At the start of yesterday’s Mets/Cardinals game, I was an eyewitness to Tim Lincecum’s nearly effortless mastery of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  During the later portions of the former contest, I was driving along Southern California’s I-10 en route to a game that lacked the historic implications of Ublado Jiminez’ no-no.  As such — thanks to the even worse than advertised coverage of AT&T — I was unaware of the events unfolding in St. Louis until about the top of the 13th inning. MLB.TV’s ridiculous blackout restrictions meant I had to resort to the WFAN feed and suffice to say, Howie Rose and Wayne Hagin really earned their money Saturday night.  Anyone (well, not Chip Caray) can fashion a decent call of a classic ballgame. It take a pair of real professionals to manufacture something entertaining out of a diabolically poor showing by both teams, and an absolute clinic in over management from St. Louis’ Tony La Genius. When Mets reliever Raul Valdez was nailed advancing from first to second by Albert Pujols late in the night, Hagin sighed, “he didn’t slide because he doesn’t know how to run the bases.”  Upon Felipe Lopez being removed after just two innings of relief work, it was suggested that perhaps La Russa “wants to save him for tomorrow”.

(How long, by the way, before DirecTV debuts a commercial in which an actor playing the part of Jason Bay’s father angrily rings the Mets’ dugout after watching his son hopelessly overmatched?)

While La Russa’s decisions over the course of nearly 7 hours (paging Joe West) of baseball are under obvious scrutiny, the handiwork of the very-much under-fire Amazins’ skipper Jerry Manuel, is hardly cause for celebration writes The Eddie Kranepool Society‘s shy and retiring Stephen Keane, “nice job having Frankie Rodz warm up for eight innings and have him leave his best stuff in the bullpen.”   Indeed, who’d have anticipated that after nearly 3 weeks of baseball, Mike Pelfrey would have more saves than a healthy K-Rod?