Counterintuitive Ball

Hair-raising baseball series indeed

Both series come down to one-of or-two-of-two. The St. Louis Cardinals win one game, on the road in Milwaukee, and they are in the World Series. The Texas Rangers win one game, at home, and they are in the Series. That simple. Or is it? Conventional wisdom dictates that the club with the best pitching goes all the way. The Cardinals, right now, are on that proverbial-Steppenwolf Magic Carpet Ride. Their bullpen, supposedly the weak underbelly (if a cardinal has anything but a weak underbelly) of the club, has been superlative. Ueber-technician and martinet Tony LaRussa gave his starter the hook after only four-and-two-thirds innings in favor of the bullpen, and the formerly maligned Cards’ pen carried the club the rest of the way. Again. The Tigers have the best, fastest gun in the world: Justin Verlander. Though he won his game, barring days off in formerly rain-deprived Texas, we will not see him start another time in this series. (Though one cannot rule out a relief appearance.) The Tigers also have the best AL closer this side of Mariano Rivera: Jose Valverde. Verlander and Valverde. They have not been enough, thus far, to stop Ron Washington’s Rangers. Thinker Paul Ricoeur might characterize both postseason scenarios under a hermeneutics of suspicion.

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About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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