at the risk of jinxing jeff suppan: he is now a 2d-half pitcher, reversing his career-long trend. he came into last season with a 5.08 career era after july 1st, 60 points higher than his april-june figure; but in 2005-06 he is 11-4 with a 3.10 era from july 1 forward, while sucking in the 1st half of both years. it's not apparent that he does anything differently --- all his peripherals are the same, he just gets better results. he now ranks 2d on the cardinals with 11 quality starts (in 20 appearances) and is a key player for the stretch run; with reyes and weaver both struggling to establish themselves and marquis hopelessly erratic, suppan offers the team's best (only?) hope for a 2d reliable girder to steady the rotation.
mlbtraderumors listed an intriguing candidate for a post-deadline deal: randy wolf. he has just rejoined the phillies, fresh off tommy john surgery; obviously still a little rusty. he walked 5 guys in 4.1 innings in his first start back, after piling up 14 walks in 25 rehab innings last month. but this guy's a left-hander who throws hard, strikes people out, and has been no worse than league-average in era (and considerably better than that at times) since his rookie season back in 1999. he won't pitch vs the cardinals in this series, but keep an eye on him; he's in the last year of a 4 yr / $22m deal, owed about $2.2m from now through the end of the season; if mulder can't go (or even if he can), he just might be worth a shot.
adam ottavino got hammered last night at quad cities, but the night before that another adam -- daniels -- continued an impressive july run, winning his 3d game in a row. the cardinals drafted him in the 15th round last year; it was the 5th consecutive year some major league club selected him (the blue jays, rockies, twins, and cubs being the others). daniels only threw 26 innings in short-season class a and got off to a slow start this season, but in his last 4 starts he's allowed just 3 runs in 25 innings (1.08 era) and fanned 30 men while walking just 6. for the season daniels is now 7-8 with a 3.01 era and a 3:1 k/w ratio; only 3 hr allowed in 105 innings.
another interesting player on that farm club's interesting roster . . . .