From Sports Open Line
Filed underBlues, Cardinals, College Sports, Columns, Kevin Wheeler, Missouri Tigers, MLB, NFL, NHL, Rams, SEC, Sports
Okay, I admit that the headline may not be entirely accurate. I don’t have the time, or the inclination, to research and see if there has ever been a better weekend for St.Louis/Missouri teams. So I’ll just go with my gut, because this is a blog and not a news story, and suggest that we may have just witnessed the best sports weekend ever.
Here is what each team contributed to the “Weekend of Winning:”
All they did was win a 3-2, 13-inning affair in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday night followed by a 1-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday afternoon. Two NLCS wins in less than 24 hours. Oh, and they beat both Zack Greinke and Adam Wainwright to do it.
Carlos Beltran was a monster – again – on Friday and Michael Wacha continued his playoff coming out party on Saturday with yet another dominant performance.
By now you’ve seen all the numbers about Beltran. He is arguable the best playoff hitter of all-time. As for Wacha, all he’s done in his first two postseason starts is allow 1 run on 6 hits and 3 walks in 14 IP while striking out 17 batters. Yeah, 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA.
And that doesn’t count his last start of the regular season, the near no-hitter against Washington. Counting that game, Wacha has allowed just 1 run on 7 hits and 5 walks in 22 2/3 innings with 26 strikeouts over his last three starts. That’s 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA.
So the Cards are up 2-0 in the NLCS and in Game 3 tonight they have their ace, Adam Wainwright, taking the mound. All he’s done this postseason is go 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA.
It’s good to be a Cardinals’ fan today.
It’s also good to be a Blues fan. They’ve won the first four games in a season for the first time in franchise history, they’re getting balanced scoring, the top line of Backes-Steen-Oshie has been dominant and their goalie, Jaroslav Halak, looks like the guy they traded for after leading Montreal on a wild playoff run.
The Blues are deep, they are extremely well coached and while they still have some young players they have more experience than any Blues’ team since the 25-year playoff streak was broken.
Great game coming up tomorrow night against San Jose…
The Missouri Tigers beat a Top 10 team on the road.
Honestly, I can’t believe I typed those words. I’ve never seen them do it before and I certainly didn’t think this year’s team would be the one to do it. I realize Georgia was missing their top two running backs and top three receivers but I still thought Aaron Murray was going to be able to pull out the win for the Bulldogs.
Do I think Mizzou would have beaten a healthy Georgia team? No, I don’t. But that doesn’t mean anything. Reality is what matters, not “what if” scenarios, and in reality the Missouri Tigers beat the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, GA.
Unfortunately, in reality the Tigers lost their QB – perhaps for the season, though Gary Pinkel disputed that today – with a separated shoulder. What a bummer.
I was wrong about the Tigers’ ability to go into Georgia and win. Congrats to them and good luck to Maty Mauk.
It appears that we can all cool our jets when it comes to the Rams. I still remember how bad they looked against Dallas and San Francisco, no doubt, and I know that Jacksonville and Houston are dealing with their own sets of problems so far.
But – and you knew there would be a “but” – this is precisely were a lot of us saw the Rams being after 6 games. I thought they’d be 3-3 with wins against Arizona and Jacksonville plus one win from the other four games (ATL, DAL, SF, HOU). And that is precisely what has happened.
The Rams haven’t looked as good as I thought they would, that’s true. They’re still missing that big play ability on offense and consistency on defense. They’re not what they need to be but at least they’re in position to still do something this year.
They have a very beatable Carolina (2-3) team in Week 7 on the road, then home games against Seattle and Tennessee plus a road game against Indianapolis before they reach the bye week. I think there’s a good chance they go into the bye with a 5-5 record.
They close with Chicago, @ San Francisco, @ Arizona, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and @ Seattle. There are some winnable games in there but for the Rams to reach my preseason prediction of a 9-7 record they need to raise their level of play. They need to show, especially over the next four games, that they can beat good teams and not just bad teams or teams that are in horrible ruts.
9-7 doesn’t necessarily look likely to me at this point but at least it’s possible. As I have done with every team during my professional radio career, I’ll wait until the season is over before I pass judgment.
See how that philosophy has worked out with the Cardinals – again. Rather than wasting my team in a panic about the team’s in-season struggles, I simply focused on the end-result. Now they’re in a strong position with a great chance of advancing to the World Series.
So I’ll give the Rams a chance to complete their work before I give them a grade.