Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  By STAN McNEAL  |  Last updated 10/16/13
LOS ANGELES -- Three quick observations on the Cardinals and the National League Championship Series. THE IDEAL STARTER Joe Kelly has pitched only twice at Dodger Stadium, the Cardinals lost both games and he didn't pitch well. But he's still the ideal guy to start Game 5 of the NL Championship Series this afternoon at Dodger Stadium. Of course, you could say the same about any of the Cardinals' starters the way they have been pitching. None, however, is any better suited from a mental and emotional standpoint to start the game that could put the Cardinals in the World Series. Talk about unflappable. The Southern California native has proven to be the same guy all season. Even as he twisted in the bullpen without a set role for much of the first half, he didn't complain. Once he secured his spot in the rotation, there was no "I told you so." He said the same stuff: I'm out there trying to get outs as quickly as possible. How many pitchers would spend part of their day-before presser answering a question about what it would be like to pitch with a Brian Wilson-esque beard? Such nonsense didn't faze Kelly. "That's a funny question," he said."I would probably never know how that felt because my facial hair won't grow that good." Though Kelly will be pitching on his native turf, he can count on a long and loud chorus of boos. He is the one who plugged shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the ribs, leaving him a question mark for the rest of the month. But don't think the HBP was intentional, not in a 1-2 count early in the NLCS. Ramirez even has said he didn't believe Kelly hit him on purpose. SAME SITUATION, DIFFERENT YEAR The difference between last year and this year's 3-1 NLCS leads is obvious. Games 6 and 7, if necessary this time, would be played at Busch Stadium and not in the enemy's yard. As comforting as that might be, the Cardinals on Tuesday weren't looking ahead to a possible game at Busch Stadium. They weren't thinking about the World Series. They weren't thinking about Monday night's 3-0 meltdown. They were taking the same approach they have all season. "Honestly, the team will look at it very narrow-minded that we've got to come out and try to win a game," left fielder Matt Holliday said. Manager Mike Matheny would be proud to hear his players singing the same song he has been stuck on since spring training. He was no different following Tuesday night's victory. "We don't talk about wonderful positions," Matheny said. "What we talk about is we have a game to play." THE WORLD SERIES IS A WIN -- AS WELL AS A WEEK -- AWAY Because Game 1 of the Fall Classic isn't until Oct. 23, the Cardinals will end up with a week between games if they beat the Dodgers today. Such a long layoff between series has hurt numerous clubs in recent years, including the Tigers last year. Of course, the Cardinals want to move on as quickly as they can. To have a week before the World Series would be like a "problem" not totally unlike what they will face next spring when they have to decide between no fewer than 10 bona fide starting pitcher candidates. That is, it would be a problem any team would gladly take on. You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Former NFL LB Armstrong, wife reportedly killed by 16-year-old son

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio


Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker