apologies to anybody who has had trouble getting onto the site the last few days. more growing pains for SB Nation; the number of sites, and the readership per site, keeps growing, so ev'y few months we run out of server space. even as i type, the site is down; our poor tech guys are scrambling like mad to hold the ship together until friday, when some new equipment will be available. until then, hope you'll bear with us; thanks for your patience.
my personal house of horrors welcomed me back warmly last night. it rained, yes, but that kind of a soaking is far more tolerable imo than the drenchings i remember of yore -- cloudbursts of cheap run-scoring, grand slams off the bat handle, pitchers hitting for the cycle, all that stuff. if it takes a humidor and 5 innings of rain to get the game to play true, then bring on the rain -- haul a few dozen snow-makers down from the ski resorts and play the whole season in a steady drizzle.
it'd be worth it to get more games like last night's: two great pitchers doing what they do (and they never used to be able to do it at coors), some game-changing defense, and one superior piece of hitting by the game's greatest hitter. at the time of his injury, albert had hit 11 homers that either pulled the cardinals into a tie or put them out in front; he's now up to 16 of those. he also made a spectacular pick at the receiving end of rolen's game-saving play in the 6th. it stopped raining after that . . . .
such is our team: one great pitcher, one great hitter; a little defense, and just enough bullpen help to record the last few outs. flores and isringhausen both got away w mistakes, but they pitched aggressively and that'll get you by most of the time. for all their woes, st louis' bullpen ranks 2d in the league in win expectancy added, behind only the mets; they've been worth 3 games over the average bullpen. insofar as the team's lead in the division is 4.5 games, that's a rather valuable contribution . . . .
there's nothing new on the trade front this morning. a few quick minor-league notes:
- adam ottavino made an impressive debut at quad cities yesterday
- it's coming to a bitter end for junior spivey
- here's a nice article (w photo) about amaury marti, who is off to a very nice start at springfield (.325 / .386 / .525 in 43 plate appearances).