The Cards beat Nate Robertson, the Tigers' best pitcher in September, to take a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series. Robertson pitched well, but gave up a two-run double to Jim "Jimmy Baseball" Edmonds, and then relief pitcher Joel Zumaya's errant throw to third base on an Albert Pujols grounder led to two more runs (and too much babble from announcer Tim McCarver). A wild pitch scores So Taguchi in the eighth inning, making it 5-0.
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter was on. He threw 84 pitches through eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits (two from Sean Casey, the ex-Cincinnati Red who has hurt St. Louis in the past). As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeff Gordon notes: "In Carpenter’s five postseason starts, the Cards have won four times. This is how Cy Young Award winners are supposed to pitch in the big games.
Yes, Len, this could be St. Louis' year. But I'm not ready to proclaim victory yet.
I will say this, though. These Cardinals seem to be making the best of their underdog status. The last time they were here, in 2004, they plowed through the regular season, coasting for nearly a month before playoff time. I think the fact that they've had a year of adversity has better prepared them better for the big time.