An incredible weekend of football and a not so incredible weekend of baseball is the best way I can describe the last three days.
The St. Louis Cardinals find themselves one game away from having their season come to an end as they trail the Pittsburgh Pirates 2 games to 1 heading into this afternoon’s fourth game. The Cardinals did not get a very good pitching performance from Lance Lynn on Friday and were not able to muster any offense against the Pirates and lost a game they really needed to win by the score of 7 to 1. They didn’t fare much better yesterday in game 3 although their offense did get back on track as they lost a game in which they never led but tied up twice. This afternoon’s must win game is in the hands of rookie pitcher Michael Wacha who performed brilliantly at the end of the year but was up and down between St. Louis and Memphis most of the year. I have to admit that I don’t like the Cardinals chances right now but if they can somehow win today and get the series back to St. Louis then I like their chances much better.
The other National League Division Series finds the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 2 games to 1 lead over the Atlanta Braves after the Dodgers easily won game 3 last night after narrowly losing game 2 in Atlanta on Friday night. I like the Dodgers chances and think this series will be over after today’s game.
The Boston Red Sox have a commanding 2 games to 0 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in their American Leagues Divisional Series and I fully expect that series to be over today as well. Boston dominated game 1 and although Tampa Bay fared better in game 2 they can’t counter the Red Sox offense in my opinion.
The other ALDS is all knotted up at 1 game apiece and I think this one will go the full 5 games. The Detroit Tigers and Oakland A’s have played two great games so far as the series now shifts from Oakland to Detroit for game 3 this afternoon.
The Kansas City Chiefs are 5 and 0 after a hard fought victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Chiefs struggled throughout much of the game and their defense had a slight letdown in the third quarter but one thing is very obvious, this teams thrives under pressure and they really know how to finish strong as they continue to have excellent fourth quarters on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs are now home for three weeks in a row starting this week against the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs should easily win that game as Oakland isn’t very good in my opinion. The Raider did beat the San Diego Chargers yesterday but the Chargers played about as bad as you could possibly play and would have lost to a flag football team made up of first graders. In fact there are only two good teams in the AFC West in my opinion and they are both undefeated and will quite possibly still be undefeated in a few weeks when they meet in one of the biggest games of the year as the Chiefs and Broncos will do battle in a few weeks for their first of two meetings this year.
The St. Louis Rams also picked up a victory over the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday as they defeated them 37 to 20. I didn’t see any of the game but from what I understand it was not pretty but a win is still a win and the Rams were in desperate need of one.
There were several pleasant surprises this weekend and one of them was the Missouri Tigers. I thought there was a chance they could beat Vanderbilt but I would not have been at all surprised if they had lost that game. It turns out I was very surprised by the way the Tigers played but in a very good way. I can’t remember seeing the Missouri Tigers play as well as they played Saturday night since the 2007 season which saw them play in the Cotton Bowl. I am left to wonder if Missouri doesn’t play down to or up to their level of competition. They played an incredible game specially offensively as Jame Franklin had a phenomenal game and the game wasn’t really in question from the opening kickoff to the end. Make no mistake about it, Missouri beat a very good Vanderbilt team and did so on the road. This was perhaps their most important victory in the SEC. I realize that isn’t saying much but it’s true, Missouri was not expected to win this game and they did in a dominating fashion. Missouri needs that momentum and a whole lot more as they travel to Georgia on Saturday to play an exceptionally good Bulldogs team who are one of the top teams in the country. We’ll have much more to say about that game on Friday.
The Truman State Bulldogs football team played their first ever Great Lakes Valley Conference game on Saturday as they dismantled the Quincy Hawks 33 to 0. The defense played very well and the offense played solidly especially in the first half. Truman stays on the road for this weeks game as they travel to Liberty, MO to play William Jewel University on Saturday in what may be their first ever meeting. We’ll have to check on that. I’ll talk much more about that game on Friday as well.
The Kirksville High School Tigers got back on the winning track in a big way on Friday as they traveled to Booneville and put a beating on the Pirates coming away with a 35 to 7 victory. The Tigers played a solid game on both sides of the ball and I was very impressed with their defensive effort. They now need to take that momentum and use it as they prepare for the Mexico Bulldogs who will be here for the homecoming game this Friday night. If the Tigers keep playing like they did on Friday night they can finish strong and turn this season around and make a negative into a positive. Their frustration over not being able to get that elusive victory the last several weeks is over with and it’s an excellent opportunity to show just how good this football team is.
Kevin Harvick won the fourth race for the Chase yesterday as he held off several late challengers to win a crash filled race at Kansas. Yesterday’s race set a record for the most crashes during a race at the Kansas track and was one of those races that looked like it would be hard to watch because of all the caution flags.
We’ll be back on Wednesday with another blog, not sure what we’re doing yet but we’ll have an editorial meeting later today and make that decision. Thanks as always for checking out this and all the other blogs on the site and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at KDEBlog.
Have a great week!