It's probably meaningful that in a game that may end up signifying quite a bit to the Astros, there was no single outstanding performance.
Instead, most players contributed a little something to a victory that was much larger than the sum of its parts. Berkman had the two run homer, but also left four on over a couple sloppy AB's. Ensberg had a couple ugly at bats, but also doubled and scored. Lane had the great catch in the first. Adam Everett had the great fielder's choice to throw out Molina in the seventh. Willy T had a very nice overall game, except for that bobble on the play that scored the Cards' third run .
Effective, the Astros' game was; perfect, it was not.
Which makes AP pretty darned suitable as Game Hero, I'm thinking.
Of course the Astros are now 10 - 1 in one-run games, and I'm not exactly sure how I feel about that. I guess I could say something like 'they just won't be denied this year' but the rationalist in me sees it as a statistical fluke that can't last. Yet a third part of me sees it as incredibly symbolic of a wildly inconsistent bullpen: bad enough to turn blowouts into close calls, but good enough to finish it before the shit really hits the fan. . . .
I'm kind of getting sick of looking for positive signs from the bullpen, but once again, I can fool myself into thinking I'm seeing them. Qualls and Wheeler looked pretty much like money, both in stressful situations. Qualls because he inherited Eckstein, Wheeler because he had to pitch to the man with the MVP hardware.
Lidge, I won't speak of.
I'm a traditionalist. I like the RBI statistic; I think it imparts information that isn't readily apparent with RC27 or EqA or any of the more "respected" stats. But if Brad Lidge leading the majors in saves doesn't show how ridiculous the save stat is, then I don't know what does.