(BaseballStL) -- A small bud is pushing through the desiccated grass. Whether it matures and blossoms will only be known in the coming weeks and months.
But it is the first signs of life in the barren wasteland that has been the St. Louis Cardinals offense.
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Enduring offensive turnarounds seldom begin with an explosion. Big innings, in which hits are hits piled on hits during the course of a single game, seldom envelope a team like an ethereal cloak, lifting it to a cold confidence that anything can be overcome.
Even a blind sow, as they say, occasionally picks up an acorn.
Durable transformation, that inexplicable reversal that explodes like a super nova in deep space, usually begins with a tremor, a slight wrinkle on the pond. From there, like the eruption of all matter from a singularity, offense grows and expands into every corner of the dugout.
If the loadstone has been dislodged and the crushing avalanche has indeed begun, I have a candidate for the small pebble that started the cascade.
And here it is, in all its insignificant glory.... Peter Bourjos' check swing base hit that broke his 0-19 slump Monday against Atlanta.
If you could will the baseballs gods to give a deserving human being just one little break, your largesse would have been directed toward this poor soul who wants so desperately to succeed for his new team, to become a bona fide Cardinal, that he tightened with every feckless at-bat.
But indecision, often a fatal flaw in the face of a 90 mph fastball, did not prove his undoing but rather his salvation. The half swing produced a soft line drive that parachuted safely into center field, ending the misery and launching an outburst that included a home run, fattening his average by nearly 50 points.
And then what? The Cardinals, to date far too reliant on the Matts - Holliday and Adams - found their confidence. Inspired by the home run of Peter the Suddenly Great, they pounded the baseball Wednesday night in a fashion seldom seen in 2014.
Yes, there have been false starts, efforts not sustained, promises unfulfilled. But this time felt different. This time felt like the real thing.
If this is just wishful thinking, then the awkward swings, ground ball double plays and soft foul pops will continue. Outfielders will again collide with infielders, base-running misadventures will return, rallies will die frustrating deaths.
But if it is the real thing, if this time the pepper is really in the gumbo, the air will smell sweeter, colors will be brighter, and calm will return to the land.