Pirates vs Cardinals: Cardinals have home field advantage and Adam Wainwright and are battle tested. However I have concerns about the Cards bullpen and with Allen Craig still not back due to injury that really hurts the Cards. For me between the Pirates bullpen and their August additions in Byrd and Morneau to fortify their lineup I am high on the Pirates. If the Pirates can split the two games that Wainwright and Miller start I love the Pirates.
However if this series goes 5 Wainwright will get the start at home
Prediction: Pirates in 5 – I think the Cards bullpen cost them at least 1 game in this series and that will be the difference.
Dodgers vs Braves: I love the Dodgers in this series. I mean the Braves will have to face Kershaw and Greinke 3 times in a 5 game series. Also Freddy Garcia is starting game 4 with no disrespect to him. I know there are concerns to the Dodger lineup with Kemp out for the playoffs and Ethier banged up and the Braves had the best home record in baseball during the regular season (56-25 almost .700 winning percentage) but I love the Dodgers in this series. I don’t like the strikeout happy lineup of the Braves against the Dodgers pitchers. Continue reading
Baseball fans Christmas has come early. The next 3 days starting tonight at 8PM Eastern Time we get 3 elimination games with one per night starting tonight through Wednesday. Then on Thursday the playoffs take full flight and have 2 games on Thursday. Lets take a look at each elimination game.
Tonight: Rays at Rangers Thanks to the Blue Jays taking 2 out of 3 from the Rays over the weekend we get a play in game.
The Rays though throw one of their heart and soul players in David Price to the mound tonight, while the Rangers counter with youngster Martin Perez.
I worry about a 22 year old kid in a spot like this especially against someone like David Price. If I am a Rangers fan and I have a tie game come the 5th inning I say where do I sign. I have to take the Rays tonight with Price on the hill.
Tomorrow: Reds at Pirates A playoff game in Pittsburgh it’s great to see. The Pirates send their best and most consistent starter to the mound in 2013 in Francisco Liriano. The Reds counter with Johnny Cueto who has an injury plaqued oblique season. Cueto only has 2 starts under his belt since returning in mid September after missing 2 and half months with his latest oblique injury. Continue reading
Yadier Molina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just inside the final two months of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals are finding themselves in a position not to familiar to the eleven time champions: doubt.
The division rival and competing Pittsburgh Pirates have hosted the Cardinals for a five game set that may serve as a deciding factor for the NL Central title. Pittsburgh has won the first four games, including a double-header sweep on Tuesday. The Pirates have outscored the Cardinals 22-7 so far this series.
Losing both ends of Tuesday’s double dip was not even the worst part of the day for the Cardinals. In the second game, National League MVP candidate Yadier Molina left in the third inning with a knee injury. Molina’s MRI would later reveal knee inflammation which landed him on the 15 day DL.
Before his injury, Molina had put together arguably the best season of his eleven year career.
The National League’s starting catcher for the All-Star Game, Molina was batting .330 with an unusually high 54 RBI.
2.5 games out of first place and without their biggest asset for at least the next two weeks, the aging Cardinals are riding a five game losing streak and are tasked with keeping pace with the much younger and scrappy Pirates. Continue reading