Cardinals' bullpen delivers 

October, 18, 2006
The Cardinals steal a win behind their worst starter, while the Mets lose one behind their alleged ace, putting St. Louis in a perfect position to capture the series even before we consider that the Mets have no idea who's going to start the still-hypothetical Game 7.

Jeff Weaver gets the good stat line, but didn't pitch that well. He left a ton of balls over the middle of the plate, and the Mets simply didn't connect, with David Wright missing at least three pitches he could have driven for doubles or home runs and Jose Reyes taking some terrible at-bats. The Mets swung at and missed just five pitches off Weaver, including one by Tom Glavine and two by Wright. That's not good pitching -- it's lucky pitching. Weaver did keep his arm angle up and the ball down better than he usually does, but that's hardly the explanation for how the Mets' left-handed hitters went 5-for-16 with two weak doubles against a guy who gave up a .665 slugging percentage to lefties this year. Even Jose Valentin's two-run double was just a line drive off a hanging changeup.

Glavine's meltdown sank the Mets, as he was handed a two-run lead and couldn't give it back fast enough. The home run to Albert Pujols was almost understandable. Pujols is one of the best hitters in the game, and I thought Glavine struck him out on the pitch right before the homer anyway. But after the home run, Glavine lost his command. A pitcher with stuff as marginal as Glavine can't have below-average command. He was either right in the middle of the plate, or way off it, meaning even hitters like Preston Wilson (who looked foolish in his first two at-bats) could make solid contact. In the fifth inning, David Eckstein and Wilson jumped all over Glavine, and he was finished.