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An ace in the hole is worth two in the bush

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Update [2006-10-25 14:40:5 by lboros]: VEB makes a guest appearance at Slate.com today, trying to win over a few skeptics. article just posted @ ~1:30 CDT. [end update]

Update [2006-10-25 18:15:20 by lboros]: a standing rule on the site is "no politics" --- there are many other places on the web to discuss politics. this one's for baseball. things gets rancorous enough around here sometimes just debating whether or not scott rolen is a bum. debating the very personal issues --- political + religious --- involved in amendment 2 is not what this site exists for. so please: discuss jeff suppan's off-speed stuff all you want at VEB, but as for his views on amendment 2 -- please take those discussion off-site. thanks everyone. [end update]

I guess the theories going around that Carpenter was gassed were slightly premature. I'm so glad this game happened now. I'd much rather be talking about Carp showing up big in the series than I would be talking about pinetar and umpires.

I watched that game with a friend of mine that's a big enough Tigers fan to have stuck with them through the last ten years. The first thing he asked was how one could get to Carpenter. My response--"work the count against the curve, it's a bit of a feel pitch for him in the early innings. If he gets it over for strikes in the first, you better hope that Robertson throws a no-hitter." And that is exactly what Carpenter did. He just located all of his pitches and worked the strike zone--eight innings, three hits, zero runs, on eighty-three pitches. In fact, Carpenter worked the count to the point that he didn't allow a single three ball count. By the end of the game, my friend was stuck referring to his team as the "Detroit free swingers," and had a bit of the look that I wore about halfway through that Oswalt game six start last year. If Game five of the 2005 NLCS was Pujols' coming out party, then last night was Carpenter's. Congrats, Chris.

Of course, I guess the other story of the game was Zumaya coming in, throwing balls, and committing that error. I would feel all that confident about that, though. He got the double play ball on that play, and even got it well enough to get the lead runner. His fastball wasn't bottoming out any lower than ninety-eight mph. He had a bad game, but I'll feel a lot more comfortable making fun of the guy if and when the Cardinals are actually finished with the series. The location of a freshly un-DLed player is only going to get better.

Additionally, it feels good to have Rolen and Edmonds back and both hitting. If the Cardinals can get the Pujols/Rolen/Edmonds trifecta going through the rest of the series, and just not make mistakes while pitching, they just might win this thing.

Sup wins tonight, and Reyes the hipster gets a chance to clinch it at home. I don't know what kind of symbolic justice that is, but there is some sort of fantastic irony there (though I guess Weaver could get moved up in the rotation, destroying my irony--let Reyes pitch the game, I say, however).

This might still be a fun series, and it's fun to have baseball sites talking about baseball again.