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Game 161 Open Thread: October 1, 2006

carpenter villanueva
15-8, 3.09 1-2, 3.97

A year ago Scott Spiezio was sitting at home. Spiezio signed with the Mariners after the 2003 series was an absolute disaster, hitting only .198/.272/.324 and playing in only 141 games over those 2 season due to injuries. Scott was released August 19th from the M's and just looking to latch on somewhere this spring. Well, you can say he's latched on here in St. Louis, setting a career high in OPS, and getting what may have been the most important hit of the season. Spiezio has now etched himself in Cardinal lore with that clutch hit and that funky red beard. You gotta love it. Here's hoping for another go around with Sandfrog for '07 as a super-utility man, or heck, maybe a even a 2nd sacker.

Well, I find it ironic to say the least that the Astros busted it open on a throwing error by Edgar Renteria. Give credit to the Braves for almost coming back, it was a heckuva ballgame that was sabotaged by some shoddy Atlanta fielding. Having to go for it all, unconfirmed word is the Astros will be starting Roy Oswalt on just two days rest to oppose John Smoltz. I'd love nothing more for the Braves to knock Oswalt around and send him back to his tractor in Mississippi, but I won't count on it, not even on two days rest. We know all too well what sort of a big game pitcher Roy O is. Their game starts around noon central.

But now, the Cardinals control their own destiny, and a win today does it. Carp (at the time of this writing) is believed to be on the mound today, is coming off a game were he not only pitched rather poorly by his own standards, but also threw 122 pitches. Carpenter has given up 22 hits and 12 runs over his last 2 starts and has looked gassed. Maybe with some extra adrenaline pumping he'll fare better, but like a lot of you I'll be on pins and needles those first few innings. But if he does his job and the Cards get the W, he may not get the start in the NLDS until game 2 or even 3 and perhaps to start a game 5 if it comes to that. Yikes.

An Astro win and a Cardinal loss would force a makeup game with SF, where Anthony Reyes is scheduled to start. (TLR head explosion). A loss to the Giants means a tie-breaker in Houston. Shudder

We'll see how it all works out. If we lose out, it'll be a collapse that fans and talking heads refer to for years to come. If they win out, they'll be the biggest underdog of the postseason. I'd rather root for the underdog.

Oh, a few blogging bits before I go. Ryan of the excellent (and at times very humorous) Cardinal blog Cardinal Diaspora is now a new SB Nation brother at the new blog Turf Show Times, which covers the St. Louis Rams. If you are a Rams fan, a football fan in general, bookmark it. Or even if you're not a football fan, Ryan will convert ya. And to ring my own chimes, I too am back at blogging a bit, covering the Cardinal farm system at Future Redbirds.

Clinch Cards!

Update [2006-10-1 2:48:56 by erik]: Clemens, Pettitte are being reported among the names on the Grimsley affadavit. Holy wow. Also named are Baltimore's Miggy Tejada, who's long been speculated, as well as Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons. Hate for this type of thing to be a distraction from these playoff races now, but you can believe it will be. This was certainly the last thing the Astros needed, and I'm not relishing in it. Grimsley was a teammate of Pettitte's and Clemens' in 99-00. Maybe I'm naive, but I'm stunned. And disappointed if this source mentioned is truthful. Pujols, previously rumored to be on the affadavit, was not mentioned among the names. Update [2006-10-1 12:42:50 by erik]:The Astros will not be starting Oswalt, it's 28 year old rookie Chris Sampson. As for the Cardinal starter, abstl posted in the comments a quote from Goold saying Reyes will start in what could be like a bullpen game, which could include Marquis (Excuse me while I go brush my teeth and rinse, I just got sick at that thought). Bernie Miklasz posted at the Pressbox early this am it'll be Narveson or Thompson. Update [2006-10-1 13:21:16 by erik]:looks like Reyes is the starter