- matt morris threw only 79 pitches two starts ago; last night he was routinely in the low 90s with his fastball. coincidence? he also seemed to have regained the command that had deserted him for four weeks; do we attribute that to molina's return? on both counts, maybe --- or maybe morris simply needed to pitch his way out of the slump. whatever, it's a big sigh of relief to see him rounding back into form. the cards go nowhere this october if he's ineffective.
- by my count yadi molina was the 7th cleanup hitter the cardinals have employed this season, following rolen, walker, edmonds, sanders, grudzielanek, and taguchi. am i missing anybody? how entertaining would it be if #8 is rick ankiel after sept 1 . . . . .
- beyond the boxscore breaks down the nl wild card race by net runs above average (NRAA). the moral? fear the fish. over 162 games, the marlins are 139 runs above average, easily the best among the 2d-place contenders. (by comparison, the cardinals are about 270 runs above avg.)
- jason marquis isn't the only frustrated pitcher who can't seem to get win #10 no matter how well he pitches. milwaukee's doug davis reached 9 victories on june 22 and has been stuck there through 12 subsequent starts despite pitching very well. 10 of the 12 starts qualify as "quality starts," and he has pitched 77 innings during the stretch with a 3.51 era and 1.25 whip. last night was a typical outing: he gave up one run on five hits in seven innings but departed in a 1-1 tie and got a no-decision, his 9th during the drought. the milwaukee journal-sentinel quotes him thus: "It's hard luck but it happens. It's part of the game. It's not always a fair game. I did all I can do. I kept my team in the game and gave us a chance to win." would that the cardinals had kept marquis' luckless quest for win #10 in the same proportion.
- if you haven't read the comments about curt flood from yesterday's post, i urge you to check them out.
- cody haerther, travis hanson, and some other cardinal farmhands will be playing in the arizona fall league on one of the best-named baseball teams i've ever heard of: the surprise scorpions.