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Game 61 Open Thread: June 10, 2006

ahhhhh; that's better.

not we did it! we killed the monster! better; more like thanks for rolling that boulder off my chest better. i mean, the boulder's off, but you're still lying there with a bunch of broken ribs; you're still battered and broken. but at least you can breathe.

the cards took a deep breath last night, stole a game they should have lost, and -- to a degree -- corrected the monday-night mistake against the reds. they also continued to hit in the absence of pujols. in four of the five games post-oblique, they have scored 4 runs or more -- and they've posted a total of 30 runs, or 6 a game. i'll be the 1st to observe that last night's outburst came against a pitcher with an era of almost 8.00; dudn't matter. when you're playing with that big a big hole in your lineup, 10 runs is 10 runs. i for one am pretty impressed by that win; that showed some balls. i got it circled.

kudos, by the way, to effin fisk, who very early in the comeback piped up in the game thread with this illogically sunny quote:

Hate to be too optimistic, but

we're still in this game. 6-1 now. this Brewers team has been blowing leads like crazy lately.
Whoops, 6-2 now. see?

by effin fisk on Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 09:07:54 PM EST

still in it? have you been watching this team lately, son? a moment later he explained himself:
baby steps

Mulder will calm down and go a few more innings without allowing a run, just as he and Marquis always do after their crappy first innings.

Everyone's asking all sorts of questions about the post season and everything right now, but there's nothing in this world that would make me happier than a sloppy, hard-fought win. Are our weaknesses exposed for all the world to see right now? You betcha. But how important is it for us to get at least 2 wins this series, even if it's a slugfest?

So for now, i need to hope and i need a reason to keep watching, because it seems those reasons are dwindling lately.

by effin fisk on Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 09:31:22 PM EST

your faith was rewarded, my man -- an ugly win, yes, but when you're lonely you don't hold out for the best looker at the bar. besides, beauty points don't count with albert out . . . maybe the lesson here is that beauty points are overrated to begin with. just win the damn games.

they're gonna keep bedding ugly partners as long as they keep pitching this way. last night's game was the 3d in a row in which they found themselves trailing 6-0 or worse and the 6th in a row in which they've yielded 5 or more runs. their era since may 1 -- when they led the majors with a 3.35 mark -- is 4.45. they're at 5.56 for june, which we're already purt' near 1/3 of the way through.

all of which explains how the cards are now only tied for 3d in the league in era -- and falling fast.

the really unfortunate thing about the pitching swoon is that the st louis hurlers now have almost no trade value. mulder or marquis might have brought a worthwhile return in spring training, but now? there have been scouts at each of mulder's last three starts; i'm sure they sent back glowing reports to their teams. i'll do a little research on retrosheet this weekend to see what the market has been in past years for fading mid- to back-of-rotation starters in their walk years. . . . .

well, here's a teaser: last july 28 the rockies traded shawn chacon to the yankees. chacon was 1-7 at the time -- but he was pitching for the woeful colorado rockies, who as of that date were a .350 team, and he had a 4.09 era in coors field, which is like 3.59 anywhere else. and chacon wasn't even in his walk season; he still had one more arb-eligible year to go before he could walk, so any team acquiring him would have him for a year and a half. aside from the w-l record (which wasn't all his fault), chacon was a more attractive commodity than either marquis or mulder is, and the best the rockies could get for him was two weak pitching prospects. one of those prospects, ramon ramirez, has blossomed this season -- i mean, really blossomed. but the cards aren't looking to acquire late-blooming prospects who can help them next year. . . .

anyway, that's only one example, but it ain't that encouraging. we're asking a lot of jocketty to trade out of this hand and acquire a big bat.

in any case, the bats ain't the biggest problem facing this team; it is still about the pitching. has been since november, when jocketty targeted aj burnett as the team's key acquisition; remains that way now, as the cardinals (we keep hearing) stalk dontrelle willis. (burnett's about to return to the blue jays, by the way; june 23 is the current target, two weeks from now.) willis is probably the only player on earth who jock would consider trading reyes and/or wainwright for. he can't trade either one for a hitter -- not because we need those two young arms to step into the rotation next season, but because we may need one or both of them this year to hold things together.

gotta breathe, gotta breathe . . . . would somebody please roll this boulder offa my chest?

elsewhere, quickly: i know a lotta you are tracking missouri's playoff run; they lost a tough one last night -- 7-1, but it was a lot closer than that. scherzer retired the 1st 12 men he faced and didn't get scored upon till the 6th, when he got nicked for one run to tie it, 1-1. missouri should have been much further ahead at that point, but they wasted a number of scoring chances. in the 7th, fullerton exploded for 5 runs, and that was the ballgame. the tigers have to win the last two games of this series -- both on fullerton's diamond -- or they're out.

early for a game thread, i know, but i'm out of pocket all day; rocky mtns, here i come.

marquis capuano
8-4, 5.03 6-4, 3.31