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Game 74 Open Thread: June 25, 2006

ponson bonderman
4-2, 5.30 7-4, 3.82

well, the other parts of the roster --- the rotation, the hitters --- have singlehandedly cost the cardinals games on this road trip. you can't blame the bullpen for wanting its share of the glory, can you?

i jest --- what else to do? my reserves of anger, frustration, and indignity are completely tapped out. three weeks ago the cardinals were piling dirt on the division, and pujols was lining up maris and the three steroid freaks in his scope (hack wilson, too). 20 games later it's the cardinals who stand in the crosshairs and the whole division that's getting buried. all 6 nl central clubs lost last night; during stl's 5-game losing streak, the reds and brewers have picked up just 2 games, the astros only 1.

that's pretty funny.

the national league is so awful this year that the cardinals, ragged though they are, could still very easily claim the pennant. pujols, carpenter, rolen -- what else do you need in this watered-down field? one could even argue, with a mostly straight face, that the cards' humiliation this week says nothing about the team's relative strength vis-vis the strongest american league teams. here, let's give it a try:

  • two of the losses were toss-ups -- last night's, and the reyes start.
  • one of the losses was caused entirely by an injury to a starting pitcher.
  • the games have all been on the road; we'd play 'em tougher at busch.
  • pujols is still rusty; edmonds has hardly played on the trip.
anybody convinced? if not, we could keep going: teams almost never win 100 games three years running, so the setbacks that are plaguing the cardinals this year -- injuries, blown saves, off-years --- were bound to catch up with them sooner or later; they've weathered the setbacks but are still in 1st place. . . .

all these things may be true, to a greater or lesser degree. but the problem is that they don't get us anywhere; they still leave us with a team that is only likely to go as far as albert pujols, chris carpenter, and scott rolen can carry it. that's a team that is still likely to make the playoffs, per baseball prospectus --- their playoff odds report gives their cardinal a 67 pct chance. should that happen, and should the cardinals be lucky and good enough at that time to earn a rematch vs detroit or the chisox, the games we've played this week will be distant and meaningless memories. the cards are truly are no worse off than they were a week ago.

but it's starting to dawn on us that where the cardinals were a week ago ain't all that special.

quick peek at the minors to tell you about three debuts. at palm beach, jaime garcia received a rude welcome to the florida state league -- he yielded 9 hits and 4 runs in 5 1/3 innings in his first high-a start as palm beach lost, 4-3. and at short-season a, two high draft picks -- #3 gerry daley, and #1 adam ottavino -- made their first appearances for the organization and combined for six innings of 2-hit, 1-run ball as state college won, 6-1. . . . . elsewhere, colby rasmus hit another homer for quad cities (his 9th), and stu pomeranz took the loss with a subpar outing at springfield.