2011 WS Preview: St. Louis Cardinals 2011 WS Preview: St. Louis Cardinals 2011 WS Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

2011 WS Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

Tony La Russa

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The 2011 World Series kicks off on Wednesday night, with the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Texas Rangers to start this best of seven series.

Which team has the advantage?

I have watched both teams throughout this postseason and they match up well. So instead of going stat crazy, below are my cut and dry observations of the St. Louis Cardinals.


The Good:

There is no denying that something special is going on in St. Louis. Remember the Cardinals were not supposed to be here. Actually the Cardinals were not supposed to make the post season, beat the Phillies or the Brewers either but this team continually defies the odds. Regardless that the Cardinals have the best player on earth, Albert Pujols, it is a total team effort in St. Louis and this team is hot. And when a team continually believes in themselves when no one else does, that is a team that will be hard to beat.

Also, the over-managing by skipper Tony La Russa has worked on all cylinders this post season. The sometimes-irritating La Russa is now baseball’s Einstein. The mixing and matching of his bullpen, after not one St. Louis starter in the ALCS pitched five innings, was beyond impressive. Not to mention his unconventional genius of carrying eight relievers just to make sure St. Louis didn’t get blown out by the bats of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. La Russa has been this team’s MVP this post season.

The Bad:

Thus far, the Cardinals starting pitching has gotten away with doing the bare minimum this post season because the bullpen has saved their behinds, and quite well. Still, the bullpen cannot be the Cardinals crutch, which means the starters have to contribute at least five innings because the relievers could easily run out of steam. This could be the difference maker as the Rangers hard-hitting bats can easily knock out any starter. Also, the Cardinals had a regular season record of 65-42 when a starting pitcher threw six or more innings.

The Ugly:

One thing the Cardinals do not do at all is steal bases, which eliminates an aspect of the game that can rattle opposing pitchers and can be the difference maker in a tight game. Stealing bases is a lethal asset that St. Louis cannot even fake.

If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. – Michael Jordan



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