Saturday, October 21, 2006

Beertown vs Motown: The Drunk Driving Series

Every year there is a lame-0 mayoral or gubernatorial wager that is staged between the competing cities in major sports championships like the World Series. Another annual ritual is the naming of the series with something catchy symbolizing both cities. For example, the Mets and Yankees had the "Subway Series", the Cardinals and Royals had the "I-70 Series" and so forth. For this year's World Series I humbly suggest the moniker, "The Drunk Driving Series". To inaugurate it, we can have the Mayor of St. Louis can put up a cold one and Detroit's mayor can wager a Chrysler Pacifica.

They can partake of the spoils and hit the road...

...a winding mountain road... the ones in the car commercials.

That sounds fair to me.

It's a rookie face-off tonight. Anthony Reyes of the Cardinals vs Justin Verlander of the Tigers. We all know what Verlander can do: 100+ MPH fastball, a change-up, good breaking curveball. Reyes doesn't come with that kind of heat but his change-up is nasty when it's on and he's shown himself to be a strikeout pitcher.

Reyes has been pitching the second half of this season with what is being called a "tired arm", but the good news for the Cardinals is that he's only pitched once this month. That outing in Game 4 of the NLCS was shaky. He struggled with his command. But he surrendered only two runs in just under 5 innings. It could be that the outing helped him shake the rust off after a long rest and he could be sharper today.

If that's the case and he shows up as the Anthony Reyes of the first half of the season he's capable of matching Verlander pitch-for-pitch. He pitched a one-hitter against a tough White Sox club in June but took the loss in tough luck, 1-0. If he turns in that kind of performance the game will come down to a battle of nerves between the two teams with the Cardinals holding the lion's share of postseason and World Series experience and a lot less of the pressure, being widely regarded as huge underdogs this time around.

I'm not predicting the upset in this game. Just don't be surprised if it happens.

Game #1 of the 2006 World Series is coming up... NEXT!