October 18, 2011
The similar finale, of course, would be of a bearded closer celebrating his perfect postseason by lifting his National League squad over a powerful Rangers lineup, all while watching his Q rating rise on the game's brightest stage.
But don't worry. Though the Yukon Cornelius beard of Cards closer Jason Motte(notes) may invoke some memories of Brian Wilson's(notes) whiskers in 2010, Motte says he has no plans of letting his chin rug grow nearly as wild as the San Francisco Giants star.
He'll never face any allegations of coloring it, either.
You can also be assured that Motte's beard isn't just a ploy for attention or a September superstition designed to generate good luck for the playoffs.
"I've had a beard since 2008," Motte said. "We were talking the other night: There's probably no one on this team that has seen my real face. It's always been there."
OK. So while we've drawn a real line of demarcation between both closers, it's actually worth noting that Motte has a shot at replicating what Wilson did in 2010. Though he never really "owned" the Cards' closer job like Wilson has in San Francisco, he has been just as perfect in the postseason as Wilson was. Maybe even more so.
In 2010, Wilson threw 11.2 innings over three postseason series, recording a 0.00 ERA, a 0.771 WHIP, 11 strikeouts and six saves. He faced a total of 44 batters and only let six of them reach base. He was on the hill when San Francisco won its first World Series.
In comparison, Motte has faced 25 total batters over his two series in 2011. He has a 0.00 ERA, a 0.125 WHIP, seven strikeouts and four saves over eight total innings pitched. He could well be the man on the mound when St. Louis wins its 11th World Series title.
Not bad for a guy who still hasn't officially been named the closer. Or, as Jeff Passan detailed in an excellent column, can't even really see the catcher's mitt.
"I attack hitters. I go at them," Motte told Passan. "I try to locate and execute my pitches. I'm a max-effort guy."
In a minimum amount of time, so far.