I personally believe that playoff baseball is mostly momentum. Who cares if Shawn Marcum had a 3.7 ERA in the regular season. It was clear he had a tired arm and sucked during his 3 playoff starts.
In the TB Rays series that went 4 games, Texas scored 0, 8, 4 and 4 runs from G1-G4. Aside from G2, Texas won mostly b/c their pitchers shut down TB bats, which IMO, weren't that great.
In the Det series, Texas scored 3, 2, 7, 5, 7 and 15 runs. But again, this is misleading. Games 3 and 7, they only scored 3 in 9 innings, but got 4 more in extras. Game 4, they got 3 of their 5 runs off a very tired Verlander and horrible Detroit relievers b/c Valverde and Benoit were sitting out.
Within 9 innings of the ALCS, Texas scored, 3, 2, 3, 5, 3 and 15 runs.
IMO, it's been Texas pitching that's been stellar. If they don't hold Detroit to 3 runs or less in G1, G3 and 5, they lose that series. Same with the TB series.
But again IMO, StL bats are much better than Detroit's injury-depleted lineup or TB's. Or, at least they've been much hotter during the playoff run. And StL's pen has been awesome recently -- I don't recall Philly or Milw scoring much during the last 3-4 innings of most games.
Cards in 6.
Basically, the owner is trying to do everything to suddenly lose. I don't know who this guy Kim Hughes is, but it really looks like management is trying to sabotage the team.
I watched parts of the Clipper game tonight. I have to admit I was wrong. Some Clippers played very hard. Rasual Butler hustled back on a turnover to stuff Brandon Roy's layup.
But damn, did they look disorganized. 21 turnovers. 15 steals by Portland. Kaman gets double-teamed and he throws a softball completely cross court for a steal. Very few offense sets where anyone knew what was going on. Perimeter D didn't switch fast enough. Martell Webster and Rudy Fernandez were wide open all the time.