In a continuation of last nights article, today we will dive into the topics discussed in said article. We are going to start with the Cardinals scoring the first run in every NLCS game.
Why is this so important? If you have never played baseball, the concept I am about to explain may seem strange. It’s the quick sand theory. The harder you fight, the further you sink. When you are a hitter and you find yourself losing, you try to get it all back with one swing. Every time you step up to the plate, you are trying to knock that ball out of the park. This methodology can work late in games, but it is hard to make it work as a long term solution.
Game 1: Brewers go down 1-0 immediately. We were lucky this time. Braun came up and hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 1st. But the Cardinals still struck first. They started a trend. The goal of the Cardinals was to steal the Miller Park mojo and eventually they were successful. This game was the first step, even though the Brewers prevailed 9-6.
Game 2: The Cardinals scored 2 runs in the 1st inning, 2 more in the 3rd inning, and 1 more in the 4th inning. So before the Brewers could score 1 run, they were already down 5-0. This was sort of the theme of this series. If the Brewers were going to win the series, they were going to have to out-slug the Cardinals. Sadly, they were never able to answer that call.
Game 3: This is the one that I hate the most. Yovani Gallardo gave up 4 runs in the first inning, but the Cardinals did not score again. Did not matter though, because the Cardinals still won 4-3. This is the one game that they should have had, but could not get themselves out of the quick sand. This was also the game where the Brewers did not have a base runner in the 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th inning. In a game where you have plenty of opportunities to win and you don’t, all you can do is shake your head. Game 3 makes me shake my head. The next day I went to my Chiropractor and he told me I slipped two discs in my neck from shaking it.
Game 4: What a surprise, the Cardinals put up a quick 2 runs. Luckily, Randy Wolf settled in after that. The Brewers were able to rip this one away from the Cardinals grasp, but it was not pretty. Unlike Game 3, the Brewers were able to find some opportunities to score runs. If not for Randy Wolf, this game could have ended in heart break too. Don’t pretend that I am telling you something you don’t already know.
Game 5: Ah, the error game. The Cardinals scored 4 runs before the Brewers scored their only run of the game. Of those 4 runs, 3 of them were unearned. This game was the definition of quick sand. The harder the Crew swung, the quicker they went down. The Cardinals bullpen just stood there with a garden hose, making sure the sand stayed nice and soggy.
Game 6: 4 more runs in the 1st inning? Seriously? Twice in the same series? Unbelievable. Shaun Marcum lasted just that 1st inning, in what turned out to be a massacre that rivaled only General Custer. The Cards scored 9 runs in the first 3 innings of the decisive game. It was at that moment that I, Lou Olsen, sat down on my couch with my pal Walter, accepted defeat, and enjoyed the last few innings of the Brewers season.
The Cardinals scored 17 runs before the Brewers could answer, in a 6 game series. So, the Cardinlas were scoring 2.8 runs per game, before the Brewers could put up a run. How can you possibly hope to win that series? This isn’t beer league softball. You can’t just put up 6 run innings every time your team is up at the plate.
Our Brewers lost this series because they were always playing from behind. It is virtually impossible to seize momentum when you are constantly trying to play comeback kid. I tip my cap to the Cardinals, they were incredible at sucking the wind right out of the Brewers sails before they even got the boat off the dock.