Update [2006-5-9 17:55:42 by lboros]: news: ponson to DL, tyler johnson recalled. thanks to BozCardsSF for the heads-up.
johnson has allowed 8 runs in 8.1 innings, but 5 of them came in one unsightly outing three weeks ago. let's not rush him into any game-breaking situations, but he may suffice as a mid-inning situational lefty.
back to the regl'r post: the cardinals are on pace to score 785 runs this year, or 20 fewer than they scored last year. their obp is up 3 points over last season, their slugging down 5; their home run total projects to 171, or one more than they hit in 2005. in other words, the offense so far has been about as productive as it was last season. meanwhile, the cardinals' pitching/defense project to allow 64 runs fewer than they did last year. their run differential of +44 is the best in the national league; the mets are second at +36.
so why do we fret about this team? because st louis has piled up the bulk of its differential advantage (+27) against the three worst teams in the league -- washington pittsburgh and florida. the cards are 11-2 against those three creampuff opponents, and 9-11 against the rest of their schedule.
with the padres having surged above .500, the cards must play 32 of their next 44 games against teams that are currently .500 or better. (silver lining: 20 of those 32 games will be at busch III.) that stretch (basically, the 2d quarter of the season) will take the cardinals through the month of june -- right to the beginning of the trading-deadline frenzy. we'll know then what moves, if any, are called for.
from the minors: lord help us, timo perez is making a statement. two homers and a double last night, now hitting .404 and slugging over .700. to judge from his steady playing time -- he's in there ev'y day, batting leadoff -- you'd think the organization had plans for him or sumthin' . . . . john riedling has taken over brian falkenborg's job as the memphis closer. a washed-up journeyman, career big-league era of 4.41, whip of 1.5 -- the cards should call him up, he'll inevitably have a 2.00 era in the st louis bullpen. he is unscored upon in 4 triple-a appearances (4.2 innings), has only allowed 1 baserunner.