Cardinals get White-SOCKED in “Possible Preview of World Series”
The interleague series between the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals was viewed as a potential preview for this year's World Series; unfortunately, based on today's performance, only one of these teams might be there.
The game was downright ugly from the Cardinals' perspective, looking more like a football game between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams, than the baseball game it was. The final score of 20-6 doesn't even begin to tell the story of this magnificent display of hitting and utter collapse of pitching from both sides, especially from Tony LaRussa's team.
After two innings it looked like a normal baseball matchup, with the Cards leading 1-0. An inning later, it was a completely different ballgame. Mark Mulder, the Cardinals starting pitcher, exited the game after recording just one out in the third inning, while giving up 9 runs on 10 hits (2 Homeruns), in the process. In that convoluted mess of Cardinals pitching, that looked more like a White Sox cardinal hunting trip, of a third inning, the White Sox scored 11, yes ELEVEN, runs. Brad Thompson relieved (if you can call it that) Mulder and gave up 4 more runs on 5 hits in the ensuing 1 and 2/3 innings (Thompson entered with 1 out in the third). LaRussa made another move to his bullpen, this time handing the ball to his long-reliever Sidney Ponson. Relief was not what Ponson provided by going just 1 inning and allowing 6 more White Sox runs, to the disgust of his manager. The Cardinals bullpen finally woke up toward the end to hold the White Sox scoreless in the 7th, 8th, and 9th, but that was more likely the White Sox deciding they'd scored enough. I'd say so; the Southsiders brought in 20 runs on 24 hits and homeruns from AJ Pierzynski, Joe Crede (2), and Juan Uribe. Every White Sock in the starting lineup scored at least one run; Crede lead in that category with 4. Kudos to the White Sox for making the Cardinals look like Little-Leaguers.
From the White Sox view, this was a terrific win, but an eventful one as well. Despite being well ahead in the ballgame, the White Sox decided to have some "fun" in the 7th inning. White Sox reliever David Riske, in just his 2nd appearance as a White Sock (acquired from Boston), hit Cardinals 1B Chris Duncan with a pitch and was promptly ejected by home-plate umpire Mike Everitt. Manager Ozzie Guillen was also ejected. The HBP was viewed as revenge for Sidney Ponson hitting Brian Anderson and Pablo Ozuna (a warning was issued by Everitt, so any ensuing HBP was an automatic ejection of the pitcher and manager). It's interesting to note that a ChiSox reliever was scolded by Guillen for not hitting a batter as revenge just a few days earlier. Statistics-wise, the White Sox didn't pitch very well either, allowing 6 runs, but on 16 hits; none of it mattered though. Javier Vazquez had a solid outing, pitching 6innings and surrendering 2 runs on 7 hits to earn his 8th win. Riske was ok before being ejected and Neal Cotts had a decent relief outing. The 9th inning, with the White Sox ahead by 18, was another story. With the win easily in hand, the White Sox handed the ball to Agustin Montero, who allowed 4 Cardinals runs on 6 hits in the 9th, including a HR by Chris Duncan, to make the score 20-6.
If you're a fan of high-scoring blowouts, or just a White Sox fan, you loved today's annihilation of the Cardinals, but the pitching on both sides left a lot to be desired and makes me wonder, are the Cardinals and the White Sox for that matter, World Series material this year? My answer is maybe, because you can't tell a whole lot from one game (although the 39,463 in attendance at US Cellular Field might hope differently). On the other hand, if the ChiSox follow this up with another blowout and possibly sweep the Redbirds, it'll grab the attention of MLB fans everywhere.
Now that I'm on the World Series subject, I don't think either of these teams has enough to make it to the Fall Classic.
My prediction —
New York Mets vs Boston Red Sox
Mets win in 6
Please share your prediction for this year's World Series by adding a comment.