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Now It Comes Down to the Red Sox and the Cardinals

Last post, dear blog readers, I commented that I didn’t see how the Red Sox, Cardinals, or Dodgers could lose based on the way they were playing recently – in the case of the Red Sox the way they were playing all year.

Well, someone had to lose in the St. Louis-Los Angeles NLCS and the Dodgers were spanked in the deciding 6th game, 9-0. LA did have two bona fide aces in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke but somehow the Cardinals have been able to beat Kershaw throughout his budding first-rate career. He lost Game 2 in this year’s NLCS and was the victim of the 9-0 rout.

The Cardinals continue to amaze with their ability to find answers within their farm system for departed and injured players. First, when Albert Pujols bolted to the Angels in free agency after the 2011 season, they found homegrown Allen Craig to replace him. When Craig suffered a foot injury late this season, burly Matt Adams, a low round draft pick from Slippery Rock University in western Pennsylvania, stepped in as a very capable replacement. Craig may be ready for the World Series to give a boost to the Cardinals’ sometimes spotty offense.

And their young pitchers have deservedly the talk of baseball. Michael Wacha was pitching for Texas A & M as late as spring 2012 but he was the NLCS MVP for his two victories against the Dodgers. To make matters even sweeter for the Cardinals is that Wacha was drafted with the pick the Redbirds received for losing Albert Pujols as a so-called “premium” free agent.

It was fitting that the Red Sox did in the Tigers with two crushing grand slams at Fenway because they have been winning dramatic games coming from behind all season. Fitting also that closer Koji Uehara was the ALCS MVP because he has been amazingly consistent since he took over the closer’s role early in the summer.

I find it amusingly ironic that Uehara used to boast bushy muttonchops but now has virtually displays a baby-faced look while beards grow all around him. Uehara is 38 but the new cleaner-shaved look has him seem half his age.

I am sure the Orioles and the Rangers rue that they let Uehara go but Baltimore can take a little solace in knowing that they received Chris Davis, the new HR champion of baseball, and reliable reliever Tommy Hunter in the trade for him. I am also amused that Uehara to some seems like an Irish name while, of course, he is a veteran of many successful years in the Japanese major leagues. And Darren O’Day, a valuable Orioles reliever, is not Irish but a Polish-American from Chicago.

The Red Sox have the home field advantage in the World Series and I thought it would be a factor against Detroit and it could be again in the upcoming battle with St. Louis.
But if Allen Craig can contribute and the young Cardinals keep up their smooth playing, I like them in five or six.

On the other hand, for those of you all enough to remember the 1946 World Series, maybe it will go seven games and unlike Johnny Pesky, Dustin Pedroia will not hold onto the ball too long and throw out a key run at the plate in behalf of the Red Sox cause.

Back to you when the hot stove league really picks up. For now: always remember to take it easy but take it.
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