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for openers

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it's only one game, and i hardly saw any of it, but from what little i saw it sure looks like a hitter's park. i never saw the ball sail at old busch the way bill hall's dinger jet-streamed out of there in the top of the 2d yesterday. and mark mulder's two xbh were the first of his career; coincidence? will carroll noted at baseball prospectus yesterday, "A friend inside the industry thinks that new Busch is going to play as a hitter's park." i have heard the same buzz; we'll see.

another impressive outing from mulder, who induced 13 swinging strikes yesterday; last year it would have taken him three weeks to miss that many bats. mark also went to 3 balls on only four hitters all day, walking just one. as i said after mulder's last start, those kind of indicators suggest that mulder is pitching aggressively, making quality pitches within the strike zone rather than nibbling at the corners. it's early (that caveat again), but the signs are encouraging.

i got nothing to say about the bullpen; why spoil a good day? . . . well i guess i do have to classify that save per my is'hausen scoring trope. it's a "shaky save" per that scale; he now has 1 shaky, 1 shutdown, and 1 cliffhanger, plus the sunday night massacree.

a couple other quick items, and then i'm getting on a plane. first, here's injury maven will carroll on chris carpenter's back: "Carpenter is dealing with some mild back spasms after his last start. While he's not going to miss time, it's something to keep an eye on. All problems start small. . . ."

second, if you enjoyed the q+a with alex belth, author of the curt flood biography Stepping Up, you can read an excerpt from his book today at the hardball times. alex also did a chat recently at baseball prospectus; the transcript is here.

no further posts from me today, but i'm hoping some spot reportage from the home opener will appear in the diaries. a number of cardinal bloggers were at the game, including get up baby, cardinals diaspora, cardnilly, fungoes, and bellyitcher. only danup has posted a review of the game/stadium so far, but some/all of the others will likely follow suit. and beat reporter matt leach has posted 10 (make it 12) random thoughts about the home opener at his blog.

here's what the milwaukee paper had to say about the ballgame and the ballpark. add'l thoughts from's bob bauman

and before i board this bird, let me take another opportunity to plug the Viva El Birdos online store. a few people have asked what happens to the proceeds of store sales; VEB splits the net 50-50 with Astropitch, Inc., which runs the store site. and VEB's cut, just to be clear, doesn't go into the site per se; it's strictly income for me, a little compensation for the time i put into the site. the t-shirts (and hopefully, eventually, other swag) also advertise the site, which is cool.