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Back, back, back, back

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So, my two week journey snaking through Cardinals and Cubs country in the midwest has finally come to its end, leaving me plopped back in Texas. I took the lady friend to her first Cardinals game, and because the Cardinals seem to gloriously bless me in the few and far in-between games that I am able to attend, we were gifted with the fantasticitude of a ten run inning. I still can't believe the feeling in that stadium before and after that outburst--a collective tension as Looper and Wells put up zeroes, followed by mild frustration after the Adrian Gonzalez home run, followed by dread at getting Looperified yet again as four runs ended up on the board. It actually ended up with the following exchange:

Valatan: Ugh. Looper, shame he ha to start the one game we could go to

Lady: Well, would you have rather stayed in St. Louis for another day so we could see a good starter?

V: No, it's a chance for me to see the new stadium, and we have good seats, and it's fun to be here, and this isn't that much of a deficit--COME ON LOOP, YOU GAVE UP THOSE RUNS, GET A HIT, REDEEM YOURSELF

L: Well, are you less mad at him now that he got that hit?

V: Yes, at least he's trying to compete

It was almost like the baseballs gods were trying to smile upon me for my loyalty or something, because, of course, that hit was followed by ten more Cardinal hits, and ten more Cardinal runs, each of which brought the crowd back from it's sense of dread to a sense of genuine joy. Loop got a standing O as he left the mound, and nearly everyone left Busch Stadium happy that night. It was a wonderful cap to my sojourn in the Midwest

As for last night, I listened to the game on the radio while we drove back to Texas. There's a part of me that just wanted to go and hug Anthony Reyes after that loss. He finally gets a chance to take the ball, and he puts together one of his best starts, getting the ground balls that the team has been asking for, working the strike zone, and going deep in the game, and what does he get? He gets to face Jake Peavy at the top of his game, along with a shutdown Padres bullpen. Hopefully no one overreacts to that loss for Anthony, and Tony and Reyes build on that success.

Finally, just for fun,

Avg OBP SLG
Rolen, Pre-Cortisone .264 .339 .382
Rolen, Post-Cortisone .291 .339 .527
Rolen, Career .284 .373 .508

I know it's only fifty five at bats, but that Cortisone shot sure seems to have done wonders for Scottie, no? All of a sudden, he looks almost exactly like the player that he's always been, rather than the ghost that was wandering around third base for the first half of the season. After watching that loss last night, I know that it's hard to really hold up hope, but Rolen returning to form has always been absolutely critical to the Cardinals having any chances at success. Now if we could only get Edmonds hitting again...