Cards Have A Unique Set of Skills

Matt+Holliday+St+Louis+Cardinals+v+Los+Angeles+PWt89S_pPAmlWhen I think of the Cardinals postseason success in recent years, I think of Liam Neeson’s character from the Taken franchise, Bryan Mills.

The bad guys take something from him, and taunt him. Mills responds quite clearly with a warning. “I have a unique set of skills. I will find you, and I will kill you.”

The Cards get taunted every October. “Not you again!” or “This year you will lose”. Give it a name and the threat has been made. The Dodgers are at the head of the line, in front of the Pirates and Brewers, who got ambushed by the Cards this past September. The Dodgers are sour over last October. Their star player, Hanley Rameriz, was plunked by Joe Kelly, and wasn’t the same for the entire series. Oh, and the Cards also beat the Dodgers’ ace lefty, Clayton Kershaw, twice in route to a NLCS win and a trip to Boston.

Last night, the Dodgers tried to ruffle the feathers of the Cards. Yasiel Puig was hit by Adam Wainwright and the benches cleared when Adrian Gonzalez(who must be receiving a paycheck for his work recently as Nyjer Morgan) got in Yadier Molina’s face and said enough. As Derrick Goold reported, Molina warned Gonzalez. He said if you get in my face, you better be ready for a fight(according to Goold, St. Louis Post Dispatch reporter, on his twitter page). The Dodgers were warned and kept coming.

The Cards let the score get to 6-1. Their ace was knocked down in his second worst playoff start. Wainwright looked bewildered and quite mad in the dugout. He didn’t do his job but the Cards were ready to pick him up.

As the Fox announcers waxed poetically about Kershaw and his greatness, the Cards strung five singles together before Matt Carpenter dropped a 3 run double off Kershaw to flip the score from 6-2 going into the 7th to 7-6 Cards going into the bottom of the 7th. Just like that, the Cards punched back. They warned the Dodgers, and the other team didn’t listen.

It may have been best to act like a child in the third inning, Gonzo. It may not have been best to assume the Cards had no chance of reaching Kershaw like they did a year ago, FOX. In two starts against the Cards in regular season action, Kershaw was brilliant. In his last two starts in the postseason against St. Louis, he looks like Garrett Stephenson. 15 earned runs allowed in 7 innings.

Kershaw sat in the dugout as Matt Holliday hit a game clinching three run home run and looked clueless. He had to come after Carpenter because the gritty leadoff hitter wasn’t going to chase the junk that Pete Kozma and Oscar Taveras did to get Clayton 10 strikeouts and a potential way out of the inning. That wasn’t happening. So Kershaw challenged Carpenter with fastballs, but Clayton doesn’t throw 100 mph like Aroldis Chapman. He throws 93-95 mph and it’s straight. He can tuck his arm up close to his body all he wants. It still looks the same coming to the plate. What will he do if Game 5 is needed?

The Cards did what Cardinal fans have come to expect. Get down early, and come back late. It’s not trending on twitter, but it should be. Comeback Cards are back.

This is why I urged you to toss the regular season stats and past experiences out the window when this series commenced. In the postseason, you never know. Cy Young award pitchers become human and easy to detect. Left handed sluggers who couldn’t touch left handed pitching all season long find a way to adjust. Visiting teams find a way to wreck a homecoming.

It’s all part of the reason this game is so great. You never know what’s going to happen next.

Dodgers, just don’t say the Cards didn’t warn you about this.


  • janrayewilliams October 4, 2014, 9:30 am

    Birdies on the outside….roarin’ lions underneath. Stalk ’til riled!!

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