ah, the nl central: such a silly little division. here are the standings since may 9, right before the cardinals embarked upon their 2-7 trip to socal and detroit:
that's right, folks: during one of their most discouraging stretches of play in this century, st louis lost ground to only one team in the division --- and only 1 game, at that. this is not a fluke. here are the nl central standings over each team's last 162 games:
this reminds me of one of those municipal races in which every one of the candidates sizes up his/her opponents and smiles inwardly: what a bunch of mediocrities. how can i possibly lose? my apologies to any of you who happen to be municipal officeholders --- but if you are one, as long as i have your attention could you please see to it that my g*ddamn alley gets paved? . . .. um, uh-oh waitaminute i just remembered something: my brother ran for his township council last year. and i have a cousin who served three terms on his local school board. and my wife sits on our city's Parks and Rec board . . . . . okay, so this metaphor doesn't apply to every municipal race across america. only to some of them.
i happen to think the brewers are pretty good this year, and the cubs are probably better than their record; that said, it wouldn't take much for the cardinals to get back into striking position. for all the disasters that have befallen them this spring, they're only 6 games out in the loss column as of this morning --- not exactly light-years behind. with a win this afternoon, they can get their record since josh hancock was buried back to .500.
but let's not get ahead of ourselves. one game at a time; they've got a long way to come back.
edmonds' power stroke returned from the dead last night, the single most encouraging event since --- well, since his other 2007 homer, which occurred one month and one day ago. but last night's was different than the jet-stream-blown shot he launched at wrigley: he yanked this one high and deep to right, his first extra-base hit to right field since last season. i've been waiting to see that . . . . no, to tell the truth i quit waiting a few weeks ago. i had given up. but then, i gave up on jimmy last year 'round about july 1; he hit 9 homers that month. in the midst of the streak, i got kinda gushy-crushy on edmonds, as even the most macho of us will do from time to time:
since he called out the team on may 13, after the cards' lifeless 3-0 loss to padres rookie justin germano, edmonds is hitting .300 / .417 / .500 --- it's only a 9-game split, but it's so nice to see such gaudy numbers that i couldn't resist. in fact, what the hell --- here are 9-game splits for most of the team, juxtaposed against the 34-game splits they opened the season with. "OPS diff" lists the differential in each player's OPS, pre and post may 13:
|through 5/13||since 5/13||OPS diff|
|eckstein||.207 / .282 / .234||.500 / .516 / .633||+633|
|edmonds||.208 / .274 / .264||.300 / .417 / .500||+379|
|molina||.264 / .337 / .310||.400 / .444 / .560||+357|
|duncan||.284 / .371/ .474||.333 / .355/ .800||+310|
|pujols||.248 / .347 / .426||.382 / .462 / .559||+248|
|rightfielders||.198 / .255 / .275||.324 / .361 / .353||+184|
|rolen||.204 / .283 / .306||.250 / .364 / .357||+132|
|TEAM||.234 / .301 / .322||.323 / .374 / .467||+218|
yeah yeah yeah; it's only 9 games, a random blip. to a man dying of hunger, one crumb of bread seems like a whole loaf; in the nl central, one crumb can be worth a few games in the standings. it's how you survive in this silly ol' division --- one crumb at a time.
GAME TIME 12:10 CDT