The St. Louis Cardinals are playing the Philadelphia Phillies in a couple of hours and this is a big game, I’ve been told. I would agree since it feels like my life is riding in the balance.
I love these intense playoff games and I hate them. If you’re a sports fan, you know exactly what I mean. There is very little joy during a game because the game is ongoing. If the Cardinals are ahead all kinds of worst-case scenarios swim through my head. If the
Cardinals are behind I become despondent, almost incapable of movement.
If the Cardinals end up winning, I’m OK. But there’s always the next game to worry about. If they lose, well, you don’t want to know.
Sports are meant to be enjoyed, right? Isn’t that their purpose. So why don’t I “enjoy” these games? Why do I sit in my chair with my teeth clenched for three hours?
* I think the Cardinals have a great shot tonight. I expect Chris Carpenter to pitch really well. Trouble is, I also expect the Phillies’ Roy Hallady to pitch really well, like he almost always does.
The difference in the game could be an error or a bloop hit or a base-running play, either good or bad. The difference could be a wild pitch or a ball that gets lost in the lights. OK, I’m stretching here. I would be thrilled with four runs against Halladay and the Phillies’ bullpen. I think that’s what it’s going to take to win.
The Cardinals have outplayed Philadelphia for most of the NLDS. They’ve hit better and pitched better and gotten more out of their bullpen. And so far – cross my fingers and knock on wood – the two biggest bugaboos for St. Louis, defense and bullpen, haven’t been factors.
* Really enjoyed the debut episode of “Homeland” on Showtime last week, right after “Dexter.” Wasn’t sure if I could fit another television show into the week, but I’m going to go the extra mile for “Homeland,” which stars Claire Danes as a troubled CIA terrorism expert who suspects a just-released American POW to be in cahoots with the bad guys. It’s a fascinating premise and Danes is money. So is Mandy Patinkin, who plays her mentor.
* Loved the first episode of the new season of “Dexter,” too. Wow, talk about some hard-to-watch moments. I’ve noticed that any time there’s a scene in which snakes burst through the abdomen of a murder victim it can cause me to wince. Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks are playing the “Dexter” villains this season and Michael C. Hall is just great, as always, in the starring role.
* My DVR is loaded with shows I still haven’t been able to get to. My wife and I watched the first episode of “Person of Interest” but haven’t gotten to the last two. “Unforgettable,”‘ looks great if I would just remember to watch it. We’ve been meaning to get to “The Good Wife” and just haven’t made it happen. I even have this week’s episodes of “Modern Family” and “The Middle” waiting for me in the DVR. Watching TV has become a chore in the 21st century.
* Loving the turn to fall. Enjoy being in my basement, working, and hearing the wind howl and the leaves blow. I think this is definitely my favorite time of the year for sports and for weather. Now, that will abruptly change when it gets too cold. But I’m hoping that doesn’t happen for a few more weeks.
Let’s start with college football and some key games:
(Home teams in bold)
Boise State 34, Fresno State 14 (tonight)
Oklahoma 31, Texas 20 (in Dallas) – I’m glad the Longhorns are better, but they’re still not a match for OU. At least I don’t think they are.
Georgia Tech 43, Maryland 28
LSU 27, Florida 13
Penn State 23, Iowa 21
Notre Dame 34, Air Force 24
Alabama 40, Vanderbilt 13
Michigan 31, Northwestern 21
Arkansas 28, Auburn 21
Texas A&M 34, Texas Tech 31
Baylor 40, Iowa State 23
Nebraska 31, Ohio State 14
Oklahoma State 58, Kansas 21 – Sorry, KU fans. I’d love to be able to give you better new. I just don’t see how the Jayhawks’ bad defense is going to stop the Cowboys, who might have 58 by the end of the third quarter and then let up. My advice to KU fans is to go enjoy an outdoor activity while this one is being played.
Missouri 24, Kansas State 20 – On radio this morning, I picked Missouri to cover the spread, which has the Tigers as a 3 1/2-point favorite. As you can tell, I’m not at all confident in this pick. If K-State wins and goes to 5-0 with road games looming at Texas Tech and Kansas, things will get mighty interesting.
Cincinnati 24, Jacksonville 13
New Orleans 33, Carolina 20
Pittsburgh 20, Tennessee 17
Minnesota 23, Arizona 20
New York Giants 28, Seattle 17
Buffalo 30, Philadelphia 27
New England 31, New York Jets 24
Indianapolis 21, Kansas City 14
Houston 28, Oakland 24
Tampa Bay 24, San Francisco 21
San Diego 30, Denver 17
Green Bay 31, Atlanta 21
Detroit 27, Chicago 20
Have a great weekend. I’ll let you know how mine is going to be at about 10:30 tonight.