St. Louis blues

Befuddled by the Mike Leake trade, Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn pitched a Saturday gem for . . . nothing, as it turned out.

Befuddled by the Mike Leake trade, Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn pitched a Saturday gem for . . . nothing, as it turned out.

No, we’re not going to blame Yadier Molina’s glove turning into a jack-in-the-box near the plate as Jackie Bradley, Jr. scrambled back to touch it after sliding past it. But the Cardinals have gone 6-8 since Molina’s Muff, and in that span they’ve played only one serious or semi-serious contender while losing enough close ones to teams who weren’t supposed to be equal to them.

And the natives are getting restless.

Oscar Taveras, RIP: The next minute . . .

Oscar Taveras tying Game Two of the NLCS with a launch over the right field fence . . .

Oscar Taveras tying Game Two of the NLCS with a launch over the right field fence . . .

One minute, you’re sent out to pinch hit in a National League Championship Series and tie the game with a single swing. The next minute, seemingly, your team is stopped from a World Series trip and you’re dead in a grisly road accident.

The Giants are thrown onto the threshold of the Series

Adams didn't have to be told throwing on the run was a grave mistake . . .

Adams didn’t have to be told throwing on the run was a grave mistake . . .

Is it unreasonable for Cardinals fans to ask themselves whether their team is trying, literally, to throw this National League Championship Series to the Giants? Bad enough the Cardinals lost Game Three on a walk-off throwing error. Putting the Giants on the threshold of the World Series with two bad throws in Game Four’s sixth inning is worse.

Molina down, the Cardinals may have lost in winning Game Two

Tie an NLCS but lose your team backbone? Not an encouraging trade as Molina (center) walks off in serious pain . . .

Tie an NLCS but lose your team backbone? Not an encouraging trade as Molina (center) walks off in serious pain . . .

At what cost will the St. Louis Cardinals’ National League Championship Series-evening win Sunday night prove to have come? As great as it looked when Kolten Wong ended the game with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth, that’s about how horrible it looked when another swing earlier in the game sent Yadier Molina out of the game—and out of who who knew what else—with an oblique strain.

Winter’s green . . .

Baseball’s offseason is many things, and dull is rarely one of them, but this offseason’s winter meetings among the major league organisations could have been smothered by the activity that preceded it. Could have been—particularly in light of the Yankees’ doings in signing Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury while letting Robinson Cano chase the dollars they weren’t quite willing to show—but weren’t. There are various takes floating about regarding the doings and undoings; here, for whatever they’re worth, are mine:

La Russa, Torre, Cox . . .

La Russa, Torre, Cox . . .

Daddy took the T-Bird away

Kershaw's day didn't end soon enough Friday . . .

Kershaw’s day didn’t end soon enough Friday . . .

There’ll be no more fun, fun, fun for the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers. Daddy took the T-Bird away in Busch Stadium Friday. And you can spend all winter debating whether or not the Dodgers themselves gave him the ammunition on a platter.

These Nats are Werth It

For what it was Werth, the thirteenth was his and the Nats’ lucky pitch . . .

Jayson Werth went home Wednesday night to flip on the Orioles-Yankees American League division series game and got a powerful enough message from a former Philadelphia Phillies teammate.

“I got a little something last night,” he huffed happily Thursday afternoon. “Watching my boy Raul Ibanez do it, he gave me a little something today.”

Ibanez, of course, blasted a game-tying bomb in the bottom of the ninth and a game-winning bomb in the bottom of the twelfth. Nowhere near twenty-four hours later, Werth—the high-priced Nat who’s struggled to live up to his mammoth deal for most of his time since—showed just what Ibanez gave him.

Chipper Agonistes

The look says it all, after the double play opening throw that sailed away . . .

The greats don’t always get to choose the manner in which they leave the game. But whatever you believe about instant or at least same-day karma, Chipper Jones surely deserves better than to have his Hall of Fame-in-waiting career end like this.

His own throwing error, opening an unwanted door to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League’s first-ever wild card game; his own Atlanta Braves victimised by a soft fly to the shallow outfield ruled an infield fly when the Braves might have loaded the late-tying runs on base.