ST. LOUIS — As reporters, we ask a lot of questions about a lot of topics. Often, we’ll ask about other players, for notebook items or feature stories, and you can generally tell by the answer and body language whether the player/coach is genuinely impressed with the player we’re asking about, or whether they’re just saying nice things for the sake of nice things.Sometimes, though, the people we’re interviewing will bring up players out of the blue or because the question is just tangentially related. That’s how you know they’re really impressed. NLDS: Braves confident, not concerned with 18-year postseason droughtAnd that’s exactly what happened a couple of times before and after the penultimate game of the regular season in St. Louis. Before the contest, soon-to-be-ex-Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked how he, back in April, knew the NL Central race would come down to the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers. First, he gave a typical Maddon-ism answer. “You look at the other teams and you’ve just got to be honest. Everybody thinks their baby is the cutest, you know, but the other kids are cute, too. When you look at it with your eyes open, you can see they’re pretty good.”And then he brought up Tommy Edman, pretty much out of the blue. “The big difference on this team, for me, is Edman,” Maddon said. “That’s the difference-maker right now. That’s the kid, and I know it’s hard to say that about a first-year guy, but when we play them now compared to when we played them earlier this year, he makes a marked difference for this team.” Maddon’s Cubs won that game, chasing veteran Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright in the fifth inning of what wound up as an 8-6 loss for the home team, ensuring that the season’s final contest would be very meaningful. After the game, Wainwright was asked about the disappointment of giving up a dozen hits and a half-dozen runs in his outing, and he spoke openly about the frustration. He was then asked about the young players on the team experiencing the postseason-type atmosphere for the first time — remember, the Cardinals had missed October three years in a row — and Wainwright immediately brought up Edman. “Seeing what Tommy Edman did today on the biggest stage, against the biggest rival we have, in the biggest spot of our whole season, and him cool as a cucumber out there, taking great at-bats, working counts and taking two-strike breaking balls to left-center,” Wainwright said. “I mean, you can’t say enough about what he and some of the other young fellas are doing.”The at-bat the veteran referenced happened in the fifth inning, with the Cardinals trailing 6-1. Edman came up with two on and one out. Maddon brought in reliever David Phelps to move Edman, a switch-hitter, to the left side of the plate. For the year, Edman’s OPS was 154 points lower from that side, though at .810 still wasn’t shabby.Edman smacked a triple to the wall in left-center on a 2-2 pitch, slicing the Cubs’ lead from five runs to a much more manageable three runs. It was his seventh triple on the season. MORE: NLDS preview, predictionsIf you’re looking for a turning point in the Cardinals’ season, it’s easy to point to Edman’s arrival. The sixth-round pick in 2016 out of Stanford started the 2019 season with Triple-A Memphis, rolling up a .305 average, .869 OPS, seven homers and nine stolen bases in 49 games before making his debut on June 8. He started only one of his first 11 big league games, hitting an even .400 in those contests, and moved into the starting lineup by the beginning of July. The Cardinals entered that month with a 41-41 record and in third place in the NL Central, barely ahead of the Pirates.You remember what happened starting in July, right? The Cardinals went 16-9 that month, then 18-9 in August and 16-12 in September, a three-month stretch of baseball played at a .625 winning percentage that led them to the NL Central title. The Cardinals, on the year, were 47-28 in games he started and 44-43 in games he didn’t start.Edman was right there in the middle of everything. In his 92 games, the 5-10, 180-pounder batted .304 with an .850 OPS, 17 doubles, 11 homers, seven triples, 15 stolen bases and a 3.8 bWAR. And he played all over the field, too: 41 starts at third base, 23 at second base and 11 in right field — even though he never played a single game in the outfield in the minor leagues. Here’s a bit of perspective: That 3.8 bWAR Edman produced in 92 games was higher than numbers posted by Kris Bryant (3.6 in 147 games), Justin Turner (3.7 in 135 games), Manny Machado (3.1 in 156 games), Lorenzo Cain (2.8 in 148 games) and even heralded teammate Paul Goldschmidt (2.8 in 161 games). And though Edman might not be known on a national scale like those other names, you can be sure the Cardinals appreciate him. “I think he’s a superstar,” Wainwright said. “I’m glad we have him on our team.” And you can also be sure the Braves — the Cardinals’ opponent in the NLDS, starting tonight — are well aware of him, too.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization.The pullout won’t take effect until a year from now, meaning it could be rescinded under a new administration or if circumstances change.But the withdrawal notification makes good on President Trump’s vow in late May to terminate U.S. participation in the WHO.The President has harshly criticized the WHO for its response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused it of bowing to Chinese influence.The State Department and United Nations say the withdrawal notice was sent to U.N. chief Antonio Gutterres on Monday.New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez confirmed in a Tweet that Congress was also notified Tuesday of the United States’ official withdrawal.Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic.To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone.— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) July 7, 2020
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAt least for the moment, there appears to be no need for Alyssa Valdez.Creamline played without its heroine and still came through with a convincing 25-22, 25-21, 25-22 win over Power Smashers Wednesday night to remain spotless in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano MOST READ Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Alyssa Valdez stays positive despite PH loss in volleyball opener PLAY LIST 01:14Alyssa Valdez stays positive despite PH loss in volleyball opener00:50Trending Articles02:02‘Bata’ Reyes bows to Vietnamese foe for another SEA Games bronze01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade LATEST STORIES Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission Mapua battles Perpetual at home Jia Morado tossed 50 excellent sets, fanning out the offensive chores masterfully.It was a sorry loss for the Power Smashers, who succumbed to their fourth defeat in five matches.What happened in the third set mirrored the second when Creamline fell behind, 18-21, against the youthful but inexperienced squad.Rosemarie Vargas strung up three straight points—all through soft-touch hits— while Colleen Bravo scored three kill blocks to lift the Cool Smashers.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation The win practically qualified the Cool Smashers to the next round—they have won all their five matches so far.“It’s a challenge for the team, really. So we have to step up and prove that it’s all team effort,” said Pau Soriano in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The veteran spiker accounted for 15 points including five straight in the homestretch as the Cool Smashers raced from a 20-22 hole en route to the straight sets victory.But most importantly, Creamline proved that it can stand its ground even without top scorer and team leader Valdez, who is currently in Japan training with the Philippine team. View comments