Ankiel!

So, when does it become ridiculous?  When does it become crazy enough that Hollywood won’t make the movie, citing believability issues?  When does the man come back to earth?

Hopefully, a long, long time.  Because the bat and, in a different way than expected years ago, the arm of Rick Ankiel may be the only way that this team makes the playoffs.

Seriously, it’s getting nuts.  A grand slam, against a lefty, to give the team the lead?  What are the odds of that?  He’s hitting in the .330 range, even higher against the lefties that are supposed to give him fits.  He’s made some amazing throws from the outfield and played all three outfield positions.  And the team took off when he was called up.  That’s mainly from the good pitching the team got, but I believe he provided a bit of a spark as well.

Good pitching has become a little scarcer lately.  Anthony Reyes surely didn’t have it tonight.  It’s never good when the one big inning you are prone to giving up happens in the first.   A little help by his fielders would have been nice, but most of the problems could be lain at his feet.  He’ll have to improve somehow if he’s going to stay in the rotation, at least for 2008.  Another couple of rough outings and Walt will be actively shopping him in the offseason, I’d expect.

Thankfully the bullpen held the Reds in check, being credited with no more runs after Todd Wellemeyer came in to take care of Reyes’s problems in the second.  Hopefully Wainwright can give an ace-like performance tomorrow and help rest some of those arms.  The stretch run is really just starting, so we don’t need to blow them out too early, even if reinforcements are coming from the minors starting tomorrow.

And there has to be some serious concern about Albert Pujols.  He is limping around, not being able to really use his legs as much as he should.  Problem is, his bat is still too necessary to have him sit out a day or two.  But there may come a time where the team has no other option.

Congratulations to Tony for passing an all-time Cardinal legend, Red Schoendienst, on the all-time Cardinal win list.  I know that Tony thinks Red should have had the record for all time, but at least if someone was going to pass him, it’s a Hall of Famer to be.

Cubs lost, so the Cards move to two behind them again.  Milwaukee hung on to win, so they are only a game and a half back.  If the Cards can’t win this thing, hopefully the Brewers can!

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