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Game 84 Open Thread: July 6, 2006

ponson buchholz
4-3, 5.60 5-6, 5.36

and we wonder why nobody takes the national league seriously. here we have the last two pennant winners, the lone nlcs participants of the last two campaigns -- the class of the league -- and the pitching pairing as they renew their rivalry features . . . . . ? after monopolizing the playoffs for two years running, the nl central has returned to its "comedy central" roots. check out the division's runs scored/allowed spreads:

RS RA diff
stl 416 408 +8
cin 427 438 -11
hou 391 411 -20
pgh 398 451 -53
mil 402 464 -62
chi 336 439 -103
TOT 2370 2611 -241

changing subjects: we've been wondering whose roster spot jeff weaver will take; derrick goold at birdland offers this:

He is expected to join the team in Houston on Friday. I don't see a start available for him against the Astros, but La Russa implied to reporters last night that Weaver could get in a game in relief once activated. He'll likely join the rotation after it is reshuffled for the post-break schedule. Tonight's game will tell us more about who will be moved off the 25-man roster to make room for Weaver.
in other words: ponson better pitch his backside off if he hopes to stick. you'll all forgive me, i'm sure, if i confess that i hope the astros tear him to pieces. honestly, it's time to cut bait on this guy; the longer he sticks around, the more the good people of st louis (and all its sons and daughters) suffer. so if a 3-inning, 6-run beating will get him chased back to aruba or wherever, small price to pay. . . . the alternative -- he pitches well -- won't change the fact that he's a bad pitcher, but it might buy him a few more weeks to impede the pitching staff's healing process. and we're starting to run out of weeks . . . . .

if ponson does preserve his hide, what then? that will leave six starters in the rotation; something will have to give. three options:

  • move ponson to the bullpen, send kinney back down
  • send reyes back to memphis
  • trade somebody
i'll not speculate further; let's just see how it goes tonight. i'm sure you'll all join me in praying for an abysmal start . . . . .

farm tour: trey hearne was cruising last night -- perfect through 4 innings vs ft wayne, only 1 run through 5. in the 6th -- with an 11-1 lead -- he either got tired, lost focus, or just started lobbing it over the plate; whatever the reason, he got pasted for 5 runs, which is more runs than he had given up in his previous month-plus of pitching. no real harm done; hearne won his 6th game for quad cities. i taped an interview with trey before the game and will have the transcript up ASAP --- hopefully before his next start.

sandwich 1st-rounder chris perez threw another scoreless inning in that game; 05 1st-rounder ty greene hit a homer, his 2d. he's feasting on low-a pitching so far; maybe the demotion will help him get his legs under him.

'nother good outing for brad furnish (3d round) at state college; his 1st win as a pro.

memphis shortstop john nelson blasted his 16th homer last night; he has very quietly ascended to #5 on the pcl HR leaderboard -- and ranks 1st among the league's non-altitude-assisted players. still not a very good player, but he's on pace for 30 taters in a good league, playing his home games in a pitcher's park . . . . .