If there’s a downside to Derek Holland’s brilliant outing in game 4, (besides his pitiful cookie duster!) it’s that he likely won’t be available to start a potential Game 7 scheduled Thursday night in St. Louis.
Bad for the Rangers, but certainly relieving for the Cards who went a combined 0-for-25 outside Lance Berkman’s two hits, which is all the Cardinals could mustard off the 25-year-old.
Three days rest is never ideal for a starter and hardly pans out in the postseason with exceptions to Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, which Holland is neither.
That leaves C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison, if necessary, to close the deal vs. Chris Carpenter, Jamie Garcia and Kyle Lohse. All subject to change, of course.
The underlying theme, however, is both the Rangers wins have come with little to no help from its bullpen, which entering the series was my deciding factor as to why I choose Texas to win the championship.
The Rangers had allowed just 11 runs through its first 12 postseason games. But that total was quickly matched in Game 3 with 11 runs scoring in 5.1 innings.
Alexi Ogando, the Rangers prized relief weapon, has been schooled twice by pinch-hitting ace Allen Craig, both times driving in go-ahead runs for St. Louis.
The flame thrower has been far too predictable, even with 100-mph heat, looking overmatched and uncomfortable on the mound.
The Cards, and Allen in particular, appear to have defeated Ogando mentally. Weapon averted.
Other than a single shutout inning by Mike Adams in Game 2, which was no doubt crucial but on the heels of 6.2 strong innings from Lewis, the Rangers pen’ has been dreadful.
That leaves Wilson and Lewis to match the lofty standard Holland set Sunday night, or risk leaving the series in the hands of its ineffective bullpen.
In which case, you can forget about any Game 7.