World Series 2006: We've Only Just Begun
Just a few comments today:
Last night was an absolute gem by Chris Carpenter. Best stat of the night: 82 pitches. That will be important if La Russa needs to/wants to bring him back on short rest for Game 6.
Looking at the weather in St. Louis, I'm not sure that we're going to get in a game tonight, or even tomorrow. This is a plus for the Cardinals; if Game 5 gets pushed back to Friday (a rain delay tonight or tomorrow would do that), Jeff Weaver can pitch on regular rest. On the other hand, given the way he struggled with the cold in Detroit, it may be best to just skip him and give Anthony Reyes another turn.
A rainout today would especially help the Tigers, given that they went through most of their bullpen last night.
Even though they trail, Tigers fans shouldn't be worried. The top of their order will come around soon, and Jeremy Bonderman (and Justin Verlander next game) have electric stuff. They're good enough to single-handedly shut down the opposition on any given night.
A great performance and a win by Jeff Suppan tonight would enhance his reputation as a money pitcher in the playoffs, and as Buster Olney pointed out today, increase his value on the open market this winter. A win tonight might also earn him the designation of "a poor man's John Smoltz", at least in these circles. It would also increase the odds that someone will regret giving him a 4-year, $40 million contract about a month from now.
As for the lineups, I can't see Detroit making any changes to their starting eight, though they could make changes to the batting order. As for the Cardinals, I'm guessing La Russa goes with Chris Duncan in leftfield against the righthanded Bonderman. Your guess is as good as mine as to who out of Wilson, Encarnacion and Taguchi will get the call in rightfield.
This series is far from over, but it's also obvious that Detroit needs a win tonight (or whenever Game 4 happens) or else they'll be in a world of trouble. Because of this, it will be interesting to see how patient Leyland will be with Bonderman if he struggles.
Finally, there was a noticeable lack of John Mellencamp in last night's broadcast. That didn't impress me.
Enjoy the game, and feel free to use this thread to comment through the day and the game.