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Wild Card Blues

Ohh...the second wildcard...such an unflattering name...it's like being the second runner up in the Miss America Contest... "Congrats! You're the 3rd prettiest girl here! Yea, these other two are waaaaaay better looking, but compared to those trolls over there, you're a...you're not too bad." I'm not excited or proud of it, but if it gets us in the tournament, well, it gets us in the tournament.

12 in 12?
We do have a chance to win it all again. We have the best offense in the National League, a strong starting staff, a reliable bullpen...and most importantly, a true Ace in Adam Wainwright. In a one game playoff against the Braves, would you rather have Tim Hudson, or Waino? Hudson has been a great pitcher at times during his career, but I'll take Waino any day. The Braves second best starter is Tommy Hanson. He's 12-5 with a 4.27 ERA. Our second best starter is Kyle Loshe...13-2, 2.61 ERA. The Cards have the advantage, but anything can happen in a one game playoff...anything.

The NLDS...STL against Cincy...we have the better starting staff, a slightly better lineup, but Cincy has the better bullpen. I trust Chapman and Bronxton more than Boggs and Motte.

Against Washington...no Stras, but they still have Gio and Zimmerman, and a damn good lineup. I would side with Washington, but Davey Johnson is still pond scum in my estimation.

The Dodgers? Kershaw, Kemp, Ethier, Billingsly...is that all ya got? Pretty good 4 piece, but it's no orchestra.

If we get in we have a chance, but so does everyone else, that's what makes postseason baseball more intense and exciting than any other playoffs. We hang on every pitch here in baseball heaven...you can see your last gasp of breath before your face as Wainwright breaks off a curve, and the mist and the breaking ball both seem to hang in the air forever, until the moment is over and Molina is running towards the mound in a fit of child like jubilation...God I love baseball...

MVP?
Matt Holliday, my preseason pick for MVP the past two seasons, is putting together one hell of a summer. .302, 23 hrs, 81 rbi's, 78 runs, .899 ops...if he finishes at .310, 28hrs, 105 rbi's, 100 runs, .900 ops...who else would you give it to? The only other guy I would vote for is McCutchen. Right now, .349, 24 hrs, 76 rbi's, 87 runs, .995 ops...He's the best candidate now, but if the Pirates continue to slide and McCutchen does as well...it's Holliday's award to lose.

Comeback Player of the Year?
Carp has two of these, Puma has one...and now Waino may have one as well. As of today he is 12-10, 3.65 ERA, 154 k's, and not to mention 2 shutouts and 3 total complete games...all off of Tommy John surgery! He could finish at 16-11, 3.30 ERA, and 200 k's, if so, he would have my vote. I'm not sure of all of the qualifications for the voting on this award, but our old buddy Ryan Ludwick would get my other vote...if I had two..wait, I don't even have one?

Luddy last year-  .237, 13 hrs, 75 rbi's, 56 runs, .674 ops
Luddy this year-  .270, 25 hrs, 70 rbi's, 43 runs, .911 ops
Luddy projected- .265, 31 hrs, 92 rbi's, 60 runs, .905 ops

Those are worthy numbers...if he qualifies.

Cy Young?

Loshe is our best bet, and a good one. Let's run some numbers...I am a baseball geek..not like Keith Law, that guy's a scared little child who has never had control of any situation on a field of athletic competition, who now, in his prolonged child-like state that has lasted into middle age, tries to gain control over something he could never possibly participate in by working a spreadsheet. He's a scared, pathetic, petulant child

Pitcher                            W-L        ERA      K's      IP           W%
Johnny Cueto                 16-6        2.44       135   169.2        72.7
Kyle Lohse                     13-2        2.61       104   169.0        86.6
R.A. Dickey                    15-4        2.82       181   175.1       78.9
Matt Cain                        13-5        2.83       159   174.2       72.2
Stephen Strasburg           15-5        2.85       183   145.1       75.0

Lohse has the best winning percentage bay far, close in IP and ERA, but way behind in K's. The award is Cueto's to lose. If he ends up as a 19-21 game winner on a first place team and his ERA stays steady, he will win. But, if he throws a couple duds...and, I don't know, maybe, kicks someone in the face, Lohse could sneak up and grab the award.


As for the other awards...Gold Gloves...Yadi, Jay, Furcal, Waino...maybe...but I have no idea how they vote for these...Silver Slugger...Yadi, Holliday, Beltran....


None of these awards are worth a snowball's chance in Pequignot's attic (yes, only two people in the world get this joke, but it's funny) if we don't get in the playoffs...they are worth nothing. As I like to preach to anyone that will listen...only one stat in sports matters...only one. Wins-Losses. That's it. It really is, and living in Cardinals country...I take real solace and comfort in that fact.

-Will Saulsbery
Will is a graduate of the University of Missouri, he currently resides in St. Louis.

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