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You know what? I had just about begun to believe that Izzy was, in fact, some sort of anime character. You know, the kind where the main character gets kicked into a mountain and the top of said mountain bursts open in a huge cloud of dust. The villain stands there, chuckling and explaining why the hero is weak. He continues talking to no one, when suddenly- wait! The voice of the hero comes from the huge crater left in the ground. He's not only still alive, but his power level has somehow increased threefold, and he now has a dramatic monlogue to recite as the enemies' eyes fly open, looking stunned.

Sadly, I'm now almost completely convinced that Isringhausen doesn't have a drop of Saiyan blood in him, nor is he any sort of Samurai warrior, spirit based or otherwise. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about here, pat yourself on the back. You've got a real life! The rest of you are all nerds.) I'm pretty sure that Izzy is, in fact, just done.

Of course, luckily, we have Ryan Ludwick to come along and save the day, hitting a bomb to center field in order to get everybody off the hook. I would imagine there were some very, very relieved relief pitchers on that bench last night when Luddy connected with that ball. Suddenly, it no longer mattered quite so much what they had done; the game was still won, and that's all that matters, right?

Can we finally call it quits now Tony? Please? Can we please, please just stop this farce, of running two relievers out there, day after day, who simply don't have what it takes to get the job done any longer? We all remember how bad things got toward the end of 2006. Well, we're right there again now, and I'm just not sure how much La Russa has actually learned. I suppose we'll see whether or not those past lessons have taken root. if we see Perez on his way back up, and possibly Jason Motte to go along with him, great. We may yet see this team have another run in them. If not, though, well...

All of the late inning collapses and shenanigans served largely to take the focus away from where it really belonged last night. The performance that Chris Carpenter handed the Cardinals was astounding. Carp last night was as sharp as I think I've ever seen him. Even with a curveball that still wants to roll a bit as opposed to snapping down, I couldn't help but think that Carpenter looked ready to anchor a rotation again right now. The man is unbelievable.

The other major news of the night was the Cardinals' newest acquisition, that of recently released utility infielder Felipe Lopez. Sigh.

You know, I've been a pretty staunch backer of Mozeliak since the beginning of his term, but this move is just flat out bad. I could say lots of things about Lopez, and why he doesn't appreciably improve the Cards' chances, and all of these other things, but I'm going to keep it short and, well, somewhat less than sweet.

This season, Lopez sports a nifty EqA of .218. That's exactly identical to that of Cesar Izturis. It's just a hairs breadth better than that of Brendan Ryan, the player whose roster spot Lopez will be taking, which sits at a robust .214. Lopez offers no real upgrade over two of the weakest offensive players in all of baseball, and guess what? He sucks out loud with a glove on his hand, too. Both Ryan and Izturis are capable of playing great defense, at least somewhat mitigating their complete lack of offensive production. Lopez is a liability on the defensive side of the ball, too. Congratulations, Mo. I didn't think it was possible, but you managed to find a player who actually represents a downgrade over our current middle infield options.

Hey, at least Lopez offers versatility, right? He can play three middle infield positions, and the outfield too! Can I tell you how sick I am of hearing this line too? I have had pretty much my fill of hearing about how many options a player offers you, when all the options he offers are bad ones. If I offer to punch you in the face, kick you in the crotch, or stab you in the side with a sharpened screwdriver, is that better than just offering one of those three services? True, you do have options this way, but they still all kind of suck.

Bottom line, Felipe Lopez is a bad ballplayer. He offers no real upgrade to this team, and significantly hurts them in at least one facet of the game. I suppose it didn't take any talent to acquire him, though, so there's that, right? Eh. This move still gets a big, solid whatever from me.

I'm cutting it short this morning, folks. Discuss amongst yourselves, and I'll see you all again later this evening with a game thread. Have a nice day, everybody.