Good grief, I take a few days off and look what happens! The NL Central is a mess! The Cubs are in first and hanging on to a precarious 1.5 game lead over Milwaukee, the Cardinals have charged within 2 games of the lead and even jumped into second place for a brief minute yesterday, the Astros fired Phil Garner, Roy Oswalt did that thing he does by shutting out the Redbirds in his return on Wednesday, Carlos Zambrano warmed the cockles of my heart by blowing another game, Alfonso Soriano returned quietly to the Cubs lineup on Tuesday, Adam Kennedy had knee surgery, Scott Rolen missed a few games because of that nagging shoulder injury of his and amongst it all, I made my annual pilgrimage to St. Louis for the Braves series and what would turn out to be one of the greatest weekends of my summer.
When I left on Friday the Cards had just taken two of three from the Marlins and were 3 games back in the division. Spirits were high, my gas tank was full, my iPod was charged and I was ready to go! Upon arriving in St. Louis it became clear that Mother Nature wasn't NEARLY as excited about baseball as I was. It rained and rained and poured and stormed for what felt like an eternity before the game actually started. And then it only got worse as the Birds fumbled around committing a handful of errors and failing to generate nearly enough runs to support an average Kip Wells performance. Plus, a big obnoxious Cubs fan was sitting directly in front of me. Seriously. It's like these people follow me around or something. What are the freakin' odds? But anyway, my Dad and I were Crabby McCrankypants when we left Busch Stadium after that hot mess.
Fortunately, things got better on Saturday. The weather cleared up considerably, Joel Pineiro pitched well and we were able to put together a strong inning against Tim Hudson and squeak by with a 5-4 win. Plus, our seats were a little bit better and the game got over with early enough that we could go out partying with Missouri's finest until the wee hours of the morning. We even got our picture taken with Captain Morgan and saw a woman wearing a banana clip. A BANANA CLIP! I don't think I've seen one of those since 1986! Beautiful stuff, I tell ya.
However, it wasn't until Golden Day Sunday that I became positively euphoric. Those Cardinal Club tickets I mentioned a couple weeks ago? Yeah, they were the coolest seats I've ever sat in. It was physically impossible to eat and drink all the free food and beverages that were being offered and we were close enough to the field that my Mom was calling balls and strikes. If I were so compelled, I could have confessed my undying love to Albert Pujols and he would have been able to hear me. The weather was perfect, Adam Wainwright looked awesome, Jason Isringhausen didn't give me a stroke and Juan Encarnacion even hit a homerun. It was quite literally a perfect day and I don't throw that term around loosely! Add that to a couple Cubs losses over the weekend and I actually wanted to cry. If I would have been crushed by a Clydesdale that night, I could have died a happy woman. Plus, we got to pose with Fred Bird! I dare you not to be jealous.
In summary, I'm high on Cardinal fumes right now. Also, I'm kind of thinking that after Sunday, my wedding and the birth of my first born have a lot to live up to. Make of that what you will!