Bill Simmons' take on the NLCS
:Sadly, the rest of the Astros-Cards series seems predictably depressing (unless you're a St. Louis fan). Not only are the Cardinals back at home, not only have they been handed a second life, but out of every sport, baseball hinges on emotion and momentum more than anything else.
What about biathlon or ski jumping? Or emotionball? How about momentum-hockey?
In the NBA, teams can lose the most devastating game possible and bounce back two days later as a completely different team (like the Nets after Game 3 of the 2002 Boston series). That doesn't work in baseball. Once you have the momentum, the other team has to take it back. And they can't do that when they're reeling on the road and wondering what the hell just happened. That's why I believe the Astros are finished, just like that '86 Angels team was.
Game 5 was a devastating loss, and the Cards are indeed going back home, but doesn't starting Oswalt (2.94 ERA) and Clemens (1.87) as opposed to Mulder (3.64) and Morris (4.11) at least even out the supposed momentum?
Because they are human beings who are actually playing in the games as opposed to vague theories about psychology and sports performance.
Also, I'm not sure I really want to do this, but I'm sure our readers can point out instances where a baseball team has lost the most devastating game possible and bounced back "as a completely different team" immediately afterwards, like Simmons says the 2002 Nets did.
I believe if you go all the way back to 2001, the Diamondbacks lost successive heartbreakers to the Yankees before coming back to beat them 15-2 in Game 6 and 3-2 in Game 7. Wait, Simmons mentions this in the column but dismisses it for some strange reason.
There was also the ALCS last year, when the Red Sox came back from a pretty seriously devastating Game 3.
Anyway, if you read on in the article (which I just did), Simmons hedges his bets a little with this paragraph:You could even call me an expert. And according to my research, your team is cooked unless they can create a new Level of Losing for the Cardinals -- the "Reverse Dead Man Walking" Game on either Wednesday or Thursday.
Okay, so the Astros are toast unless they're not.
I know Simmons' articles are mean to be light and fluffy and fun, but I bet there's a small part of him (and a large segment of his readership) that genuinely believes what he's saying is absolutely true. People want to believe this stuff.
Eh, I guess that's fine.
Labels: bill simmons