Cardinals

ACKERMAN: Dream Weekend For STL Sports

Tom Ackerman
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Michael Wacha (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Michael Wacha (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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Mon Oct.13
Home vs San Francisco 49ers
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Sun Oct.19
Home vs Seattle Seahawks
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Sun Oct.26
Away vs Kansas City Chiefs
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Sun Nov.2
Away vs San Francisco 49ers
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Sun Nov.9
Away vs Arizona Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Huh?  Wha?  Oh, sorry.  I must have dozed off.  I was having this crazy dream where four local teams won big games in one weekend.  Cards, Blues, Rams, Mizzou.  I know.  Crazy.

Here’s how it went down:

  • The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS.  Facing LA’s 1-2 punch of starters Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals won both games, 3-2 and 1-0.  This just in: Carlos Beltran is not a human being.  Beltran drove in all three runs in Game 1 and threw out Mark Ellis at home plate to save a run.  With a perfect throw to Yadier Molina in the tenth inning, Beltran earned a spot on the Cardinals’ all-time highlight reel — before delivering the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 13th.  In Game 2, the star was rookie Michael Wacha, who blanked the Dodgers for 6 2/3 innings before yielding to the bullpen.  Specialists Kevin Siegrist and Randy Choate joined flamethrowers Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal in recording the final seven outs.  Five were strikeouts by Martinez and Rosenthal.  Busch erupted.  Having already used their two best pitchers, the Dodgers flew home on Saturday down 0-2 in the series.
  • Missouri beat No. 7 Georgia, 41-26 in Athens.  The Tigers improved to 6-0 with their first road victory over a Top 10 opponent since 1978.  It’s Mizzou’s biggest win in the SEC and one of the best wins of the Gary Pinkel era.  The excitement was muted, however, when quarterback James Franklin suffered a shoulder injury that will keep him out for the foreseeable future.  Still…how good is this team?  I’ll answer that: they’re REALLY good.  With Florida playing up north at Faurot Field this Saturday, can Mizzou redshirt freshman Maty Mauk keep this balanced offense churning?  Can the defense continue to make big plays?  Can you imagine the Tigers sitting at 7-0 on Homecoming with South Carolina in town?  Sure you can.
  • The Blues are 4-0 for the first time in team history.  We all heard the preseason hype about this team suddenly being a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.  Questions remained, however, about the source of their goal-scoring.  Well, all the Blues have done is respond with 19 goals in 4 games.  They’ve spread the scoring up and down their roster, but the most impressive thing about the Blues has been the play of their top line.  Alex Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie are playing at an elite level right now, registering 18 points as a unit already.  And they can hit, too.  Backes has been particularly physical in this first week of action.  After the Blues won their season opener at home against Nashville, I liked how Backes, the captain, was quick to point out in his postgame comments that his team let a 3-0 lead slip against the Predators slip to 3-2.  The Blues won the game, but the message was sent immediately from their leader that he expects a 60-minute effort, not just the opening ten minutes.  The standards have been raised at Scottrade Center.  That’s a very good thing.
  • The Rams rolled the Texans, 38-13.  In the third quarter, by the time the Rams had their second return for a touchdown — one of four Houston turnovers — the scene at Reliant Stadium was resembling that of an Astros game.  Texans “fans,” when they weren’t busy cheering injured quarterback Matt Schaub, were scrambling for their belongings and headed to the exits after the Rams went up 38-6.  The Texans were sleepwalking through this game, sure.  But Rams coach Jeff Fisher had his team ready.  The defense came up with big stops and game-changing plays.  And the offense has clearly been rejuvenated with a switch at running back.  Zac Stacy is a steady, low-to-the-ground runner with good strength and balance.  Most importantly, his established run game helps set up Sam Bradford, who tossed three touchdown passes.  Remember, this is a young Rams team and they’ve played like it through six games (3-3).  As they continue to grow together, it will be interesting to see how they respond to coaching and their successes/failures.  Stay tuned.

So like I said, it was quite the dream and I…what’s that?  This really happened?

It was a dream weekend.  Here’s to a dream month.

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