Wow, what a weekend for sports fans. I don’t even know where to start.
At the end of one of the most amazing seasons for a franchise that has seen its share of amazing seasons the St. Louis Cardinals finished the year with the best record in the National League and its first NL Central division title since 2009. They did that in spectacular fashion by sweeping both the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs in the final week of the season and go into the playoffs red hot. I didn’t give the cardinals much of a chance of winning the NL Central title after their August slump where they looked like a team that was headed in totally the wrong direction but they certainly proved me wrong. I was pretty confident they would make the playoffs but it looked like they would most likely go into the playoffs as one of the two wild card teams from the National League and might not even have home field advantage for the wild card play in game. Not only did they rectify that situation but they now have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Once they did manage to capture first place again most people assumed they would play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round but the Cardinals final week winning streak allowed them to slide past the Braves for the best record in the NL and the Cardinals will now be playing the winner of the wild card play in game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds which takes place tomorrow in Pittsburgh. Whoever wins that game then heads to St. Louis to play the Cardinals on Thursday with game 2 being on Friday. Starting times for those games have not been determined yet. The Cardinals have struggled to beat the Pirates this year especially in Pittsburgh so it might be better for the Cardinals if the Reds can somehow win tomorrow’s play in game as the Cardinals have fared much better against the Reds this year.
We’ll have much more to say about the Cardinals in a future blog as I want to spend one whole blog looking at this amazing team and the records they set on their way to the NL Central title.
The Kansas City Royals finished up their first winning season since 2003 and had their best record since 1989 but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians both of whom are playoff bound. The Royals did finish in third place so I think that at the end of the day this season has to be considered a success although I know Royals management expected better results. We’ll have more on that in a future blog as well.
Game 163 for the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers takes place tonight as they finished the season tied for the second wild card spot. Both teams are riding winning streaks into tonight’s game with the Rangers looking like they were on life support this time last week before turning things around and reeling off seven straight wins. The winner of tonight’s game will then head to Cleveland to play the Indians on Wednesday night and the winner of that game heads to Boston to play the Red Sox on Friday night in game 1 of their divisional playoff series.
Baseball wasn’t the only action in town this weekend as the Kansas City Chiefs improved to 4 and 0 for the first time in ten years by easily defeating the New York Giants yesterday 31 to 7. The defense played another stellar game against a big game quarterback as they totally dominated the Giants offense throughout most of the game. The Giants scored early in the game and that was it. The Chiefs offense is stilla question mark in my mind as they didn’t play very well throughout most of the first three quarters of the game before turning it up late in the third quarter to score 21 points. Alex Smith is an incredible quarterback and is capable of doing a lot of things and doing them all well which has allowed the Chiefs offense to accomplish what it has so far. The Chiefs head to Tennessee to play the Titans this weekend in what could be a very interesting game as the Titans lost their starting quarterback to a hip injury yesterday. He is likely out for several weeks and will definitely not play in Sunday’s game from what I understand.
Saturday was full of college football as the Missouri Tigers and Truman State Bulldogs played at the same time once again. The Tigers beat Arkansas State in a game that was closer than the score indicated. I didn’t get to see most of the game but it looked like the Tigers struggled in the early going before breaking through late in the third quarter and playing a great fourth quarter. SEC play starts for the Tigers this week as they are on the road to play a very good Vanderbilt team.
The Truman State Bulldogs lost a tough one to Central Missouri State on Saturday night as the Bulldogs and Mules played a pretty even first half but the Mules were able to break through in the second half and won the game 40 to 23. Truman played by far their worst game of the year against a team that is very solid on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs have their first ever Great Lakes Valley Conference game on Saturday as they travel to Quincy to play the Hawks on Saturday afternoon.
The Kirksville High School Tigers did their best against an outstanding Hannibal team but in the end Hannibal was able to win a surprisingly good game. I thought the Tigers played with a lot more confidence than they showed earlier in the season. I think the amazing comeback against Marshall two Fridays ago really instilled some confidence in the team as they hung with Hannibal a lot better than many expected. The Tigers hit the road again on Friday as they travel to Booneville to play another bunch of Pirates.
We’ll have much more on the Chiefs, Mizzou, the Bulldogs and the Tigers in Friday’s blog. There will be a blogon Wednesday this week as I want to spend some time getting caught up on some things and talking a little more about the baseball playoffs. I’m going to change the format of this blog a little bit which will hopefully make it more interesting and fun to read but also make it easier to ensure there will be a blog on Wednesday which tends to be a very busy day. Monday’s blog and Friday’s blog will pretty much stay the same as we will review the weekend’s sports action on Monday that we previewed on Friday. Wednesday’s blog will take more of a commentary approach and may only deal with one topic depending on what’s going on in the sports world and we will use Wednesday’s blog to go into a topic much more in depth. In other words, Wednesday’s blog will be much more opinion based. This will allow me to be able to work on Wednesday’s blog throughout the week so that I’m not scrambling to find the latest scores or information like I do for the other two blogs. It will also give you the reader a little something different instead of the same stuff all the time. Another reason for the change is the new Twitter account that I created last week. KDEBlog is the Twitter account for this blog and it is updated frequently. The tweets are mostly opinion based or comment based, there are millions of other places you can go for the most up to date scores and since I don’t watch every sporting event it would be a disservice to try and keep track of things I’m not watching or listening to. Join the conversation on Twitter at KDEBlog.
We’ll be back on Wednesday with another blog as we will look more closely at the MLB playoffs. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at KDEBlog and please check out all the other blogs on this site.
Have a great week!