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the invincible clemens

did anyone else get slightly sick to the stomach watching clemens struggle vs the chisox? i think even the cardinals' limp bats could've beaten some runs out of him in an nlcs game 7, had it been played. and to think that all stl had to do to earn a shot at the old gimp was scratch out 3 runs in game 4 against bran-- . . . . . .

can't go there. too painful.

guillen pulled a la russa, left his starting pitcher in the game one batter too long and nearly lost the lead as a result. his tardiness to the mound was all the more unforgivable, insofar as he has bullpen weapons la russa can only dream of. after watching those two dudes, maybe it's just as well stl never did get that crack at clemens in g7. we might be staring at another ws sweep.

garner also pulled a la russa, by the way, when he failed to get palmeiro up there for bagwell in the 8th inning with the tying run on 3d, two outs, and jenks fresh into the game. palmeiro is a left-handed hitter, has a good batting eye, and puts the ball in play consistently --- a better fit for the circumstances imho. he also has more extra-base power than bagwell for the time being, given jeff's current physical limitations. but garner stuck with his old pro, to the detriment of the team --- just like tony would have . . . .

prob'y doesn't matter. nobody was going to hit the ball hard off jenks the way he was bringing it.

slight change of subject: the good fans at Athletics Nation were watching our game on wednesday night and cheering on their old pal mark mulder. the whole game thread is at this link and well worth your perusal, but for those of you on tight schedules here is the reader's digest version:

kratos: GO MULDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm rootin for him MULDER YAY PITCH!!!

Alaska A: The angel on my right shoulder says "Yay, Mulder, pitch a great game and win" while the devil on the left shoulder says "Watch him melt down and blow it and lose the big game just as well for them as he did for us."

Vaillant: Wasn't there something in Aces about how Zito overthinks and Mulder doesn't think at all? Not beating the runner to first on the groundball to start the 3rd inning, then not throwing the bunt to third really hurt him. Think, Mulder, Think!

baseballgirl: " quite bad."

Steve in Napa: Mark joins 3 other pitchers who have lost 3 consecutive series clinching games: Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine and Shane Reynolds.

Dan: la russa is a dog. Two years in a row he can't run with this talent. All he can do is screech at the umps like a chimp on acid. He's projecting his own inability to coach, lead and mentor. There. I said it. I don't like TLR. Not one bit. And I say that not really caring one way or the other about the Cardinals, otherwise.

English major: I think the moral of this story is -- Never pin your hopes on a pitcher who really, really likes to golf. He just doesn't have enough incentive to keep the off-season from coming.