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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS / NATIONAL LEAGUE | ST. LOUIS vs.
ATLANTA : NOTES

Edmonds Bashes Angels After Bashing Braves

October 04, 2000|ROSS NEWHAN

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Maybe word didn't reach Jim Edmonds that the Angels had a calm, controversy-free season. Maybe he simply took so much heat and absorbed so many wounds during his Anaheim tenure it will always be hard for him to let it go.

In any case, Edmonds was back at it Tuesday, delivering some hits on the Angels after delivering a few to Greg Maddux. He homered and singled twice as his St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves, 7-5, in their division-series opener.

Asked in the interview room later what it's like to come from Anaheim and now be on the national playoff stage, Edmonds said, "I don't really know how to say it except that to go from an underachieving team to a team that has everything going for it and does everything right . . . well, it's a lot of fun.

"I got my best friend in the world here from Anaheim, Mike James, and he got the win today [with 2 1/3 shutout innings of relief]. This team has been so great . . . I mean, we don't have the problems we had in Anaheim, as far as the jealousy, bickering. This team is a team."

Edmonds, of course, provided the Cardinals with an MVP-caliber season with his 42 homers and 108 runs batted in, and he gave the team a scare in the fifth inning when he lost his footing pursuing a Brian Jordan double, fell hard on the small of his back, and was unable to stand for several minutes as trainer Barry Weinberg and Manager Tony La Russa rushed to the scene.

"I landed pretty hard and it sent a shock up my spine," Edmonds said. "It scared me a bit because it was pretty painful, but I've been hurt before and I know that if you get through the first couple minutes OK, you can probably stay in the game."

Edmonds did, and will have a day off today to prepare for Game 2 on Thursday.

"It's a big win any time you get a chance to beat Maddux," he said of Tuesday's victory. "Everyone is writing us off as just a bump on their road. We want to do everything we can to prove we're bigger than just a bump."

*

Maddux had not given up more than two earned runs in nine consecutive postseason starts before Tuesday. . . . Chipper Jones, on Rick Ankiel's five wild pitches in the third inning and six walks overall: "He makes it difficult to get comfortable up there. He gives a new meaning to the expression 'effectively wild,' especially with the stuff he has. He has great stuff and a great future." . . . A decision to carry 11 pitchers in the series put rookie Britt Reames on the St. Louis roster. "I got here about 8:30 [Tuesday] morning," Reames said, "and Tony called me into his office and said, 'You're active.' I said, 'Let's get it on.' " Reames did, pitching two hitless innings. He struck out Andres Galarraga with two runners on in the seventh and also retired Reggie Sanders and Bobby Bonilla with the bases loaded in the inning.

THE SERIES

Game 1: St. Louis 7, Atlanta 5

Thursday: Atlanta (Glavine 21-9) at St. Louis (Kile 20-9),

1 p.m., ESPN

Saturday: St. Louis (Stephenson 16-9 or An. Benes 12-9 or Hentgen 15-12) at Atlanta (Ashby 12-13), TBA

* Sunday: St. Louis at Atlanta, TBA

* Monday: Atlanta at St. Louis. TBA

* If necessary All times PDT

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