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Game 158 Open Thread: September 27, 2005

mattmo oswalt
14-9, 3.97 18-12, 2.91

big wuss that i am, i fear a playoff rematch against the astros. they have the best starting pitchers and the best bullpen among the nl contenders; once in the playoffs, they'll be extremely difficult to eliminate. and, while some fans appear not to realize this, the cardinals reg'r season wins vs houston don't count once the playoffs begin . . . .

unless, that is, we win these next two games and help keep houston out of the playoffs altogether. if we do, then we enter the playoffs with the strongest pitching on the nl side.

that happy prospect is increasingly unlikely, however. despite losing two of three in wrigley over the weekend, houston is successfully running out the clock on the season. the phillie blogger Balls, Sticks + Stuff, ref'cing a site called cool standings, says philadelphia's playoff chances fell from 27 pct to 18 pct after their late collapse at shea last night. baseball prospectus recorded a similar narrowing of the phillies' window, from 33 pct to 22. which means the astros' chances currently stand at about 80 pct. so a st louis sweep wouldn't knock houston out; far from it. it would merely give philadelphia a fighting chance -- and that's if the phillies win their games . . . . . .

but enough of that idle, fearful talk. a blog called Plunk Biggio, which appears to be some sort of online altar to hit batsmen, has posted an epic alphabetical accounting of career hbp leaders, in verse. go check it out. also see cardnilly's countdown of his top 10 busch memories from this season.