well, they lost a game but they gained a pitcher. outstanding tradeoff.
the season just got a lot more interesting.
how refreshing was it to see a guy get batters out on pitches inside the strike zone? to see him attack hitters rather than nibble at corners? working with no margin for error -- the kid never had a lead -- against a potent lineup in a hitter's park, reyes went right after the white sox; he fell behind in the count against only 6 of the 26 batters he faced, and 4 of those occurred in the first trip through the lineup.
even la russa/dunc had to have been impressed; they like competitors. they also like pitchers who throw complete games when the bullpen desperately needs rest; maybe those two old buzzards will start to warm up to the kid a little. here are some of la russa's postgame thoughts, from matt leach's recap:
"What a performance. It shows you there's no justice when he's the losing pitcher. He should have gotten a no-decision at worst. That was really good."
in the end, he got beat by a great hitter -- no shame in that. it may not have been a coincidence that thome homered on the 1st pitch after having stayed at the plate for 9 pitches in his previous at-bat; got himself a good look at the rookie, saw that reyes was throwing nothing but strikes, and went up there looking for a fastball down in the zone; didn't miss his pitch.
guys with 450+ career homers will do that to you sometimes.
the universe being what it is -- baseball being what it is -- we should not be surprised that the offense, so fecund in alberto's absence, became barren upon his return. that, too, is only one game, but it underscores what is, in my mind, still a pressing concern for this team -- the lack of punch. the cards' designated hitters the last two games were a part-time infielder and a reserve outfielder who'll prob'y be back in the minors (or out of baseball) by the end of next month. the other team's dh was jim thome. the cardinals do have chris duncan, who's slugging .600 . . . but also has 0 walks vs 14 strikeouts, and is whiffing more than a third of the time. hard to sustain an acceptable level of production when you're failing to make contact that routinely. those k/w numbers remind me of the sev'l occasions (i can immediately think of 3) in which duncan came up with the bases loaded, ran the count full . . . . and then got himself out by swinging and missing at ball 4. he's a far sight better than timo perez, don't get me wrong; but i can understand why they might send him down with instructions to work on a few things.
and speaking of albert's return. . . . didn't expect to see him back this soon, and am frankly not happy to see it. a few days after the injury, i wrote this:
and now i'll just shut up.