Observation 1: That was a friggin' big flag they unfurled at the start of the game.
Major League Baseball was nice enough to extend media credentials to Riverfront Times
for the fall classic. Why? We're not sure. But believe us, we tried
our best to look like legitimate sports reporters last night. Here, then, are a few observations from last night's contest -- both on and off the field. National disaster:
In hindsight, we wish American Idol
star Scotty McCreery's microphone was turned off during the entire performance of the Star-Spangled Banner -- and not just the first verse
. This guy sings like Colby Rasmus talks. Yep, it's countrified all right. Question is: Was it a more achy, breaky performance than when Billy Ray Cyrus sang the anthem for the Cardinals in the '06 series? Would you prefer a nice waterboarding or electric shock?
Cold temps and cold beer don't mix:
Game time temps hovered in the mid-40s throughout most of the game with a light sprinkle falling in the late innings. As a beer vendor told me last night: "Sales are horrible." But then again, he said beer sales for him have been bad throughout the entire postseason. He claims the Cardinals brought in extra vendors from Kansas City and Chicago to help push more beer sales. In turn, the vendors who've been there all season are seeing their profit margins tank. "Why not let us make some money!?" he groused. Carp had what it takes:
The Cardinals ace didn't have his best stuff last night but was good enough to last six innings. His only mistake was a two-run homer to Rangers' catcher Mike Napoli in the 5th-inning. Allen Craig's sixth-inning, pinch-hit RBI for Carp, gave the pitcher the win. Speaking of Craig:
The Cardinals outfielder is emerging as a real pinch-hitting threat in the postseason. Last night's bat for Carpenter won the game when his slicing liner to right field appeared to bounce off Nelson Cruz's foot. The hit scored Freese from third base and put the Cardinals up 3-2. The game would end with the same score. Craig also had a 2-RBI pinch hit in Game 6 of the NLCS.
Nelson Cruz is human:
After getting so much ink last week for his record-setting six home runs in the ALCS, Cruz was something of a non-factor in Game 1 with a walk, strike out, single to center and a fly out in his four at bats. He also wears braces, btw, which makes him a little less imitating when viewed face-to-face. Remember that, Jaime Garcia, when you're staring Cruz down tonight in Game 2.