**The original post — which you can read HERE – has been updated now that the League Championship Series round has begun**
St. Louis Cardinals
Defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3 games to 2
The Cardinals are in the playoffs for the third year in a row and are seeking their third World Series title in the last eight years (also ’06 and ’11). Unlike last year, the Cardinals reached the playoffs with the help of some former Sounds. Their talented roster, particularly their tremendous pitching staff, is loaded with rookies, many of whom came through Memphis and faced the Sounds this year or last year (such as Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Joe Kelly, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Matt Adams, Seth Maness, Pete Kozma and Kolten Wong, just to name a few/several). They have their share of veterans, too, including 38-year-old Sounds alum Randy Choate (’08), who went 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 69 appearances this year for the Cards. Joining him in the St. Louis bullpen these days is former Sound and Brewers closer John Axford (’09-’10), who was traded from Milwaukee on August 30 for Michael Blazek (a possible Sounds reliever in ’14). Axford saved 46 games for a Brewers playoff team in ’11 and saved 35 games for Milwaukee last year before posting a 4.45 ERA in 62 games this year for The Crew. After the trade, though, he had a 1.74 ERA in 13 appearances for St. Louis.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3 games to 1
The Dodgers are managed by one of the most well-known former Sounds the team has ever had – Don Mattingly (’81). He managed the club to a winning record for the third year in a row and did so this year as many were calling for him to be fired early in the season. Instead the Dodgers went on to win the NL West by 11 games over Arizona, sporting a 92-60 record. The Dodgers haven’t been to the World Series since ’88, when Mattingly was a perennial all-star and Gold Glove winner for the Yankees. He has had two former Sounds on his team this season, both on the pitching staff – Zack Greinke (’11) and Chris Capuano (’10). Greinke pitched for the Sounds in 2011 as part of a major league rehab assignment while with Milwaukee. After going 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts for the Brewers in ’12, he was traded that July to the Angels for Jean Segura, Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena. Segura seems to be the Brewers answer at shortstop for years to come, Hellweg was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year after a stellar season for the Sounds this year, and Pena seems likely to pitch for the Sounds at some point next year after a solid ’13 campaign at Double-A Huntsville. Meanwhile Greinke became a free agent after last year, signed a lucrative contract with the Dodgers over the winter and went 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 28 starts this season. Greinke is part of a loaded Dodgers rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw, Ricky Nolasco, Hyun-jin Ryu and the veteran Sounds alum Capuano, who was left off the Dodgers’ NLCS roster. The 34-year-old lefty went 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 24 appearances as the Dodgers’ No. 5 starter. In his nine-year major league career, Capuano is 73-83 with a 4.27 ERA. In the best-of-five National League Division series against Atlanta, Capuano was in the Dodgers’ bullpen.
Boston Red Sox
Defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 3 games to 1
The Red Sox do not have a former Sound on their roster. So, don’t root for them.
Defeated the Oakland A’s, 3 games to 2
The reigning American League champions continue to feature two former Sounds — one player and one coach. You know the player… Prince Fielder (’05), who put together his third straight (6th overall) 100-RBI season. He belted 25 home runs, his lowest total in any previous full season in the majors. One of the men observing Fielder is Tigers hitting coach and former Sound Lloyd McClendon (’87-’88), who played in Nashville at Triple-A for the Reds and totaled 28 games. He’s in his seventh year as the Tigers’ hitting coach under manager Jim Leyland.
Enjoy the October baseball…it’s the best!
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