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Game 63 Open Thread: June 13, 2005

first the bad news: rolen's not healing as fast as he'd like. so sez p-d's derrick goold and the espn wire service knowitalls. fuck. natural responses: denial, escape. so, back to yesterday's game. . . . .

is there any doubt left about who the ace of this pitching staff is? morris set the tone for the week in the opening game against the sawwwks, then came back and -- with far from his best stuff -- held the yanks in check primarily by staying aggressive. did he need some help from the d? absolutely. but what you see in morris now, every time out, is a complete lack of hesitation. he doesn't back down, good stuff or no; full speed ahead, get outta my way. lotta stl fans are seeing the same thing -- including cardsrul and enlightened new yawkuh glennrwordman -- and liking it. matty's demeanor evokes not only that of dkile, his late buddy and mentor, but also imho another longtime associate: schilling, whom morris has faced three times in the playoffs, twice very memorably. cap'n curt, like morris, had a good postseason record in his 20s, but he didn't calm down and become a cold-blooded playoff sh*t-kicker until after 30. does morris not have that look?

the guy who would be ace, meanwhile, isn't aceing. . . . . . analysis from rob at the birdwatch and marc normandin at SB Nation cuzzin Beyond the Boxscore.

final thought on seabol's home run: to me it illustrates the upside of early-count aggression. he hit it on the first pitch. after three years of "moneyball" hype, first-pitch swinging has a very bad rap; we've been trained to think the only good at-bats are patient, carefully considered ones, in which the batter steps out of the box between pitches to think things over and tap his pipe on the heel of his shoe. but a first-pitch swing can be carefully considered too; you can go up there looking for one pitch in one zone -- say, a fastball middle in, like the one seabol whacked out the yard yesterday -- and swing if and only if the pitch meets those specs. that takes as much plate discipline as a 10-pitch at-bat, imho, for the latter is mainly born of sheer survival -- if it's close, you have to swing -- while the former requires a true exercise of discretion. mr seabol exercised his nicely yesterday.

cardnilly's series preview is up. usual damn good job, but he overlooked one possibly decisive fact: roy halladay's real first name is harry . . . .

soooop halladay
5-5, 4.28 9-3, 2.45