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NLCS Game 7: St. Louis Cardinals v. New York Mets
By mvyb, 19.10.2006, 17:16

 
Not much going on in the Yankee Empire, so like everyone else, I'm gearing up for tonight's Game 7 of the NLCS.
 
What a series it has been for the Cards and Mets, both teams have played admirably and with a lot of spirit ( something that you didn't see in the Yankees, Padres, Dodgers, or Twins). A week ago, I would have laughed at you if you had told me the Cardinals would play well enough to challenge the Mets for the National League title.  St. Louis stumbled into the postseason, carrying the worst record of all 8 playoff-bound teams. Somehow, they regrouped, thanks to great pitching ( by Weaver, Suppan, and 'pen) and decent offense ( led by Eckstein, Spiezio, Pujols, and Molina).
 
And how about those "pitcher-less" Mets? How can they continue to play so well? 
 
If you took away two top starting pitchers from the other playoff teams, they wouldn't survive:
 
Imagine the A's without Zito or Loaiza, the Tigers without Rogers or Verlander, and the Cardinals without Carpenter or Weaver. The teams would be creamed. But the Mets somehow found a way, and are on the verge of heading to the World Series for the first time in 6 years.
 
I'm sure you'all know that I am an avid Yankee fan, but part of me roots for the Mets every time they play. When the '06 season started, I wanted the Yanks to win it all, but if they couldn't, the Mets were the team I'd cheer for through October.
 
The pitching matchup tonight does favor the Cardinals:
 
Jeff Suppan (1-0, 0.00) v. Oliver Perez ( 1-0, 7.90)
 
Suppan is 3-1 ( 2.27 ERA) in 6 regular season starts against the Mets. He shut them out over 8 innings in Game 3 at St. Louis. Suppan hasn't pitched as well on the road this year as he has at home, which should serve as a slight advantage for the Mets. The Amazins' are going to have to put together good at-bats, score first, and hold the momentum throughout the game.
 
Oliver Perez was a late-season pickup for the Mets, and is now making what is probably his most important career start. Last time out ( in Game 4), he pitched well enough to win, even though he allowed 3 long balls over 5.1 innings pitched. Perez has the stuff to pitch brilliantly, he just needs to hit his spots consistently.
 
Tonight's Starting Lineups:
 
SS- Eckstein
LF- Wilson
1B- Pujols
RF- Encarnacion
CF- Edmonds
3B- Rolen
C- Molina
2B- Belliard
P- Suppan
 
 
SS- Reyes
C- Lo Duca
CF- Beltran
1B- Delgado
3B- Wright
RF- Green
2B- Valentin
LF- Chavez
P- Perez
 
Do or die for both teams. It doesn't get better then this...
 
Go Mets! 

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