Pirates @ Cardinals: The Right to Lose to the Dodgers

October 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

buschstadiumAs a baseball fan, any time there’s a winner-take-all scenario, like we’ll see in tonight’s NLDS Game 5 between St. Louis and Pittsburgh and tomorrow’s ALDS Game 5 between Oakland and Detroit, it’s a win. Playoff baseball is always great, but playoff baseball where one team is guaranteed to go home is unlike anything else. You end up in “all hands on deck” scenarios, where just about no one is off limits, where managers agonize over every decision, and while that often means four-hour games, it just as often ends up with memories that last for years.

And as a Dodger fan, knowing that the Dodgers have no such concerns and can kick back and watch their NLCS opponent fight for their very lives tonight? Well, that’s just gravy.

Pirates
Cardinals
LF
Marte
2B
Carpenter
2B
Walker
RF
Beltran
CF
McCutchen
LF
Holliday
1B
Morneau
1B
Adams
RF
Byrd
C
Molina
3B
Alvarez
CF
Jay
C
Martin
3B
Freese
SS
Barmes
S
Kozma
P
Cole
P
Wainwright

In fact, I hope this game goes 27 innings. I hope that Gerrit Cole is followed by Francisco Lirianowho is available tonight — and totally screws up the Pittsburgh rotation. Or if the Cardinals win, that’s fine too, because Adam Wainwright is going tonight and he likely wouldn’t be available until Game 3 of the NLCS.

There’s arguments to be made for both sides, from the Dodger perspective. Obviously, a Pittsburgh win means that the Dodgers get home field advantage and don’t need to get on a plane, instead starting the NLCS at home as well as ending it there, should the series go to six or seven games, so that’s probably where my bias is tonight.

But more importantly — no video yet, but hopefully soon — A.J. Ellis was just interviewed on MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk,” where he mentioned (paraphrasing here) that “all the sabermetric guys tell me to stop bunting, no one bunts anymore. Listen to me Mattingly, no more bunting!” Later in the interview, Mattingly came out while Ellis was still on the air to (jokingly, with a big smile) inform him that he didn’t like the comments and that Tim Federowicz would be starting instead. Oh, and Michael Young taped up A.J.’s nipples. No, I’m not providing more context.

As I said on Twitter, I certainly do like Ellis as a catcher. But I think I’d also be pretty okay if he retired after the season to immediately start doing the road broadcasts with an eye on replacing Vin Scully someday, wouldn’t you?

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