My distaste for the St. Louis Cardinals has been well-documented, as is my fear that STL presents a highly undesirable opponent for the Brewers in the post-season.   The concerns are numerous:

The Cards surged during September to claim the NL Wild Card and have sustained their good play from the last month of the season. During that time they took five of six from MKE (in addition to taking six of nine from PHL). Not only should they beat the Crew (six seems about the right number of games given the matchups) but the Cards might ride that all the way to a World Series Championship. It’s not just the Brewers flaws that will get them, it’s that STL is a good team playing great ball right now.

As for the Brewers, their rotation does not seem to be in a good place. Greinke’s last start (albeit on short rest) was mediocre. Gallardo battled last time out and was effective, but he struggled, and usually doesn’t pitch well coming off games in which he has to labor with high stress innings. Wolf and Marcum are presently a mess. In the bullpen, their closer just blew a save and their set up guy looked to be on the brink of doing the same. Overall, the Brewers staff doesn’t seem like it is ready to shut down a Cardinals team that just handled the best rotation in baseball. This is not the kind of group I want to throwing to a brutal middle of the order (plus David Freese, who appears to be emerging as a high quality hitter). Mix in a closer they can’t hit (Motte) and a couple of starters who have owned them (Garcia and Carpenter, both of whom they’ll see twice) and I don’t think the outlook is good for MKE.

St. Louis is historically associated with the self-proclaimed “King of Beers.” With a handle like that it really is no surprise that the baseball team once owned by the brewery seems to consider itself the arbiter of the game’s “unwritten rules” and possessor of the sacred knowledge of “the right way to play the game.” This sort of sanctimony is sickening. That is going to make the outcome of this series either completely satisfying (should I be wrong and the Brewers win) or devastatingly disheartening (should my feelings be born out). Either way, it should be good theater.

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  • Kelly

    Come on. Hopefully someone clues the current team in that this is about payback 29 years later and that they’ll play as such. Can’t stand the Cards. Can’t stand LaRussa even more. I hope you are wrong!

  • Chris

    I hope I am wrong, too. But STL is the better team and they are playing better right now.

    As for payback for ’82, most of the members of this team have no recollection of that team. Their motivation is less payback than it might be to step out of the shadow of Harvey’s Wallbangers. That would work for me, too, as ’82 has been celebrated enough. Time to move and celebrate something more contemporary (before all of us who remember ’82 are gone, leaving no good memories for younger fans).

  • BigSnakeMan

    Pitch perfect.

    • Chris

      I wish I had a better tune to sing, but I think the Cards have the Crew’s number.

  • Rich Ward

    Yankees, Red Sox, etc…Their fans are championship or bust. They seem to hate their teams when they lose rather than love them when they win. Me? I’m just stoked we have AT LEAST 4 more games of postseason baseball.

  • Ryan

    St. Louis is the better team? You’re high, man. They got hot at the right time. Philadelphia, while having an unbelievably great rotation, was otherwise a shell of a team (most notably their lineup). I think StL and MKE are pretty evenly matched, but in the big picture, the better team won the division this year. and, although their play has been a bit shaky of late, they remain the better team.

  • Chris

    Actually, I am high (as I am writing this from a pre-op hospital bed). I sincerely hope you are right about the relative strength of these two teams. I suppose we will find out as the series continues. Yesterday made a good case for the Brewers.