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Nursing the St. Louis Cardinals' Gerrit Cole hangover

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Elsa

I spent most of my Friday night in a car and most of Game 2 in my office—the second one turned out pretty okay, with the benefit of hindsight, but both configurations left me without a lot of ruminating time. Some links to hold you over until this afternoon:

Bernie Miklasz: Friday was Cards' turn to look awful
"The Pirates and Cardinals take turns putting on the clown shoes and fright wigs and racing around the field in those little beeping, honking cars that go around in endless circles. High jinks ensue, guys start stumbling and slipping all over the place."

That paragraph is just doing it for me aesthetically, but Bernie also brings up the Cardinals' and Pirates' weird predisposition toward the blowout and talks them through the implications of overlooking Shelby Miller for Joe Kelly and Michael Wacha—particularly the way Wacha is now guaranteed to pitch in an elimination game of some kind.

Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals - October 4, 2013 | MLB.com PIT Recap
Wary of putting the burden of extreme expectations on their young players, the Pirates, from manager Clint Hurdle on down, normally downplay early success. So in the Bucs' careful minds, it doesn't start with Gerrit Cole. But it certainly does stop with Cole. It has now for seven weeks. The bad vibe, that is, before it becomes ears-hurting cacophony.

Reading the Pirates gamer is instructive—hey, this Gerrit Cole guy might be important—and also makes it easier to avoid the questions about the Cardinals' postseason rotation as they become tangled inextricably with the questions about whether Lance Lynn has It.

Here's what I don't get about the Shelby Miller thing: If the Cardinals lose out from here, they will undoubtedly regret having skipped Miller's turn in the rotation. If they'd gone Wainwright-Miller-Kelly-Wacha and lost out, nobody would be wondering what might have been if only they'd tried Lance Lynn.

Calcaterra: Albert Pujols sues Jack Clark over PED allegations
As I’ve explained at length in the past, there is a lot to lose when you sue for defamation, even if you are telling the truth and even if the defendant is lying. As such, many public figures like Pujols let such things pass than to go through the expense and hassle of filing suit. Pujols, however, obviously feels strongly about this. And if Clark has spread malicious lies about him, it’s completely understandable that he’d sue, even though success is not guaranteed.

I have no idea whether Pujols's case is a good one or not, but I'm glad he's still this intense about—well, about everything. I'd like to propose a slightly different lawsuit, though, in the interest of maximizing gonzo-sports-talk deterrence: What if Albert Pujols just sued a different Jim Rome knock-off every couple of months, chosen completely at random? What if, eventually, it was impossible to tell whether Albert Pujols was suing anybody, and the whole constellation of guys who say "A-Fraud" were controlled by the sheer possibility of his surveillance?

I don't know, I'm just spitballing.