Friday, July 11, 2008

updates from the farside

There's a lot of news these days, but I want to start with the (how can I put this?) disappointing start from Mark Mulder. No one knew what to expect, especially me. He'd had two relief appearances--one went well, the other not so much--but hadn't made a start in almost a year. And no quality starts since the first half of 2006. So when he stepped onto the mound, everyone held their breath. 

He struck out the first batter, then walked the second, and that's when things went wrong. 

He threw over to first to check on the runner, and basically just slung the ball to Albert. 

After that he had no control at all and threw seven straight balls before finally motioning to LaRue that he needed help. 

He was taken out of the game at that point--three batters faced--and placed back on the DL with shoulder strain. Apparently, something happened with his arm during that throw to first. Brad Thompson, the resident "long man," came in for relief. 

The big question looming over the clubhouse these days: Will Mulder ever pitch professionally again? If I were a gambler, I'd bet the farm he won't. Let's not forget, however--and I'm also addressing myself with this--that Mark Mulder is a person, not just a player or a number or a trade value. He hasn't pitched up to expectations, but he has given it all he had and then some, and he deserves a little sympathy while he mourns his career. Bryan Burnwell put it best, I think, when he said, "The fact that he failed doesn't deserve our derision. The fact that he tried so hard does deserve our admiration." Thanks, Mark, for all you tried to do. 

Also new on the pitching front, the Brewers acquired CC Sabathia from Cleveland and the Cubs picked up Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin from Oakland. Tony, who hasn't been in the best of moods lately anyway, is a little upset about the Cardinals front office's reluctance to make any similar moves. And he makes a good point. Sure, we've got two of the best pitchers in the NL coming back from the DL (probably at the start of August, but don't hold your breath), but what do we do until then? Maybe the Brewers and Cubs would be nice enough to keep their new guys out of the rotation for a while so we can catch up. That's only fair, after all. 

Ludwick did not get voted to the All-Star team by the "fans." He was, however, voted on by his fellow MLB players, and will get no less than TWO tickets to the game--I suggest he take his wife and mother--although he probably could buy more if he needed. Congratulations, Ryan. 

Albert was also selected to the AS team. Congratulations, Albert. 

Neither of them will start. Albert has indicated that if invited, he would participate in the homerun derby. I find the whole business to be repugnant, and I have nothing else to say. 

Glaus is now something like 0-752 against the Cubs. In 48 ABs. I know that sounds impossible, but you know what they say about Troy... 

We've lost two series in a row. The only good thing about the AS break this year is that it may come at the right time for the 'birds. A few days off may be just what the boys need (with the exception of Albert and Ryan who will probably come away from the exhibition game with a new lease on the season). That's what I'm hoping anyway. 

Roster moves: Barton is on the DL. Izturis is back from the DL. Jaime GarcĂ­a is the new LHP in the bullpen. Mather is up. Boggs is down. Mulder.... well, you know.