October 8, 2006
In the first postseason game ever played at the third incarnation of Busch Stadium, the Cardinals lost. The Padres have only scored four runs in the first three games, but three of them were yesterday, and with Chris Young's pitching, that was enough for a win. It would be interesting to see Mike Piazza play against his former team in New York. He is like Nomar Garciaparra and Frank Thomas, who left their teams just before they went to the World Series.
In the fourth inning of tonight's game, it's 2-2, the first game in this series where both teams have scored more than one run.
UPDATE: San Diego won, 23-13! No wait, that was the Chargers beating the Steelers in Sunday Night Football. The San Diego baseball team lost 6-2, and were thus eliminated, thanks to a four-run rally by the Cardinals in the sixth inning. The Cards will play in Shea Stadium on Wednesday, their third consecutive NLCS appearance.
The way the have dominated the National League all year, it was no surprise that the Mets swept the Dodgers in three games. The Dodgers played well, but were simply outclassed. Even without Pedro Martinez or Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, they make it look easy. That kind of depth in a team is pretty scary.
I was impressed by how well two former Nationals played in this series: Marlon Anderson was traded to the Dodgers just over a month ago, and hit seven homers in September, more than he had hit in the previous five months altogether. Endy Chavez was traded to Philadelphia in May 2005 after some disappointing performances, and he didn't do very well there either. This year, in contrast, he has done very well offensively and defensively playing for the Mets. There must be a lesson in there somewhere. I hope Jim Bowden is thinking about it.
After the New York Daily News reported that Joe Torre may be replaced as manager by Lou Piniella, several Yankee coaches and players came to his defense. Given all the injuries the team suffered this year, making such a big comeback late in the season was a major accomplishment. See MLB.com. Torre has a low-key style, making you wonder if he has the "fire in the belly" needed to win, but it's hard to pin the frustrations of the past few years on his shoulders. He has had eleven mostly wonderful years in The Bronx, and perhaps he has several more years ahead of him. If you look at the turbulent history of managers under George Steinbrenner, it has been a remarkable tenure. Traditionally, the Yankees had managers who lasted well over a decade: Miller Huggins, Joe McCarthy, and Casey Stengel. Ralph Houk would almost fit into that category. For most of the Steinbrenner Era, in contrast -- from 1973 until 1995 -- only five times did the same guy manage for the Yankees two complete years in a row. Maybe they ought to replace the owner!