last night's strike zone (so called) the topic of much conversation around cardblogland today. per get up baby : "First Edmonds and Pujols are called out on pitches the guy who greenlighted Major League 3: Back to the Minors wouldn't go for, and just innings later Jose Mesa couldn't hit the magical shrinking strike zone if he had the spread gun from Contra." per cardnilly: "Bucknor was terrible last night. Lousy strike zone, lousy judgment on ejecting Pujols, pretty much everything. Sure seems like the Cards have gotten more than their fair share of umpiring off nights this year, doesn't it?" and per i say what i mean: "Marquis threw over 100 pitches in just 5 innings and Pujols got tossed by that mook, C.B. Bucknor in the sixth for evidently not being tidy and picking up his bat after complaining about a called third strike, so not everything was all rosey. BTW, is it me, or have the Cards had more than their share of issues with home plate umps this year?"
meanwhile, at least one pirate fan didn't much care for mcclendon's decision to ibb abe nunez in the bottom of the 12th: "It was a craven act by all concerned, and it is karmically just that the very next pitch brought in the game-loser."
wagner watch: billy wagner, the player atop this blog's midseason trade wish list, isn't doing much to drive up his trade value. he blew a save last night, yielding a game-tying homer to damion easley with two outs in the 9th. that makes four straight appearances in which wagner has yielded a run and leaves his may era at 5.23. his numbers remain dominating -- 3w 19k on the season, opponents' ops just .579 -- but this bears watching. i'll keep y'posted.