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winds some, win some

my friends at Baseball Analysts invited me to do another guest piece, following up on a study i did last year about first-pitch swinging. the upshot: hack first, ask questions later. head on over there and take a look.

re last night at busch: that did not look like fun at the ol' ballyard. one of my earliest memories is of just such a storm; i was 3, water was pouring into the basement, and my grandfather very stubbornly refused to leave the kitchen table -- exactly like paul newman in mr and mrs bridge. i'll resist the temptation to apply the deluge metaphor to the first two games of the series; too many people still without power to trifle about it.

carpenter's really starting to get into a groove. he's 5-1 in his last 8 starts, allowing just 50 baserunners in 57 innings over that span; he has more strikeouts (52) than baserunners allowed. he has crept up to 4th place in sports illustrated's cy young predictor, one place behind -- ready for this? -- jason isringhausen. to the predictor, i guess, 26 saves are 26 saves; doesn't matter how much angst some of'm produce in the hometown fans. here are isringhausen's era's by month: 6.00, 0.77, 5.25, 0.90. . . . . must be bumming cigarettes off marquis or something. he's no cy young, but i'll still take the guy. his walk rate has finally started to flatten out -- just 3 in 10 innings pitched this month. the league is hitting only .203 off him this season.

as long as carp and izzy are handy come october, the cardinals will have a fighting chance in every series.

jim edmonds has now hit as many homers in his last 54 at-bats as he did in the preceding 206; i just can't get over it. clearly the injury(ies) -- shoulder, abdomen, whatever -- has healed, and he he has resumed taking full rips after slap-hitting for about two months. edmonds' strikeout rates tell the tale. as a cardinal he has whiffed in 30 percent of his at-bats while compiling an isolated power of .262. swing hard, strike out a lot, hit a lot of home runs -- it's a formula. here are jim's strikeout rates and his isolated power, month by month, for 2006:

k/ab iso
april .320 .214
may .157 .058
june .197 .164
july .278 .542

in may and june he became a different player -- put the ball in play more often but with a lot less authority. the fact that he's striking out a ton again is a cause for rejoicing. he may yet get to 30 home runs . . . . that $10m option st louis holds on him for 2007 looks a lot more appealing today than it did three weeks ago.

as long as we're discussing resurgent outfield bats, cory haerther homered again for springfield last night. he has bashed four this week, nearly equaling his total (5) for the first 14 weeks of the year. his batting line by month sorta mirrors edmonds':

avg obp slg
april .284 .326 .506
may .214 .309 .386
june .190 .190 .254
july .328 .386 .594

thanks to sackmann's new and improved Minor League Splits Database for that data.

no p.m. post for me today; i'll be in a classroom helping young editors-to-be sharpen their scythes and shivs and other professional instruments. baseball news often breaks when i'm called away from the laptop, so don't be at all surprised if the cardinals announce a trade this afternoon . . . . .