Going into Game 1, no one would say it was a must-win, but everyone felt like it was. Especially for the Cardinals, who do not have the pitching options that the Padres possess and needed to get the most out of ace Chris Carpenter. He delivered, pitching into the seventh inning and benefiting from a balanced attack for a 5-1 Cardinals win.
Spent some time after the game with Cards center fielder Jim Edmonds, who has surprisingly good career numbers against Padres Game 2 starter David Wells despite overall struggles against left-handers. Edmonds suffered through post-concussion syndrome in August and September, and there were questions about how badly the guy wanted to get back on the field. Corey Koskie faced the same questions in Milwaukee, where I toil away the summer for MLB.com, and watching him struggle with it was almost painful. It was like talking to a different person — he called the feeling in his head "fogginess," and as he squinted while listening to questions you could tell exactly what he meant. The Brewers basically told him to go home, don’t watch TV, don’t read, don’t do anything but rest your brain. Koskie’s kids drove him crazy, wondering why dad wouldn’t come outside and play with them. You could tell it ate the guy up inside.
That said, it’s good to see Edmonds on the field. Whether you’re a Cardinals fan, a Padres fan or just a baseball fan, you hate to see a guy get "hurt" to the degree that it affects his everyday life. He’s a bit questionable for Game 2 after diving in center field during the eighth inning, and he also has an injured toe. His presence is certainly a big boost to St. Louis’ hopes for a 2-0 series lead.