Blog Entry

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

Posted on: October 17, 2011 3:00 am
Edited on: October 17, 2011 10:22 am
 
They've been serious underdogs since, oh, at least August. So why should now be any different as the Cardinals get set to tee it up with the Texas Rangers in the World Series.

Except, one thing that might be worth remembering: Last time the Cardinals were here, in 2006, the Tigers were supposed to maul them. Next thing anyone knew, David Eckstein was hoisting the MVP trophy.

Is NLCS MVP David Freese the new Eckstein?

In their 18th World Series in club history, the Cardinals are about to tangle with a Texas team that has not lost consecutive games in nearly two months. The Rangers have played 40 games since their last back-to-back losses, when they dropped three in a row at home against the Red Sox from Aug. 23-25.

Of course, they're also about to tussle with a Texas team that ripped through Detroit in the AL Championship Series without obtaining a win from a starting pitcher. Sound familiar? Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter earned the Game 3 win despite only going five innings, and the St. Louis bullpen earned the other three wins.

The Airborne Rangers surely will be favored in the World Series, given that behemoth AL lineup and a bullpen in which Alexi Ogando qualifies as a lethal weapon.

"It's going to be very interesting," Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal said moments after his team eliminated Milwaukee in the NLCS. "We've got to keep playing the way we do. We've got to keep playing good defense and getting a hit when we need it."

"The Rangers are scary," third baseman David Freese said. "They're a scary team. They've been doing it all along the last few years. You look at that lineup, you look at that staff, that's going to be a battle. And I think we're a team that can match up with them a little bit. They're confident. We're confident."

As the champagne sprayed, Manager Tony La Russa said he had not had time to give much thought to Texas, other than him and pitching coach Dave Duncan quietly sneaking a conversation Saturday night about which way to set up the Cardinals' rotation. La Russa said they had one plan for if the Cardinals won in Game 6 on Sunday -- the plan that presumably will be put into motion -- and another plan for if the Brewers extended them to Game 7 on Monday.

Being that ace Chris Carpenter was set to start Game 7 ... surely, he'll now get the ball for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night in St. Louis.

"Texas has an unbelievable team," reliever Octavio Dotel said. "They have great players. They have great hitters, great pitchers, a great bullpen.

"What is going to happen, I don't know. We've got to go game by game, one by one, and see what happens. Not try to win it all in one game."

Dotel talked about Texas' "great right-handed hitters", mentioning Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young.

The Cardinals will go from the very familiar against the Brewers (both in the NL Central, they faced each other 18 times this season) to the totally unknown against the Rangers (they did not face each other in interleague play this year).

"Throw strikes," reliever Jason Motte said. "You've gotta get ahead of guys. Mix and match. I've seen those guys play. If you go 2 and 1 or 3 and 1 [in the count], it's going to be a long series."

The one man who might know the most about both of these teams is Cardinals reliever Arthur Rhodes. Practically a senior citizen now in baseball years (he's 41), Rhodes started the season with the Rangers, where he went 3-3 with a 4.81 ERA in 32 games, before Texas released him on Aug. 8. St. Louis signed him three days later.

Used strictly as a left-handed specialist, Rhodes was 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA for the Cards, working only 8 2/3 innings in 19 games.

"Those are my friends," Rhodes said of the Rangers. "But I've still got my team right here. I love St. Louis. These are my boys.

"We'll do our thing. We match up good with them. We have a similar lineup, but I know our bullpen is better than theirs."

Said Freese: "I definitely have been watching the ALCS, for sure. And that's been some good ball over there. That's a dynamite team, and we definitely have to be ready for them."
Comments

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:10 am
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

possible game 7 is oct 27th.  no november baseball this year!



Since: Oct 18, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 3:16 am
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

I've been a lifelong Rangers fan, so after many years of being the cellar dwellers, I'm excited to be able to enjoy postseason baseball that involves 'my team'.  The Red Birds are a very good team and so are the Rangers.  They both have very similar strengths and weaknesses which should make for a really interesting series.  I really can't say whether I think the Rangers are better than the Cards or not, mainly because I haven't seen the Cards play this season, save for a couple or three games the past week.  It really is kinda weird how similar they are, from what I gather, at least - largely suspect starting pitching, killer bullpen relief, guys you really need to be careful pitching to.  It should be fun, and I'm gonna try not to take this next week for granted.  You never know if 'your team' will ever get back to the World Series (Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, whatever) during your lifetime.  Go Rangers...  OK, this is weird... when I click on 'preview' it's showing that it's gonna post vertically, so if it does, sorry.  Not sure what I might've done wrong... here it goes anyway.






Since: Mar 17, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:46 pm
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

@jimbattista
Not all Phillies fans are infantile or losers, but clearly you are both.
Do your parents know you're on the internet?



Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:19 pm
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

Hope that you get a line drive to your a** because evidentally that is where your brain is you moron. 



Since: Apr 26, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:13 pm
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

@texfan

Have you even watched one game any other team has played this year? The rangers won 96 games, which doesn't qualify them for any big awards. I think you are a little premature in saying that they have better everything. They are the only team hotter over the last month than the cards, but that simply means this is going to be a good series. How about instead of the blatent homerism, you examine a stat sheet and do some comparison.

Cards will compete this series, they almost always do. They might be overmatched, but they are playing just as good of baseball and they have a tought lineup, just like Texas. Give it up on the lopsided analysis and predictions.



Since: Oct 13, 2011
Posted on: October 17, 2011 6:53 pm
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

Does it really matter what the ratings are?  Why do people put so much stock in TV ratings?

These are two good baseball teams playing for the 2011 World Series title.  That should be what matters....not ratings.



Since: Oct 3, 2011
Posted on: October 17, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

@jimbattista 

I'm assuming that comment is because you're intimidated by Carpenter, which in that case, I hope he beams Nelson Cruz right in the face.  



Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:18 pm
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

I hope Carpenter gets a line drive to the head.



Since: Feb 6, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2011 3:50 pm
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

Response to Arthur:  I think Texas' bullpen is better, if for no other reason than that you are no longer in it.  Addition by subtraction for Rangers, and subtraction by addition for the Cardinals.  Rangers have the better pen, starting pitchers, and offense in this series.  Rangers in 5.



Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 3:07 pm
 

Cards' Rhodes: 'I know our bullpen is better'

Should be a good series, let's brace ourselves for articles on how poor the TV ratings are!


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