Well, the Cards got the post-season matchup that I think most of Cardinal Nation wanted. Most people, including myself, believe we matchup better with the Dodgers than we would have with the Phils or Rockies. That being said, this series will be no piece of cake.
I like the Cards chances with the combo of Carp and Wainwright starting things off in the first two games. When starting back to back games, this duo hasn't resulted in two straight losses for the Cards since June. As long as the Cards can muster a little offense in the first couple of games, I think we'll be in good shape.
There is no shortage of concerns, however, as the Cards head to LA. Joel Pineiro hasn't inspired confidence at all with his September performance, and the bullpen has been a circus act over the last few weeks. Kyle McClellan, Jason Motte, Dennys Reyes and Ryan Franklin have all struggled with effectiveness over the last couple of weeks. The bullpen pulling it together and returning to form will be a big key to this series. I think they will do that against LA, and with the rotation going deep in these games, there will be less pressure on the bullpen. More to come on my prediction for the series in the next couple of days.
Additional playoff thoughts:
- I certainly hope that Todd Wellemeyer has wiped out his chances of being on the playoff roster. It appears there will only be one spot in the pitching staff for either Wellemeyer, Mitchel Boggs, or Brad Thompson. My vote would be with Boggs, with Thompson my second choice.
- As far as the position players, it looks as though the Cards will carry 13, which means that both Troy Glaus and Joe Thurston would be on the roster, with Khalil Greene being the odd man out. Glaus could be a wild card in this series. I could see him having some big pinch-hitting appearances in this series, and I could also envision him getting a start or two if Mark DeRosa struggles at the plate.
- Guys on LA that really scare me: Juan Pierre and Jim Thome. Pierre because he has always....ALWAYS been a thorn in the Cardinals side. He plays like Lou Brock against us. Thome scares me because I'm thinking of late game matchups of Thome vs. Ryan Franklin. Thome could definitely be the wildcard in this series for LA.