Blog Entry

La Russa, Cards bullpen blitz Brewers in Game 5

Posted on: October 14, 2011 11:15 pm
ST. LOUIS -- You won't see this often. You surely would never see this in the American League. But as Tony La Russa continues to put on a managerial clinic in this NL Championship Series, he actually, for one fleeting moment, put more trust in starter Jaime Garcia's bat than in his arm Friday night.

Yes, St. Louis' 7-1 blitz of Milwaukee, which gave the Cardinals a three-games-to-two lead in this NLCS, was a strategist's delight.

Fourth inning, La Russa called for eight-hole hitter Nick Punto to drop a sacrifice bunt to set up a one-out, second-and-third situation for Garcia. It paid off when Garcia roped an RBI ground ball to shortstop.

Fifth inning, La Russa promptly yanked Garcia with two out, two on and a three-run lead so reliever Octavio Dotel could face slugger Ryan Braun.

It was textbook when Dotel fanned Braun in what turned out to be the game-changing -- game-saving? -- at-bat. And you could see why La Russa pounced to quickly: Braun now is 2 for 10 lifetime against Dotel with eight strikeouts.

Um, that's K-K-K-K-K-K-K-K.

And Braun is probably about a month out from winning the NL MVP award this year.

Chalk up another one for the Cardinals' overpowering bullpen, whose long relief in short order quickly has become the star of this NLCS.

La Russa has managed with a sense of urgency throughout this series, but it seemed even more on display in Game 5. Easy to understand why, too: When a series is 2-2, Game 5 always is pivotal. But with this thing headed back to Milwaukee, given the way the Brewers dominate at Miller Park, it was more pivotal than usual.

Had St. Louis headed to Wisconsin having to win both games in Miller Park, well, it would have been worse than bad cheese curds for the Cards.

But now the pressure is squarely on the Brewers.

St. Louis winning one of the next two in old Milwaukee? Now, that's doable.


Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2011 2:04 pm

La Russa, Cards bullpen blitz Brewers in Game 5

Wow.  Sir, I am at a loss on where to begin.  To be honest, I just couldn't force myself to wade through this diatribe that consisted *mostly* of incoherent babble.  Do you realize that when you want to place emphasis on a statement you shouldn't over use italics or the weight of your statement gets lost?  Probably not or else you wouldn't have resulted in utilizing bolding and italics on some words.  Then later you thought your point wan't getting through so you bolded, italicized, underlined and wrapped your statement in quotes.  Well played, good sir.  Are we to take it that "a drama master" is the most important statement in this rambling essay?  I just want to be sure that I fully understand your incredibly complicated priority system of font style combinations.  Maybe that would allow me to better comprehend this mess.  I mean you obviously spend some time on this.  I would hate if I missed out on the "GREATEST post ever POSTED!!!11!!!1"

LMAO.  Good luck with.. whatever it is you do.

Since: Jan 24, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2011 3:47 am

La Russa, Cards bullpen blitz Brewers in Game 5

Put a fork in the Brewers...???


TLR may have "managed with a sense of urgency" these past FEW games, BUT that is NOT how he has managed for the entire season...UNTIL he was forced into changing his ways!  

IF you will recall, in Game #1 of this series, featuring the SAME STL starting pitcher as THIS evening, the illustriously talented and super-capable Jaime Garcia, Tony LaGenius exhibited a completely DIFFERENT  display of baseball acumen and intuition.   With the Redbirds cruising into the home (Brewer) half of the 5th inning leading by THREE,  LaGenius, after watching JG give up a lead-off single (Hart), followed immediately by an effortless looking double (Hairston), did NOT show even enough concern (with the MEAT of the order coming up next) EVEN to slow down the game a little bit (for RP consideration)!  You see, Braun had ALREADY homered and Fielder has been HBP in the FIRST!  

A complete idiot could see that RB and PF were going to seriously rake JG if given ANOTHER CHANCE!   I am sure that millions of RebBird fans were screaming at TLR through their television screens just like me as he literally "THREW" GAME ONE AWAY! 

The pattern was unmistakable, painfully predictable, and well recognized by every CONSCIOUS CARDINAL FOLLOWER ON EARTH WELL BEFORE IT HAPPENED!

