The one thing we could count on in this stretch of tumult was ol' 44. Mr. Reliable. The Stopper. Ed Mujica.
Then he came in and gave up the big fly to recovering energy drink addict Josh Hamilton. Worse, the guy on first was one Jose Alberto Pujols who minutes before had just gotten his first hit of the series with a broken bat single.
Pujols played poorly (1-11/1BB/3SO). He came through when it counted. He knocked Adam Wainwright out of the game. And his team won the series.
The rational you would like to mention that this is Mujica's first loss of the season and that even the best closers are going to yack up a few saves now and again.
The irrational you would like to mention that the Cardinals are now 3-7 in their last 10. Have lost their past 3 series and split another 2 game set with one of the worst teams in baseball.
Also? Missed an opportunity to gain a game on the Pirates… It's just another symptom of a team gripping hard.
It was only a month ago when we had a three series stretch against the dregs of MLB and wondered where the limit to this teams record would go. 25 games over .500? THIRTY games over .500?
Now the Cardinals are 16 over the break even point with 9 games versus the Marlins, Astros and Cubs before the All-Star Game. It's an opportunity to get fat before the ceremonial mid-way break (that's actually quite a bit over midway).
It's time to get this ship turned in the right direction. It's time to finally get Wainwright that 12th win.
It's time to start winning some series again.
Now, the Friday Links…
Best rug ever? LINK HERE
Kiss Cam done right. LINK HERE
Want a little pot? LINK HERE
Because it never gets old. LINK HERE
The "Voice Of America". Enjoy. LINK HERE
Between 2 Ferns. LINK HERE
Hard to believe that America is 2,013 years old. Pretty amazing birthday, though. As a special treat, let's take a listen to the new Jay-Z album being released on Tuesday. Here's my call for the song you'll like the most: 'Tom Ford' (LINK HERE). Turn it up (goes withoutsaying, use headphones if you're at work, it's NSFW) and go be American.