play the cubs; be the cubs. so it has gone for the cardinals this season. in their 10 matchups vs chicago, st louis has committed 12 errors afield, or 1.2 per game; in their other 91 games they have committed just 44 gaffes, or 0.48 per game. scott rolen has 3 errors vs the cubs, 5 errors vs ev'ybody else. pujols has another symptom of the same disease; he's batting .152 against the cubs and slugging .273.
and the cardinals still have 9 games left against these suckers. . . .
the rumored trade-target du jour is carlos lee of the brewers; express your thoughts about him in azruavatar's diary / poll. the key information provided there is that lee turned down a 4 yr / $48m contract-extension offer from milwaukee yesterday; that makes him way too expensive for the cardinals to contemplate re-signing. if they get him, he'll strictly be an october rental; they won't need him to win the division, only to compete in the postseason tournament. given the number of contenders desperately seeking help in the outfield (they include the yankees, angels, dodgers, twins, astros, and white sox), i have to think it will take at least one blue-chipper to land this player, and the cards can't afford to part with one of those (particularly not to a division rival) in exchange for a rental. seems pretty unlikely to me . . .
milwaukee sentinel essentially confirms that lee's on the block but doesn't mention the cardinals or shed any real light on the situation. if there were one brewer player i could see helping st louis, it's tomo okha -- he's in his walk year and has pitched well in two starts since coming back from the dl. he goes tonight in the series opener vs cincinnati. i could also imagine the crew might part with LOOGY brian shouse, who has a .213 / .288 / .319 line vs left-handed batters this season. after ty johnson's misadventure last night, a trade for lhp bullpen help (rheal cormier, anyone?) would seem to be more likely. . . . .
it's said the cards are tracking jon lieber, cory lidle, and kris benson -- why does tony armas jr's name never come up? he's nothing special, but he does have 8 quality starts in 17 outings. and his numbers are not an rfk illusion; he has pitched much better on the road, in fact, than at home. armas pitches tonight, his 3d start since returning from the dl . . . .
blake hawksworth had a very strong start for springfield last night: 7 innings, 1 run, 0 walks, 8 ks. he has more than held his own since moving up to double a --- 4.04 era and a strikeout an inning.