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astros projection: 85-77

but first some news: the reds traded wily mo pena to boston for bronson arroyo. hard to believe the reds couldn't do better than this; arroyo's a nice pitcher but nothing special, whereas pena has a chance to be special. he also has a chance to be melvin nieves -- but if you were the reds, wouldn't you want to make sure before you dealt him? let's turn this around: suppose the reds had a workaday #3ish/#4ish starting pitcher like bronson arroyo, and some contender that needed rotation stability offered a high-risk/high-reward prospect like wily mo pena in exchange for said pitcher -- wouldn't the reds make that deal in a second?

it's because of trades like this that i will sometimes take at face value trade rumors that, on the surface, seem nonsensical. half the trades that actually go down seem nonsensical to me.

results of the astros projection: 13 responses, averaging out to an 85-77 record, 715 runs scored / 675 allowed, 3d place. funny; we also projected the cubs to 85-77 / 3d place; and we had the brew crew finishing 86-76 / 3d place. (why even bother doing a cardinals projection?) nobody had the astros at lower than 81 wins (which surprised me) or higher than 90 (which didn't).

here's an article from today's houston chronicle about the sorry state of the astro rotation sans roger.

the cardinals trail the braves 4-1 in the 8th. anthony reyes pitched four innings and gave up three runs, all on homers --- a solo shot to renteria and a two-run blast to francouer.

first-hand impressions mean a great deal to duncan and la russa. . . . . .