Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2 Games Up, 10 to Go

The season is flying out the window. A trade post will set us straight.

St. Louis has pulled ahead of the Pirates by 2 games, which is the largest lead they've had in the NL Central since July 26th. Yes, the race has been that tight, with the Pirates and the Cards running neck and neck for the entire second half. With 10 games left, it's still anybody's division. Nevertheless, it's time for some cautious optimism, which we'll celebrate with some truly excellent cards from Play at the Plate.

A bit of sobering news: Matt Adams left the game early tonight with soreness in his elbow, the same elbow that he had surgery on late last year. Let's hope that it isn't a big deal, because with Allen Craig likely out until the playoffs (at least), losing his capable replacement and team's top pinch hitter (when everyone else is healthy) is the kind of thing that could tank a division race. Who knew that we'd be saying this about Matt Adams, say, a year ago?

Seth Maness has been a pretty solid option out of the bullpen, a pen that has been completely reworked even since the early part of the season. The Cardinals have already faced their former setup man and would-be replacement closer Mitchell Boggs in this series. Boggs fizzled out and the Rockies picked him up on the cheap. Maness has effectively been his replacement, emphasis on the word "effectively".

I'll never get tired of Topps framed relics. I don't know what it is. They make me just a little bit excited about a bit of jersey that I'm not supposed to be excited at all about anymore.

Speaking of excitement, PATP sent over this neat insert card of the Future Excitement, Oscar Taveras. Taveras didn't play a whole lot this year and injuries cost him a shot at a late season call-up. The organization is counting on a strong offseason and spring from Taveras, especially if they opt not to resign Carlos Beltran.

Shelby's been a little shaky lately, but he's stayed in the rotation. He never returned to the levels of his early season dominance, but I think we'll still look back favorably at his rookie year on the whole. Hopefully, this season serves as a building block for better things to come. Like in the playoffs. Yeah!

PATP also sent over a few set building needs, and I selected a couple of 1985 Fleer cards to show here. I remember this Shawon Dunston card fetching a little bit of coin back when I was a kid. Dunston didn't exactly become the next Ernie Banks, but he carved himself out a pretty solid career. I love getting cards like this that I could probably snap up for a quarter now but couldn't afford back in the day.

Sometimes you're just not sure how to end things, and Pete Rose storms in and starts signing autographs and demanding stacks of cash from all of his onlookers. Awkward. I'm just going to back away from this post, slowly...

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