Sunday, July 06, 2008

Saved the Season?

I hope everyone's enjoying their 4th of July weekend. Is it too much hyperbole to say yesterday's victory saved the Cardinals season? Probably, but it isn't too much to say it definitely saved their chances of competing for the NL Central title vice just the Wild Card. Especially considering they hadn't won a single game this season when trailing in the ninth.

And it couldn't have come against a better foe.

We all (at least I) knew that Zambrano would shut them down on Friday. He always does these days. But with Lohse going yesterday, I thought the chances were good for a Cardinal victory. It didn't look good when they entered the seventh trailing 2-0 on the FOX ticker.

(Segue: you know what's coming now. Why was I forced to sit through the Yankees/Red Sox yesterday? I live in a National League city. Hey FOX: 90% of the country couldn't give 2 shits about New England sports; in fact, based on the recent success of the Patriots, Red Sox, and now Celtics, we're all pretty much fed up with Boston. As a NL fan, living in a NL city, I demand to watch an NL game if it's an option on Saturdays. Unless it's a West Coast NL team; then any other game will suffice. I'll take Peoria against Gary Indiana in that case.)

But the boys perservered and got 2 to tie. Enter Franklin. Nice outing, Ryan - double, 2-R HR, walk, shower. Most of the air left Busch at that point, I imagine, at least from the red-clad faithful. Enter Ryan Ludwick. Trememdous throw to nail Edmonds. Odd play; it looked like Ludwick double-clutched, and why was Edmonds running while looking at RF? I'm sure the Cubs conspiracy theorists are having a field day with that play today (see?!?!?! Edmonds is STILL a Cardinal!!!).

Great ninth inning rally. I don't need to say anything more. I wish I could have seen it live, though.

Other thoughts:

- I don't understand what all the excitement was on LaRussa's part regarding Edmonds' desire to leave his Cardinal past behind him. Cubs fans hated him for 8 years, and still do to a degree. This hatred is fanned partially by what he did on the field to them as a Cardinal, and partially by the media. Edmonds has endured more than his share of questions about Cardinals/Cubs; I for one agree with him for wanting to move on. I took it, and Edmonds meant it, in no way as a shot at the Cardinals in general or LaRussa in particular. Why Tony interpreted it that way is beyond me. Seems he should use that energy to fix the back of his bullpen vice worrying about some comments a former player made.

- Edmonds getting a standing ovation in his first AB Friday was absolutely the right thing to do. He bled for the Cardinals for 8 years; we would have been wrong to forget that, just because he's a Cub now.

- Kevin Kennedy (studio co-host on FOX Saturday Baseball) is an idiot. Lou Piniella for manager of the year? You got to be kidding me. The Cubs were expected to contend this year. LaRussa is the NL Manager of the Year this season, especially if the Cardinals make the playoffs. Go look for a pre-season prognostication that had the Cardinals above .500, much less in playoff contention this season - you won't find one. Most of the Cardinal blogs had this team as a bad one; I myself didn't think they'd finish better than 78-84. His job this season has been superb. How anyone else can be considered for Manager of the Year honors is extremely short-sighted.

And I say that knowing I'll be accused of homer-ism as this is a Cardinal blog.

Go get today's game, boys - Cubs 1.5 games up with a week to go before the All-Star break will set us up nicely for a hell of a pennant run.

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