It’s a rather small “stack” of news today, but there is a lot of good stuff so let’s see what made “the stack”:
1. Cardinals blunders help Rangers take 3-2 series lead.
Dare I say that one of the “cardinal” rules in the playoffs in baseball, especially the World Series is that everyone should be on the same page. Clearly last night, the Cardinals were not. Whether it was the failed hit and run between Albert Pujols and Allen Craig or the miscommunication in the bullpen, the Cardinals were clearly not all thinking alike.
First to the hit and run. Craig must have seen a sign from Pujols to take off. Only problem though, his manager didn’t know about it. Pujols is good enough where he should be allowed to make certain decisions, but this one came back to bite him and the Cardinals. Pujols not only struck out, but Craig was thrown out by a mile by Mike Napoli. It wasn’t even close. There went the Cardinals threat in the seventh.
Now to the bullpen issues. It was the loud in the stadium, no doubt about it. Rangers fans were going crazy and I’m sure it made things very difficult to hear and to communicate with one another. The guys on ESPN after the game say that the bullpen is out of view of the third base line which explains why Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa was surprised when Lance Lynn came in to pitch. LaRussa had asked for Marc Rzepczynski and closer Jason Motte. It took two calls to relay the message, because no one heard the bullpen phone ring the first time. The second time, they finally heard it, but the message wasn’t clear enough. The bullpen coach heaer Lynn instead of Motte, even though Lynn was not expected to pitch in the game. Enter Lynn…intentional walk. Bring in the lefty Rzepczynski, facing the right-handed batter Napoli. A recipe for disaster. Napoli hit the go-ahead two run double to give the Rangers a 4-2 lead and that was the final score as well. You don’t expect these types of blunders by a team led by a manager who’s been in situations like this for years, especially not at the World Series level. You don’t expect it from the St. Louis Cardinals and this could ultimately come back to bite them in the butt at the end of the series.