how man different ways can one man beat you? yesterday pujols went 0 for 4, hit into a double play one time and popped up with the sacks jammed another, but still made the key play of the game, this time via mental telepathy -- a wordless signal transmitted 90+ feet to his catcher that set the game-ending pickoff in motion. that's right; albert beat the padres with a mere thought. . . . . hyperbole aside, it really was a beaut; if you missed it, read up at espn, the post-dispatch, or the official site.
to me, that play epitomizes the quality that has made the cardinals such a joy to watch over the last three years: their headiness. scott spezio's bunt last weekend is another example. they're little things that can have big consequences -- huge, in this case. i haven't seen the chart, but i'm guessing that the padres still had about a 10 percent chance to pull out the game at the time of that pickoff -- which would mean that the game-ending play added roughly 10 percent to the cards' win expectancy and made a so-so effort stand up. "you don't usually win that game," la russa told matt leach; indeed not. the cards didn't pitch well, got outhit and outslugged, but kept finding ways to escape. sometimes that's just luck, and sometimes it's something more akin to will power; yesterday was one of those.
the posts will be pretty short next couple days --- it's a holiday weekend, i'm on vacay visiting family, you're all out bbq'ing etc. one quick point of info, in case you missed it: now edmonds has a gut ailment of some sort, possibly related to the teamwide plague that surfaced wednesday. but possibly not; jimmy was well enough to play friday night, but he was a last-minute scratch yesterday. the post-dispatch says it's a groin injury . . . . i'm confused. somebody help. also, the p-d deems it likely that carpenter will be disabled. playoff-type pitching pairing today with the series on the line; a win would give the cardinals 7 consecutive series wins.