Friday, August 15, 2008

on the road to victory

Carp is obviously going to miss his turn in the rotation tonight. 

Thompson will take his place, and then tomorrow either he or García (who will likely be the first reliever in for Brad) will be shipped down to Memphis in order to make room for Barton on the roster. If Carp has to miss another start (fingers crossed that he doesn't), he would probably be DLed and Wainwright (who will make a start at Springfield on Saturday) activated to join the rotation. Yes, rotation

If, however, Carp is strong/healthy enough to make his next start, Wainwright would probably come back as a reliever with Pérez optioned to make room. In that case, Wainwright would be closing, and he has indicated that he's okay with that as long as it isn't a back-and-forth situation. So chances are, if he returns to the bullpen, he'll stay with the bullpen for the remainder of the season. 

Piñeiro, Wellemeyer, and Looper have been too good recently to justify sending them to the 'pen, and as far as I'm concerned, it's fine. That's one decision I'm glad doesn't have to be made (at least for the time being). 

Speaking of the Colonel, can you believe how sharp he was last night? The strike zone was a joke (although he commented during post-game interviews that he thought the HP ump did a fine job), but he overcame four walks and only gave up three hits. And he shut-out the Marlins. He's now 10-4 on the season. (Todd was picked up by the Cardinals last year after the Royals released him. Dave Duncan worked his magic again and turned the struggling reliever into an effective starter practically in the blink of an eye. The Cubs, the Marlins, and the Royals had given up on Wellemeyer, and now we've got him shutting down lineups.) 

Ludwick keeps on making his case for MVP, and with Albert in a little bit of a slump, it's nice to have another big bat to pick up the team on nights like last night. 30 home runs as of August 14. That's some impressive slugging right there. Among home run hitters, he's currently third in the NL and fourth in all of baseball behind Howard (33), Quentin (32), and Dumm (32). He's eighth in the majors in RBI with 90. And he's tied for first (with Lance Berkman) in the NL and MLB with a .608 slugging percentage. 

I haven't heard any news on the Kyle Lohse contract front lately. I actually haven't heard much about contracts, period, but if you'll recall, Moze doesn't like to "distract" the players with talk about trivial things like, say, their jobs or where they'll be living next season. I tell you what, if Kyle wants to stay in St Louis, I say pay him whatever it takes. The discussion on the radio this morning revolved for a time around the Seattle Mariners and the colossal wastes of money they signed last year (and how pitifully they've performed), and the importance of making wise choices instead of easy ones. However, we've all seen what Kyle can do, and since he isn't getting cheaper while we wait for a more appropriate time to talk, why not just get it out of the way and then we can get back to winning baseball games. If Moze thinks that avoiding the subject prevents distraction, he needs a reality check. We need to address the issue now and stop pretending it doesn't exist. Hello, 500-pound gorilla. And while you're at it, give Wellemeyer and Ankiel whatever they want too. 

Here's something unexpected: Izturis is batting .395 in August (15 for 38) with 3 walks and only 2 strike-outs. I heard it suggested at one point that maybe having López around has motivated César to perform better, but I think maybe it goes a little deeper than that. 

López, meanwhile, is 8 for 25 (.320) since joining the Redbirds. Something about being on a winning team can help bring out the winner in certain players. 

The Cubs have won eight road games in a row now, and look pretty unstoppable, so let's just focus on the Wild Card, shall we? We're three games back of the Brewers, and the Mets and Phillies are fighting over third place (oh, and maybe the division title for the NL East). However, with something like 40 games left to play, nothing has been decided. May the best (and by "best" I mean the Cardinals) team win....