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NLDS Game 1: Cardinals at Phillies

Oct 1, 2011, 8:30 PM EST

US Presswire photo
Albert Pujols leads the red-hot Cardinals into Philadelphia.

There's no understating what the St. Louis Cardinals managed to pull off over the season's final three weeks, winning 16 of their last 21 games to overtake the collapsing Atlanta Braves and seize the NL wild-card. And what's their reward for all that? A division series matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies, baseball's best team all season.

As we all painfully know, the Phillies boast the most dominant rotation in the game, the quartet of aces known as Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels that gives this team every reason to believe it will win every time it steps on the field.

Which isn't to say this is a slam-dunk sweep for the Phillies. Their lineup was pretty banged up at the end of the season, raising some question marks. And Ryan Madson, though he excelled in his first year as closer, hasn't done it in the postseason yet. Throw in the fact the Cardinals actually won the season series, 6-3, and perhaps they have a chance here.

What's my prediction? Scroll down to read it…

Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 5:07 p.m.
Radio: XM 89
Weather: Showers, 62 degrees, Wind 7 mph LF to RF

SS Rafael Furcal
RF Allen Craig
1B Albert Pujols
LF Lance Berkman

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  1. FS - ofcourse rooting for Cards - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    ugh I hate it when you are so brutally truthful, Mark.

  2. Just wonderin' - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    If the Nats took four straight from 'em in Philly, why shouldn't the Cards be able to take 'em in three?

  3. Slidell - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    @Just wondering…. At this particular time, the Phils have just a wee bit more motivation than they had when we saw them.

  4. NatsLady - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    Cards just scored 3. Doc having a little trouble. There ya go.

  5. Slidell - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    The Cards are off to a good start. 3 in the 1st off Doc.

  6. Jim Webster - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Cards starting out with style. I'm pining for a replay of 1926 WS when my home town hero Grover Cleveland Alexander, with bad hangover, won 7th game for STL to beat NYY.

  7. baseballswami - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Wow – first Ian Kennedy and then Doc Halladay. To quote a terrible cliche — that's why we don't play the games on paper. Everyone was making excuses for the Phillies at the end of the season and saying they could just flip the switch. Maybe yes, maybe no. The Braves and Sox couldn't do it. The Phillies banked a lot of wins early and so they were protected,but maybe they are on a downswing – and maybe it's early and they come back. Watch and see…

  8. Section 222 - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Wow, Angel Hernandez and Jerry Meals are both umpiring this game. The doesn't say much for the merit based approach to picking the umps for the post season.

  9. MicheleS - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    Here come the phoolies … sigh

  10. JaneB - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    This poor Cardinals pitcher. Ooof.

  11. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Second that on both counts. Also, stupid PhILLies… :-)FS – ofcourse rooting for Cards said… ugh I hate it when you are so brutally truthful, Mark. October 1, 2011 4:48 PM





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