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trade update: never mind.

actually, we knew all along it might take until after the deadline for something to happen. and it's not as if the market has played itself out; still plenty of juicy fruit left to shake from the tree. the loss of lawton to the cubs isn't much of a blow to stl; more of a concern for the astros i reckon. and eddie guardado is still available, of note given ray king's outing yesterday. i remain hopeful that the market will cough up a player for us; the cards have some obvious holes, which are magnified by health issues, and both the braves and astros seem eminently capable of beating them in a short series. reinforcements welcome.

yesterday's game perfectly encapsulated a downright peculiar month of cardinal baseball. as they did all month, the cards worked wonders with a patchwork lineup yesterday; they wrung a lot of value out of an uninspiring mulder, turned two big double plays, and never trailed after the 1st. but, also as all month, they failed to hit in the clutch, blew a late-inning lead, and played without the self-assurance that has become this team's hallmark. yet for all the injuries and bullpen failures, the cards still went 17-9 in july, and five of the losses were by one run and/or in extra innings. not a bad month for a shaky, short-handed team.

what sort of season is mark mulder having? a quick comparison:

w-l era starts ip h bb so hr whip k/9
mulder 2005 12-5 3.91 22 140.1 150 48 76 15 1.41 4.87
simontacchi 2002 11-5 4.02 24 143.1 134 54 72 18 1.31 4.52

if that's a cheap shot, i don't apologize. . . . . .mulder walked 12 and struck out 11 in july. as for the bullpen, their line for july isn't as bad as i'd anticipated, nor even is their ugly post all-star break line:

ip h bb so hr era whip
july 62.2 58 29 48 9 3.45 1.39
post all-star 43.2 40 24 31 6 4.12 1.47

bad case of homeritis all month, and a terrible walk rate since the all-star break -- inflated, i freely concede, by an inordinately high number of intentional walks the last couple of weeks. of the right-handed corps, the only significant concern is brad thompson, whom i think the league is starting to figure out; or maybe stiffer competition is beginning to expose him. the other day i fantasized about recalling anthony reyes to bring heat out of the bullpen; it was only an idle thought, but maybe i should take it more seriously.

btw, yesterday was another of those textbook illustrations of how bass-ackwards conventional bullpen management has become. tony did nothing controversial by inserting eldred into a tie game and holding back isringhausen for the hoped-for "save" situation, but if you think about it for two seconds it's a retarded strategy. what's a more difficult assignment: pitching under sudden-death circumstances, as eldred had to in the bottom of the 9th and 10th yesterday, or pitching with a two-run cushion, as izzy did? it defies reason to entrust two sudden-death innings to your 4th-best righthanded reliever, when your best one is out there rested and ready; yet tlr did it, as almost ev'y other mlb manager would have.