Here in Missouri, I report on the Cardinals and Royals and since 2007 as Sports Director of Missourinet, I’ve had the privilege of following four World Series for our teams in Missouri…the last three years with the Royals and their two appearances and the Cardinals in 2013.
Before that, of course that improbable run in 2011 by the Cardinals, which may have been one of the most dramatic World Series runs. STL was down 2-1 to Philly, won game four, then won game five, 1-0, in that Carpenter-Halladay battle. Then the David Freese World Series against Texas.
Royals fans, you are still the reigning World Series Champs for one more day and afternoon. That 4-1 series win over the Mets was closer than what the length suggests, because the Royals tied game one in the 9th, scored three in the 8th of game four, then scored two in the 9th and five in the 12th of game five. Three games where the Royals were on the verge of losing, they came back to win.
As a baseball fan, I was nervous during the Royals and Cardinals runs. I love baseball and it made my job to cover them even more special. For today, on my podcast, allow me to just be a fan. My hometown team is in Game 7 of the World Series. I’m trying to let that soak in. While I enjoy the day as a fan, let me give you my professional opinion on what to look for.
Cleveland has the advantage—Corey Kluber is starting, but on three day’s rest…again. If he’s sharp that could be trouble for the Cubs early because Terry Francona can use Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. Shaw can give Cleveland 1-plus, Miller can go 2 and Allen 1-plus. That’s five innings…All Francona really needs from Kluber is four innings. If Kluber is sharp, the Indians could go in shutdown mode early.
After watching the rest of Joe Maddon’s bullpen, they can get a guy out here or there, but he may go with Aroldis Chapman from the seventh inning on. He’s going to ask nine outs of Chapman. Does Chapman potentially have 60 pitches in him? Can Maddon get six out of Kyle Hendricks? Hendricks is probably the NL Cy Young winner, but Maddon has set his rotation up to have Hendricks pitch at home. This will be his first time on the road. Pluse, everyone is mentioning Jon Lester and how he can be used out of the pen, but watch for John Lackey.
Back in the 2013 World Series, Lackey started Game 2 for Boston against the Cardinals. Three days later he threw in the 8th inning, (17 pitches), then pitched the clincher in Game 6 three days later. Maddon has to option to go Hendricks for five, Lackey in the 6th, Lester the 7th, and Chapman 8th and 9th.
The team that scores first doesn’t necessarily win, but gets a huge advantage and forces the other manager to make the first pitching move.
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