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Game 18 Open Thread: April 23, 2006

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on the same day that aj burnett went on the 15-day dl for the second time this season, sidney ponson muddled through five innings to move to 2-0 and lower his era to 3.31. while it's a tad premature to be drawing conclusions, right about now it looks like the cards placed the much wiser bet -- and those of us who thought the cards should have guaranteed burnett a 5th year are relieved that nobody listened to us. you don't want to judge a five-year contract after three weeks, but knowing what we know now would anyone advocate a $50 million deal for aj?

not me, man.

it's a bit early to be pronouncing the ponson signing a success too; he was more lucky than good yesterday. but his luck wasn't altogether blind: after the first inning, all but one of the balls the cubs put into play against ponson was a ground ball. even the base hits. the lone exception was matt murton's pop out in the 2d inning. that some of those groundballs found holes was inevitable, but it was just as inevitable that two of them turned into rally-ending double plays. toss in a timely peg from jim edmonds, a generous umpire's call on aramis ramirez's grounder in the 3d inning, and derrek lee's absence from the heart of the order, and you've got a textbook bend-don't break outing -- a suppan special. ponson is going to take some lumps this season, but his groundout-flyout ratio so far is a mulder-like 2.91; if he just keeps it above 2.00 for the year, he'll probably work out ok.

see bernie's column on the same subject.

marquis maddux
3-0, 2.79 3-0, 1.33