Commenters dismissing fans like myself as bitter TLR haters or pathetic second (TLR) guessers, are either hopelessly blind, misinformed, OR mindlessly loyal LaGenius sycophants themselves!   We have been watching this VERY SAME script all year long, and it has been ONLY the greatness and resiliancy (plus a good deal of luck AND EVEN  a significant dose of LaGenius' acquiesense toward the end) of character that has carried this team to this (seemingly) most unlikely of scenarios!

We ALL KNOW that had TLR pulled Garcia at the appropriate moment in Game #1 (as was done in Game #5), it is JUST AS LIKELY that STL would have WON game #1 instead of losing it!   Who knows, MAYBE that would have changed the mindset and determination of the STL team in Game #2...causing a radically different outcome in THAT game!?

While it IS true that trade deadline transactions dramatically changed the make-up, efficacy, and inherent strategic competency of this STL bullpen, make NO MISTAKE that TLR's use (misuse) of the original BP accentuated and even CULTIVATED the need for the front office to effect certain roster moves (lest the BP's shortcomings and blame for another LOST season be laid at the feet of the GENERAL Manager instead of the FIELD BOSS!

Go back and CHECK
TLR's quotes, his interviews, and explanations regarding his decision making from regular season collapses - STARTING WITH the 26 blown saves - and it WILL be clear that "winning" is NOT this manager's primary matter HOW serious he portends to be devastated by losses!   Check out his record in extra innings!  

Tony LaRussa is, "a drama master", whose strategic managerial style is NOT to (necessarily) win the MOST games!   NO!   By driving this team into the ground and maximizing its "hardships", its unfortunate adversity, AND unfair afflictions, it is THE MASTER...the indomitable genius and MIRACLE GENERATING HIGHER INTELLIGENCE which no one can deny OR replace, that is the singular and MOST important driving force behind this EPIC and UNPRECEDENTED FEAT!  

Would THIS series' outcome be nearly so remarkaable had these Cardinals NOT lost game one, having to manage AROUND the disappointing start of Garcia?   We already KNOW what this pitching staff IS and what it is NOT!   Garcia's performance is completely predictable, especially if you pay attention to his ability to keep pitches DOWN and/or where Yoda master Yadi dictates...home versus away, etcetera and ad nauseum...RB's double and PF's HR were literally TLR "calls" (in game #1)!   His (Garcia's) being lifted in a timely manner in Game #5 was as correct as it was predictably contributatory to a win!  

Lohse pitched beautifully until he CLEARLY "lost it" in Game #1 of the NLDS against the Phillies as well...ALWAYS BETTER to come from behind, huh?   Westbrook had a game where he had a "no-no perfect game" into the sixth in August, when you could easily sense (very abruptly, but definitively) he was "done" when he started getting hit and TLR would NOT take hin out until the hame was thoroughly screwed beyond ANY chance of recovery!   

This Cardinal team should easily have won 100 games this about switching to a manager for 2012 NOT so ego driven that everything 'HAS TO BE "HIM" in order for the team to succeed?   Is it ANY mystery why this year seems like deja vu (2006) all over again?   Like many others, I LOVE seeing these Redbirds winning and contending!   After 16 years on THIS TRACK, though, why not try a DFIFFERENT script writer...EVEN if it means losing DD as pitching coach as well!?!?


PS:   My CURRENT concern is that TLR will give Edwin Jackson a liitle TOO much latitude if/when in trouble (for Game #6 of the NLCS), BUT I honestly ALSO think that at this particular juncture in time he covets having CARP starting off the WS game #1 MORE than creating an "interesting" game #7 for the NL pennant!   

Since: Nov 22, 2010
Posted on: October 15, 2011 12:20 am

La Russa, Cards bullpen blitz Brewers in Game 5

Put a fork in the Brewers, the Cardinal love Miller Park and they can win on the road unlike the Brewers.  Two glaring weaknesses in this series is so evident a novice baseball fan can plainly see it:  1) Defense and 2) road victories or lack of.  Both have plagued this team throughout the season and St Louis is definately reminding them of that.  Hariston missing that grounder at third was the game changer and the Brewers are not good having to battle back on the road.  I just don't see St Louis losing 2 games at Miller Park and the Brewers are in a terrible position with pitchers.  Start Marcum and you have given the series away, start Yo and they win who do you have in game 7 against Carpenter.  Game 2 was the game that will be viewed as the one that ended the series, you cannot lose home field based on the 2/3/2 schedule.  Good year but very disappointing.

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