Cheap Seats

NLCS game six, Giants 6, Cardinals 1

I'm more than a little bit disappointed by how poorly it appears the Cardinals were prepared to play games five and six of the National League Championship Series.

There is no one in their line-up who isn't hitting terribly right now. And they've put themselves in a do or die game against one of the best pitchers in baseball by blowing a commanding three games to one lead with stupendously bad play.

It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the Cardinals pounded the Giants like there was no tomorrow in games one, three and four. And the rest of the time they act like this is a spring training game and it doesn't matter if they win or lose.

The Redbirds on Friday and again on Sunday gave away at-bats in droves, flailing away at bad pitches even when they are ahead in the count. The pitching seems helpless and the defense is an utter embarrassment with 10 unearned runs allowed in this NLCS.

Meanwhile, former post season titan Chris Carpenter had his second consecutive terrible outing of this post season. He was bombed for five runs in the first two innings. But it wasn't completely his fault.

For some reason manager Mike Matheny decided with a runner on third and one out in the second inning to order his ace pitcher to intentionally walk San Francisco's eighth place hitter. With two on and one out, starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong reached on rookie shortstop Peter Kozma's error. And, before it was over, the Giants would plate three runs.

What was Matheny thinking? That Carpenter couldn't get the eighth place batter or or that the Cardinals had to desperately try for a double play because his team couldn't afford to fall two runs behind because of its missing in action offense?

It doesn't matter because the result was, instead of ceding a two-run deficit, the Cardinals handed San Francisco a three-run advantage. And it was pretty obvious after that debacle that Matheny decided the game was over.

He let Carpenter hit for himself in the third and then, when he finally took his ailing starter out, he put in rookie Shelby Miller to save the experienced bullpenners for Monday night. 

I sure hope the Redbirds have more confidence than they are currently projecting. Because it doesn't seem like the have any at this point.

There's not much to feel positive about for the Monday game other than that the Redbirds have one more chance to straighten themselves out -- and they seem to play their best with their backs up against the wall.

Someone really needs to inform the Cardinals that there are other opportunities to score besides when you're down to the last strike of the last inning of your last game.

But they choose to do things the hard way time and time again. And at some point their bag of tricks is going to be fresh out of miracles. Hopefully they have one more and they can clean up this mess they made for themselves before it's too late.