all over but the shouting (and the last 3 ½ months of the season): baseball savant has seen enough; the cards are nl central champs. "that STL/FLA tilt would be amazing," he says of cards' projected 1st-round opponent. well hell, let's play it already and see who wins.
we came, we stole: last time chris carpenter started for stl in cincinnati, this happened -- and the reds still haven't recovered. the loss came in the early stages of a 4-16 stumble for the natties, who opened the season 10-10 and had hopes of contending. instead they're in last place; the relief pitcher who lost the game now pitches for another team; the reds' leadoff hitter from that game is in double-a; and the guy who hit into the game-ending dp is at triple-a. meanwhile, the guy who was most responsible for the loss is still hitting third for the reds and pulling down $8 million this year . . . .
the cardinals came into that game having lost three of four, including two heartbreakers in a row to the braves -- this on the heels of j izzy's disablement. then, in the opener vs the reds, they took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth but gave up four in the bottom half, three of them resulting directly from a bad throw by albert on a would-be inning-ending 3-6-3. the cards pulled back to within 5-3, but jimmy journell and carmen cali got tagged in the bottom of the 8th for four. . . . the historic 9th-inning comeback redeemed all of those sins and touched off a sweep of the reds. only one win? sure, but a well-timed one, with salutory effects.
i wouldn't look for a 10-9 slugfest tonight. pitching at home, aaron harang is 2-2 with a 2.16 era and .168 avg against; carp is 5-0 on the road with a 1.90 era, .203 avg against. in his last 43 innings, carpenter has put 39 zeroes on the scoreboard; he's only yielded four scoring innings in the last month:
- a 3-run sixth at pha on may 18
- a 1-run fifth at pgh on may 23
- a 3-run fifth v wash on may 29
- a 3 run sixth v bosoxon june 8.
cardnilly's back from vegas, his heart fulla song and his head fulla pythagorean meditations. those gaming tables'll get yer calculator in gear . . . .finally, pay a visit to my SBN colleague jd arney at the red reporter. tough year for the franchise, but not for the blog -- jd has been stellar in documenting (and commenting on) the reds' many sins.