Debating William & Mary, sports and culture since 2011. Updated every Wednesday.

NLCS Game 4 Diary: Attack of the Clones

In Baseball on October 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Like modern-day Aaron Burrs and Alexander Hamiltons, Crim Del Harris writers Ian Brickey and Sam Sutton love their baseball teams and (for the next week or so) hate each other.

Pregame—

IB: Well that was certainly worth the wait. After a 3.5 hour rain delay (during which beer continued to be sold — pure St. Louis) in Game 3 of the NLCS, the St. Louis Cardinals held on to win and take a 2-1 series lead over the San Francisco Giants. Rookie Matt Carpenter hit a crucial two-run home run and Jason Motte notched his first career six-out save for St. Louis — and with that, the ghost of 2006 Jason Isringhausen was exorcised from Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals haven’t looked as good in the last two games as they did in Game 1 of this series. Neither Chris Carpenter nor Kyle Lohse had particularly good outings, and the St. Louis offense has been almost non-existent. Combine that with an injury to Carlos Beltran and the Cardinals could be in serious trouble. But when you’re being chased by a bear, you only have to outrun the guy immediately behind you, and St. Louis has managed to outrun San Francisco thus far.

It’s definitely too early to call this series for the Cardinals, especially with a resurgent Tim Lincecum taking the mound for the Giants tonight. But San Francisco has some work to do. The “12 in ’12” chants are getting louder along Clark Street. If the Cardinals do pull this out, I think I might even forget about the Hindenburg-esque 2004 series and the sucker-punch-let-down 2005 NLCS.

The Game—

SS: My parents flew into New York late last night.

The took me out to dinner after work. We went to a lovely little Italian place down on 5th Avenue in Park Slope. I ordered the gnocchi, my dad ate black spaghetti (the pasta is died with squid ink, how interesting!) and my mother had the rigatoni ragu with pork shoulder. My roommate, who works in the entertainment industry, joined us. The four of us laughed and talked about movies and the presidential campaign over a bottle of wine. We discussed the trappings of Oakland politics, how infighting within the city council seems to have paralyzed a city in desperate need of leadership.

But the conversation never got too grim. Instead, it rode the fine line between entertainingly intellectual and over-served self-seriousness.

I ordered the chocolate pear cake for dessert – it was delightful. Baked rich; a crumbly/crunchy exterior with  melted chocolate morsels hiding playfully beneath the surface. The flavors danced across my palate, and I washed it all down with sweet, dry red wine.

Then I came home.

The Giants are down 6-1 in the sixth inning. Tim Lincecum has been removed from the game. Guillermo Mota is pitching, and missing the strike zone.

Maybe the 49’ers, playing the Thursday night game against Seattle, can grant me some respite… oh wait, they’re down 6-3 in the third quarter.

Damn it all. Damn it all to hell.

Final Score: Cardinals 8, Giants 3—

IB: All I had was my smart phone. The 2″ x 4″ screen showed me a fraction of the game that a television or even a radio broadcast would have given me. But as the numbers for the Cardinals flipped up and up — first 2, then 4, then 6, and finally 8 — while the Giants number never changed from 1 (the loneliest number), I might as well have been watching in person.

The biggest story from last night was clearly Adam Wainwright. After a disappointing start in the division series, Waino looked like the pitcher that finished second in the 2009 Cy Young balloting last night. 7 IP / 1 ER. Oh, and the bullpen wasn’t too bad, either.

I hate to echo Colin Cowherd (seriously, I’ll probably hold my hand over a candle after typing this), but the 2012 Cardinals have picked up where the 2011 squad left off: rising to the occasion, dramatic comebacks, exceeding expectations and silencing the doubters.

The Tigers clinched the American League pennant last night, too. And I wouldn’t mind seeing an EXACT repeat of the 2006 World Series. But, for that to happen, the Cardinals have to win this series, and the NLCS isn’t over yet — not by a long shot. Down 3-1 with one more game at Busch Stadium, the Giants have their backs against the wall. But this is the same team that beat the Cincinnati Reds at home three times in a row to advance.

I’m excited. Superstition says that I should stick with the gamecast on my smart phone, but my loyalty says I should watch tonight’s game in person.

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