Do or Die Time for NL

There is nothing quite like a game 7 in a series. One single game in a winner take all contest to see who moves on and who goes home. This is the kind of drama that every American sports fan loves to see. After 162 regular season games (161 in the case of the Cardinals) and the first round divisional play-offs then 6 games of the League Championship Series it will come down to the final 27 outs to decide who will represent the National League in the World Series. This would be equivalent to two runners in a marathon who go stride for stride through the race. The first runner stakes an early lead and cruises through the race while the other struggles and barely reaches the final leg. But when that final leg of the race begins, it is the struggling runner who finds his pace while the seemingly invincible runner struggles with aches, pains and minor injuries.

Going into that final leg, the runners are matched stride for stride and anything could happen. One slip up, one single miscalculation could erase 26 miles of racing and cost them a victory. One miscue and they will go down in history as a footnote, just another competitor that the victor vanquished on their way to the next race. In this analogy it is the New York Mets who find themselves in a precarious position of near elimination. After a season where they completely dominated the other National League teams and even the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of the play-offs, the Mets now see their pitching staff in shambles due to injury and ineffectiveness. Until early this morning it was questionable if they even had what you would call a game 7 starter. The Cardinals on the other hand were described as “backing into” the play-offs. They nearly were beaten by the Houston Astros and their play-off fate undecided until the final game of the regular season. They rebounded by dominating the San Diego Padres in the first round and then roared into the League Championship series taking a 3-2 lead into game 6. But after losing last night’s game with their best pitcher on the mound you can no longer look at them as the favorites. It is again an even race and one that will ultimately come down to this single contest. Personally I would like to see the Cardinals win. Not because of any animosity towards the Mets but because I think the Cardinals pitching staff has a better opportunity to match up with the Detroit Tigers for an exciting World Series. Regardless, tonight’s game will be high drama and one you won’t want to miss. After all, in a marathon it is the finish line where a runner’s character is best displayed.

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