St. Louis Cardinals: 5 Reasons Why They Will Win the NLCS
Will No. 5 in the famous St. Louis Cardinals "birds on the bat" uniform help his squad slide away from oblivion and the verge of yet another late-season collapse to the pinnacle of the National League against its heated division rivals?
The NLCS doesn't have to come back to Milwaukee this season if St. Louis plays its cards right.
Will the upstart Brewers be able to overcome the pressure, the mighty cardiac Cardinals' sluggers and fans and survive the pandemonium almost certain to take place under the bright lights and imposing backdrop of the arch without being upended by the Redbirds?
Join me to find out the answers to these and other burning questions about the National League pennant chase, as the Cardinals continue their improbable run on their way to a possible World Series appearance.
5. Busch Stadium's World Series Mystique
The Cardinals under general manager Walt Jocketty, left, pulled off the rare accomplishment of winning the World Series in 2006, their opening year playing on the turf of new Busch stadium.
The legendary Busch Stadium name carries so much lore that the Brewers' heads will be spinning as if they were in Yankee Stadium doing doughnuts backwards.
The Cardinals are trying to win World Series No. 11—second only to the Jankees, excuse me, the Yankees, who are at home watching the reddest and hottest team in baseball burn its way through the National League.
4. The Bullpen is Burning
With their relievers now ready, righteous and rolling, the Redbirds are one of the best teams in the world, as has been proven since September, and the famous fans in St. Louis know what's up.
If the 20-something blown saves this year had been nipped in the bud at around 10-15, the Cardinals would have rolled through the NL Central.
3. The Cardinals Have a Better Team and Their Fans Realize it Now
Even without co-ace Adam Wainwright—the youngster who shut down the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 World Series as the closer—the Cardinals have a competitive pitching staff to throw at the Brewers.
And, the better offense resides downtown in the city of St. Louis.
The Cardinals have plenty of batters who have been here before, while the Brewers, a former American League team, haven't sniffed this scene ever before in their history.
May the calmer team win.
The better and more experienced team usually does in a seven-game series.
2. Tony LaRussa Has More Playoff Managerial Experience Than Ron Roenicke
Calm rookie manager Ron Roenicke did a remarkable job of getting his team to the NL Central division title, but fans who are bettors know there is little chance he will outcoach LaRussa now.
He outmanaged Tony LaRussa half of the time during the regular season, but TLR had the Redbirds playing the hottest baseball of any team in the majors down the stretch and in the playoffs.
After knocking off the No. 1-seeded Philliies, the deep roster of Cardinals batters will continue to sizzle at home.
1. Albert Pujols is Aiming for T-Hush's Head in the Outfield
Albert Pujols is the hottest hitter left in the season, and T-Hush put a target on his own head.
When Pujols gets on one of his legendary tears, then he can carry the Redbirds a long way. With the rest of the heavy hitters behind him and ahead of him in the lineup, Milwaukee will have a very hard time pitching around him.
Quiet as he's kept, Albert has been blazing since early September.
Cardinals fans recognize his very focused face and know what is likely to happen going forward this year in his contract negotiations.
Look for AP to stay hot and pull off even more heroics, especially if he gets to stare at Nyjer Morgan in center field. Pujols single-handedly turned T-Plush into T-Hush by almost bouncing a line drive off Morgan's head and running him into the wall.
In the batter's box, Pujols can see Morgan in the outfield. That's like a bull seeing red, and Pujols will bully the Brewers' pitchers if they let him.
Let me get out of here and go watch other people drink brew. Drink my Kool-Aid and catch me next time on Lake's T-Hush Times Report.
Contact Lake Cruise: Lakecruise@att.net