Buster Olney said this this morning: “Is the NL Central race over? Well, it’s not literally over. But if this were the 1972 presidential election, the Cardinals would be McGovern and the Brewers would be Richard Nixon.”
I guess that makes the Reds Hubert Humphrey, the Pirates Edmund Muskie, the Cubs Shirley Chisholm and the Astros George Wallace.
And it makes Tony La Russa Thomas Eagleton, which would explain a hell of a lot. Not that La Russa is totally crazy. He suspected the Brewers of cheating not too long ago and, as history shows us, Nixon did, in fact, cheat.
Now, which Cardinals beat writer shall we cast in the Hunter S. Thompson role for “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail?” I’m gonna go with Matthew Leach of MLB.com. I think he could pull it off. I saw him wearing a tropical print shirt at the Winter Meetings last year. At least I think I did. It was late and there was a lot of beer.
OK, all of you readers who are either (a) under 50; or (b) not fixated on random Baby Boomer-era history like I am can resume reading the blog now.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.