Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sox In Six

Two men on. Nobody out. Nobody crosses the plate.
Two on. One out. Nobody scores.
Next inning, two on. One out. No runs.
Bases loaded, two outs, one in. First baseman bobbles the ball. Doesn't matter. Nobody else comes home.

And that, really, is why the Cardinals lost the World Series. Don't let the crooked numbers on the scoreboard fool you. The Sox, Big Papi excepted (and kudos to local sports talk guy Adam Gold for calling Colin Cowherd on his "Ortiz must be juicing" bullcrap), didn't hit worth a damn. They just got their few hits when they counted. The Cards, on the other hand, could never get it together. The team that had the best batting average with RISP in the history of baseball Mendoza Lined its way through the Series. You can point to manager Mike Matheny's weird decisions on pitching changes. You can point out that a crippled Craig and a less-than-gazelle-like Adams and Molina kept the Cardinals from taking the extra base when it was there for the taking. In the end, that's not what mattered.

Because what it boils down to is this: when you get guys on base, you've got to get them home. Four times, they had Lackey against the ropes. Four times they let him off the hook. The bottom 4 in the Cardinal order went 2-16. Of the 8 outs that doomed the Cards in the situations listed above, 6 were made by those guys. You can't win a game that way, let alone a World Series.

And this year, the Cardinals didn't.

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