This will serve as your initial game thread for the day. I'm still trying to tease together another topic out of the VEB annals but it's not quite fully formed yet. Hopefully you'll have a post-game surprise tonight.
- The Milwaukee Brewers, a sub .500 team entering the series, is exactly the kind of team you don't want to go on a losing streak against this time of year. You don't want to do it any time of year but this is the journalistic equivalent of feeding the bears. It's always going to look uglier in print than it will on the field.
- The thing is that most of this is a result of this team just being beat to hell right now. Matt Holliday has back issues. Carlos Beltran is knee issues. Lance Berkman is old. Matt Carpenter has both his hands cut up by a freak broken bat incident. (I hope he doesn't start wearing batting gloves as a result.) David Freese's glass ankles are threatening to shatter again. The vaunted offense that carried the Cardinals during the rougher patches early in the season just doesn't have much left to give at the moment.
- Whatever the Cardinals hoped to accomplish by moving Lance Lynn to the pen doesn't seem to have come to pass yet. He still seems awfully shaky to me -- I think his mechanics are off -- and you hate to see a guy who had such a tremendous year wind things down in this fashion.
- Hypothetical: You have to decide right now who gets the last starting pitcher's spot for 2013's rotation. Is it Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly or Shelby Miller?
- Despite their recent struggles against the Brewers, the Cardinals maintain a half game lead over the Dodgers for the second wild card slot.
- If you aren't at least obliquely paying attention to the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles, then you're missing out. This is a team that could not find a general manager to start the season. The ownership environment was so toxic that interviewees were declining the position or even declining the interview itself. Dan Duquette hadn't been in major league baseball for nearly a decade. It's a fascinating run by a team that doesn't really have any right to be making such a run.
- Springfield is tied 2-2 in their AA playoff series. If you're hoping for an Oscar Taveras callup, you probably have to wait at least one more day.