Thursday, August 14, 2008

the eighth-inning 90-yard pick-off

It's weird watching them play baseball on a field with yard markers. I'd feel bad for the Marlins fans, but I think it might be counterproductive. Also pointless. (Really, Floridians? Do you have somewhere better to be?)


The sportscasters on ESPN replayed the catch forty or fifty times today and referred to it as extraordinary every time. I agree it was marvelous and brilliant and perfect and amazing, but extraordinary? Let's not go overboard. I mean, he didn't even get the double play.

Chris Pérez is quickly winning me over with his toughness in the ninth inning. He doesn't shy away from his fastball at all, even with 2 strikes. He may not be the official "closer," but I'd say he's definitely the first guy you think of when there's a save situation. He has three saves recently, and I wouldn't be surprised if he closed one out again tonight, either. Franklin does not seem to be comfortable in that role, Izzy's obviously got some demons to work out, and Springer and McClellan are too valuable in the set-up role, so unless my worst nightmares are realized and Wainwright returns to the position that made him famous (and yes, I may be exaggerating just a little) or the Redbirds pick up another reliever (ha ha ha), that leaves few options. So call him what you want, I think Pérez might be the oser-clay.

Speaking of Mac, in my humble opinion, if Yadi had been behind the plate last night, I don't think he would have fallen apart like he did. I don't mean any disrespect to LaRue, but Mac is young and Yadi just seems to have a little bit better connection with the rookies. LaRue certainly caught Looper well, though, as well as Pérez. Oh, and then there was that two-run double he hit...

Glaus was 4 for 4. Yikes. Streaky McStreakerson. He also committed his fifth error of the season, though, so it wasn't a perfect night. He is still the best-fielding third baseman in the NL.

If you think about it, we don't really have anyone who's struggling overall. Everyone has their good and bad days, but we've got a team full a guys who go out there every night to play, and they make the opposition work for it. They aren't perfect, but they give it all they've got. No slackers, no excuses, and they always hustle. I think that no matter what happens this season, they have a lot to be proud of.

Question #1: Who do you send down to make room for Barton?

Question #2: If it isn't meant to be for the Cards, who do you root for to win the division? The Wild Card? The National League?

Question #3: Who is the NL MVP? What if it was based solely on defensive performance?