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well, there's a little taste of october: tight pitching, some opportunistic two-out scoring, a little relief-pitcher roulette, and then THWOCK!!! the big fly off the big bat that breaks open the game and sets the grandstand a-roaring. and then TOCCK!!! another off the other big bat, just for effect -- though in the end the edmonds echo shot proved to be far more than a cosmetic flourish. that top-of-9th nail-biter might be a little preview of october as well; stl's bullpen hasn't been boring all summer, so there's no reason to expect any diff'nt this fall.

not an altogether pretty win, but definitely satisfying. above all it was gripping theater, which is really all any fan has a right to ask for this time of year. only one from among sev'l deserving teams will carry the trophy, and luck as much as anything else may decide it. but a team doesn't have to win to stage a great drama. labor day's behind us, and summer's quasi-officially over; the autumn theater season is here. great way to kick things off.

among many side plots, here was jeff suppan countering jason marquis' great start yesterday with his own very strong performance. abe nunez's two-out error in the 6th likely cost suppan a win, and at the least it cost him an inning; it came on soops' 80th pitch of the game and extended the frame for another 14 pitches. the outing still lowered jeff's era to 1.70 over his last six starts; post all-star he is 4-3 with a 2.97 era. (see this recent post at get up baby for more on supps' recent run of success.) the competition between him and marquis for the last spot in the postseason rotation may go down to the wire; it's going to be hard to deny soops a start if he stays as consistent as he has been; but suppose marquis also sustains his red-hot streak . . . .

. . . . .could matty mo slide onto the bubble? even into the postseason 'pen?

i find it hard to believe that would happen; morris's postseason experience and record, his competitiveness, and his seniority all have to count for as much as (if not more than) his teammates' september garbage-time performance. for all his 2d-half struggles (5.43 era, only 4.5 ks per 9), morris has a few things going for him -- viz a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 14 "quality" starts in 25 outings. the ever-loyal la russa doesn't abandon struggling old pros in situations like this one, and a lot of fans (me and glenn r wordman, to name two) would be out for blood if 35 gets demoted . . . . just the same, it might behoove morris to match marquis and suppan's statements with one of his own.

how the other half saw it, at Bleed Cubbie Blue: "That's not only a microcosm of the season, it's basically a summary of my forty-plus years as a Cub fan. . . . The Cardinals are rolling on to a postseason berth, and they showed the meaning of team today."