Albert Pujols' tremendous second half has restored his value and his determination to match the $27.5 million per year the Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez. … Don't be surprised if Ryan Braun steals some bases in the playoffs. He has been running well after recovering from an inflamed tendon behind his left knee, becoming only the second 30/30 player for the Brewers (Tommy Harper, 1970). … The Yankees still are worried about Rodriguez's left thumb. He has been using a split grip on the bat lately, with a layered O-ring of tape between his hands to protect his sprained digit. … The Cardinals' blown save Thursday against the Mets revealed the flaw that probably will prevent them from making the playoffs. With Tony La Russa pushing for reinforcements, they sent Chris Perez to the Indians to get Mark DeRosa in 2009. … Why is Miguel Cabrera taking ground balls at third base? There's a chance the Tigers could play him there in the World Series, if they get there. That would one way to get him, Victor Martinez and Alex Avila in the lineup at the same time. … The Nationals are not going to pursue first baseman Prince Fielder, no matter how many rumors link them to him. The Nationals could open 2012 with Michael Morse in left field but look at him as their long-term first baseman. They also haven't written off prospect Chris Marrero, who has looked good in September. … Rawlings has adjusted Gold Glove voting to list outfielders by the position they play — left, center and right.