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off-day offerings

in honor of yesterday's off-day, i'm giving the cards a rest here too -- will talk about other subjects.

like the reds. everyone mocked them for standing pat at the trade deadline, sticking with their imbalanced roster of four good outfielders, two good catchers, and zero good pitchers. but now they've gone on a little run -- 19-11 since the all-star break -- and got themselves within a game and half of third place last week. a .500 season is still within reach -- and let's all hope they get there. that might fool the fools in their front office into thinking they don't need to make major roster changes over the off-season, and keep the reds from becoming a serious title threat for another year.

couple of good reads out there about the cubs, beginning with sports illustrated's quick-hitter on the cub-card series. in spite of (because of?) chicago's excellent play in the series, si asks: "Is there a more dysfunctional team in the majors?" we all know the answer; and so does bleed cubbie blue, who had this to say after the cubs got pasted 12-4 by the astros last night:

Maddening. This team is just maddening. They played extremely well over the weekend against the Cardinals -- even the loss on Saturday wasn't poorly played. . . .

. . . Somebody forgot to tell them, first, that the Astros aren't quite as good as the Cardinals -- and yes, I know that the Cardinals were playing with several of their regulars out. And when you're playing a not-quite-as-good-team, you're supposed to play better, right?

i still wouldn't want to face them in a playoff series. if they decide to show up, they can beat any team.

baseball analysis guru tangotiger is soliciting scouting reports by fans. "Baseball's fans are very perceptive," he writes. "Take a large group of them, and . . . . they can forecast the performance of players as well as those guys with rather sophisticated forecasting engines." he is currently asking for evaluations of fielding ability, with this instruction: "Do not, absolutely do not, look at any numbers. Don't look at his fielding percentage, range factor, zone rating, UZR, or anything else that someone else is telling you. I just want you to rely on your eyes." the members of this blog community probably see as many games -- and as many details within those games -- as any group of cardinal fans out there. i'm going to help tango out, and would urge you to do the same.

adam wainwright had his second consecutive so-so start vs nashville last night: 6 ip, 7 h, 4 r, 4 er, 1 w, 6 k. that comes on the heels of a 6.1-inning, 9-hit, 4-run outing in colorado springs, which life prevented me from attending. his line for the year now reads: 7-9, 4.79 -- 156 innings, 179 hits, 44 walks, 116 strikeouts, and 16 home runs. he has thrown no complete games and no shutouts.

if you are looking for something to read about the cardinals, cardnilly and fungoes have some fresh content up in the wake of the cubs series. and Beyond the Boxscore ranks nl lineups by Net Runs Above Average. hint hint: the cards rank very high