mike Matheny look like a genius and giving Game 5 hope to Cards fans everywhere. And now the Cards and Pirates are back in St. Louis with the series tied up once again. Only tonight’s game is a do or die game. One team goes home and the other team goes on. And which team will do which?
The Cardinals will be back in their home nest tonight. They will no longer have to listen to the loud, raucous Pittsburgh fans chanting the pitcher’s name and waving those black rally towels. (Thankfully, the towels were black rather than that hideous yellow color the Bucs used to have on their uniforms.) Michael Wacha may have liked that the Pittsburgh fans chanted his name, but it sounded more like a hockey or a football crowd than a baseball crowd. Cards fans, who are rightly called the best fans in baseball, will root loudly for their team, applaud great plays (even by opposing players), and dress in more red than you’ll see at Christmas. The atmosphere in the park during a playoff game is electric and I wish that I could be there in person tonight. 😦
Alas, the TBS announcers will be rooting for the Bucs like they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. Never mind that the Cardinals have been to the playoffs the last three years in a row, or that they’ve won 2 World Series in the last 5 years. I get the underdog story, but at least the announcers could acknowledge that the Cardinals are playing well too. In short, be non-biased. Sadly, during the next round, the TBS broadcast team will be in the tank for the Dodgers. At our house, we will probably mute the TV and listen to John and Mike on KMOX. There is an interesting delay between the radio broadcast and the TV broadcast – we hear big plays on the radio before we see them on TV.
Here’s what needs to happen tonight (besides a Cardinals win, that is). Matt Carpenter’s bat appears to have fallen asleep and it needs to be woken up. After Matt got hit #199, the hits stopped coming. This is an important game, but Waino needs to not be nervous. The defense needs to be razor sharp. And the more runs, the better.
I’ll be on Twitter commenting during the game, so follow me at @Diane1611. Go Cards! See you next time!