according to ken rosenthal's rumor roundup at foxsports.com (scroll down to the last item), the cardinals were among five teams scouting jon lieber's start for the phillies last night and cory lidle's today. the latter was a damn fine outing: 8 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks and 8 ks. tom gordon (who, you never know, might be available too) closed it out with a perfect 9th. it was lidle's 4th quality start in 5 july outings, and his 13th overall this year in 21 games; pretty good ratio. (chris carpenter has 13 q.s. in 20 starts.) overall lidle now stands at 8-7 with a 4.74 era.
lieber's start last night was more ambiguous -- 7 innings, 11 hits, 4 runs. (gordon closed that game, too.) he's only 4-7 this year with a 5.52 era -- jason marquis, minus 8 wins -- and hasn't pitched well at any point this season; he did win 17 games last year and was considered the phils' number 2 . . .
superficially, at least, both of these guys seem to fit the mold of a duncan/la russa reclamation -- underperforming veterans who know how to make adjustments and might be responsive to duncan's magic touch. lieber is signed next year for $7.5 million; lidle's a free agent after this season. it's difficult for me to see how either one makes the cardinals a whole lot better . . . i'd take wainwright over either one of'm.
and i still have my fingers crossed that the pitcher st louis is really scouting in philadelphia is flash gordon. for what it's worth, derrick goold blogged today that "A reliever seems more and more on the Cardinals' wish list." the same post notes, however, that jocketty
the first half of the above-referenced rosenthal post, by the way, has the astros ready to do just about anything for a hitter. . . . . the reds, so far, have made out pretty well in the wake of their big trade: they are 7-4 since the swap and have a 2-game lead in the wild card race. (they were half a game out at the time of the deal.) more telling perhaps -- insofar as the trade was designed to shore up their bullpen -- the reds have gone 7-1 in games decided by 1 or 2 runs. the cincinnati bullpen over that stretch is 5-1 with a 2.59 era and 1.12 whip.