What a night for the Lance boys (Berkman and Lynn), with the win the Cardinals are trying to keep pace with the Brewers (at this writing were all over the Astros) in the NL Central race. This is starting to turn into a two team race, and with pleasure the Reds are fading fast.
But back to the game, it was a very nice win for the Redbirds, and I like the way certain players are playing…namely Rafael Furcal (what a pick up this has been so far), Lance Squared (Berkman and Lynn). I’m saying it now, if Lance Berkman who is a lock for Comeback Player of the Year, is not also in the conversation for NL MVP there is a serious problem. I know, I know the Keith Laws of the world will never vote LB because, well they aren’t on the Mets-Phillies-Dodgers or Giants. His disdain for the Cardinals is mind boggling. But other of the so called pundits out there also never seem to mention Berkman in the league MVP conversation. All I ever hear is Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder and others. But let’s look at the numbers shall we. After tonight Berkman’s stats compared to the other MVP contenders:
Fielder Mil .296 24 79 0
Braun Mil .324 21 73 19
Reyes Mets .339 5 36 32
Votto Cin .324 17 69 6
Bruce Cin .266 21 66 7
Tulowitski Col .291 21 75 8
Kemp LAD .318 26 84 28
Howard Phi .252 24 87 1
Berkman StL .286 28 74 0
Pujols StL .280 25 66 6
Holliday StL .314 17 58 1
Tell me that the Cardinals should not have hitters in consideration, and if this keeps up why can’t Berkman get both. If I take my heart out of the voting, clearly Matt Kemp of the Dodgers on paper would be the front runner, but certain experts have already decided it’s going to be guys like Reyes to lose. I’m just not so sure, nor do I like that the experts who are voting seem to be so jaded. To me the MVP of both the Cardinals and in serious contention in the National League is Lance Berkman.
To the other Lance, I am referring to Lance “big cajones” Lynn, man did you ever get nasty tonight. Sure it was a little Izzy-like, but you got the job done and the strike out of Mike Stanton swinging was a thing of beauty. Lance Lynn should get more shots to close out victories and give Salas some relief, from relieving. I am not taking anything away from Fernando Salas, but he’s still a young pitcher, and the dog days of summer are upon us and I don’t want to see him damaged. Salas clearly has a very bright future as a reliever, and I just want him to be taken a little more with kid gloves. Again nothing against the young man, just let’s protect the investment you know what I mean?
Finally, and I can’t believe I’m actually typing this. But there are some, not alot, but some who actually are the mind set that Albert Pujols is letting this team down because he grounds into alot of double plays. Look I don’t like it either, but what bothers me are the few that will blast the man in one breath and then praise him in the next when he hits a monster blast, or makes a great play on defense. I’ll say it again, I don’t care what happens, I want Albert Pujols to retire a St. Louis Cardinal. I still have hope that Albert wants that too, and this offseason won’t be as contested as last. Sure I expect some team to throw ridiculous money at Albert Pujols, just to pry him away from the Cardinals. But still I think there’s a line in the sand, and even Albert has to know that. But for those out there that every time Albert messes up go all into “that’s no way to get a contract” mode, are you really seriously contending that you want Albert gone because he’s had a bump in the road this year? Let’s remember who we are talking about here, a guy who when he retires is probably an shoe in for Cooperstown. And you want him to leave? That boggles my mind. And for the record, he’s still on track for 30 plus home runs and 100 plus RBI’s. I don’t know about getting to .300 by season’s end, but you know … I don’t care. I will never advocate Albert Pujols in another uniform, ever.
So tomorrow it’s Chris Carpenter on the mound for the Cardinals and I like those odds, as Carp has been very, well Carp like lately. So lets get the third and worry about the fourth game on Sunday. Oh and let’s hope for a miracle out of the Astros this weekend vs the Brewers. I’m not overly optimistic, but hey if the Cubs can win seven in a row, why not.