Va la Gente Loca, Va Loca!!!
Well, I'm not sure how long it will be before I can talk rationally about this game. It had to be extremely entertaining to a casual viewer. But, since I'm a diehard Cardinals fan, I spend most of my time on the couch next to my brother nervously garbage-mouthing Budweisers and yelling curse words with every walk and EVERY time Juan Encarnacion came to the plate. (Speaking of Encarnacion, I know a lot was made of Oliver Perez being "the worst 7th game starter in NLCS history." But, where does Encarnacion rank as "worst clean-up hitter in NLCS history." That guy is a #7 hitter. He just is. How So Taguchi (a better defender and better contact hitter than Juan or Preston) has not gotten in the lineup is crazy.
Endy Chavez's play may be the best postseason play of all time (narrowly edging Scott Rolen's chuck into the seats in the following inning.) But, Rolen hit a rocket that Chavez had no time to gauge. He had to run full speed and get full extension into the wall and make an extraordinary catch. In response to this play my brother (27 years old, married, has a child) threw his hat across my family room and yelled "Motherfucker!", then preceded to lift his Cardinals hat and pound it into the sofa next to me for three minutes. I, however, was thrown into a coma-like state, and didn't flinch a muscle till that series of commercials were over. You can't have a bigger swing in momentum. The game was over at that play.
But, then it wasn't. Here's why:
The Cards didn't pitch to Delgado. Stay away from this man. There's a reason he has Barry Bonds power, and I think it has something to do with the size of his head. If you walk Delgado, everytime, his defense will eventually give you a run back. We walked him three times before letting our lefty specialist get a huge out on him in the eighth.
Suppan escaped a huge 1-out bases loaded jam, by striking out Valentin. And Chavez, miraculously, didn't get a hit the half-inning after robbing Rolen.
Yadier Molina homered, capping an improbably teriffic NLCS where he apparently decided to stop striking out all the time.
Keep in mind, I watched the Beltran at-bat wrapped up in a blanket, clutching a bottle of Bud and watching the TV through squinted eyes. My brother (again, 27, married, kid) watched lying on my hardwood floor and banging a yellow wiffle ball bat into the ground to get his nerves out. We didn't speak one time as soon as the baserunners got on. Hell, we didn't even make eye-contact. I'm not even sure if that kind of stress can be considered entertainment.
Oh, and if you're scoring at home: I had 6.5 bottles/cans of Budweiser last night. This brings my weekly total to 19.5 beers (Budweiser, Sam Adams Light, and Bell's Amber). I will spare the review of Budweiser. All I can say is it's delicious, and it's a superstitious thing when watching the Cards, but I don't really want to get into it.
Stay tuned for the Cards-Tigers World Series breakdown later in the day.