you could (and i'm not) make the case that jeff suppan has been the most effective cardinal starter this season. per baseball prospectus, soups has faced a tougher mix of batters than any of his four rotationmates. the guys he's pitched to are hitting a collective .256 this year with a .744 ops (.331/.413). those figures are right around the league avgs of .258 / .330 / .411 / .741.
which means all four of the other guys have faced subpar competition to date. not a particular surprise -- the cards have had a soft early schedule -- but this just quantifies it. and maybe seasons the rotation's great first-quarter numbers with a few grains of salt. here's how they stack up:
nl avg 0.258 0.330 0.411
suppan 0.256 0.331 0.413
mattmo 0.254 0.325 0.401
marquis 0.245 0.324 0.400
carp 0.247 0.324 0.399
mulder 0.250 0.323 0.397
cardnilly posts his per-usual pre-series breakdown and finds to his amazement that the cardinals murder jon leiber.