The one thing baseball teaches us is how quickly things can change. Over the course of an endless baseball summer, a pitcher, a hitter or maybe an entire team can transform from an unsightly train wreck into a delightful masterpiece without much warning. Maybe that’s why baseball is the only sport without a time clock, because no one can predict when — or how often — these mysterious transformations occur.
Take the Cardinals bullpen as prime evidence of the quirks of these inexplicable transformations. The St. Louis relievers have spent the first month of the season as the unsettling train wreck on the horizon. No need to recite the bad numbers that made them the most unreliable bullpen in baseball, because you probably already know all of them by heart.

It’s why even the most passionate Cardinal loyalists would avert their eyes whenever Mike Matheny so much as made a move in the general direction of that phone on the dugout wall to get someone up in relief.

So how fascinating is it that within the span of a less than a week, we have all gone from cringing to now craving that the Cards manager go to his pen?

Go on and admit it. On Sunday afternoon even as starter Jaime Garcia kept going deeper and deeper into his very efficient 10-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, as he edged past the sixth inning, then into the seventh, didn’t you find at least a part of yourself hoping Garcia wouldn’t finish the game?

I wanted to see one of The Kids again.

I didn’t actually want Garcia to blow up. I just wanted to find any excuse to get another glimpse at one of the Cards young pitching phenoms. Seth Maness and Carlos Martinez, both who were called up last week from the minors to help stop the leaks in the back end of the bullpen, have already proved in their brief but impressive initial impressions what all the hype has been about surrounding their arrivals.