KMOX, St. Louis—The word unbelievable continues to come to my mind when the conversation turns to this run the Cardinals are on right now. Fresh off of knocking off the best team in baseball, it’s now time to take on the best team from their division, the Milwaukee Brewers. Just like the last series, here are my keys to a Cards series win:
1) Starting Pitching. This is a carbon copy of last weeks column on the Cards/Phils series. But look at the great starting pitching St Louis got in the NLDS. Chris Carpenters game 2 start on 3 days rest was not good. But he obviously made up for it in a big way in Game 5. But the Redbirds received quality starts from Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia and Edwin Jackson. One bad pitch by Jaime did him in. And only two bad pitches by Lohse put him away in Game 1 against Philadelphia. The Cardinals are going to need the same effort against this tough Brewers lineup.
2) Middle order Production. The Cardinals big bats in the middle of the order have to produce consistently in this series against the Brewers. We know how good the Fielder/Braun tandem is and they will produce. But if the Redbirds have a chance Pujols, Berkman, Holiday and I’ll throw in Freese too, have to out produce Milwaukees big bats all series and not in spurts like they did against the Phils.
3) Fundamentals. I thought the Cards were much better in this department in the Phillies series. Sure, there were still some mistakes, especially on the base paths, but they’d played a much cleaner game fundamentally. This will have to continue against another tough ballclub in the Brewers.
4) Attitude. Let the Brewers go out and shoot their mouth off as much as they want. At the end of the day it’s about what you do on the field. The Cardinals shouldn’t fall for their traps and just act like they’ve been there before. The Redbirds need to show they have the more experienced team and just take care of business.
The odds were against the Cards to advance past the NLDS, but they beat the best team in baseball. Could this team be a team of destiny? We’ll find out.
Scott Warmann is a host on the Sports Hub