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Game 115 Open Thread: August 11, 2006

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suppan duke
9-6, 4.85 7-10, 5.35

you can see mulder's start tonight on milb.tv; link through the memphis redbirds' web site. cost you 4 bucks. those of you who're attending the game, post a diary afterward; let us know what you see.

as if you needed another reminder of how important mulder is to the cards' hopes, consider this one: the only nl team that's clearly better than st louis, the new york mets, have a lineup that skews badly left. as a team they're slugging 40 points higher vs right-handed pitchers than v lefties; southpaws neutralize carlos delgado (whose career slugging avg is 150 points higher vs right-handers) and leave the mets with only 2 real power threats, david wright and the switch-hitting carlos beltran. it's worth noting that mulder stymied the mets back in may in his best game of 2006; his last good game, really. the cards' odds of advancing past the mets would seem to improve with a healthy and effective left-handed starter.

in that same vein, i note that randy wolf continues his comeback at philadelphia; pitched again day before yesterday and had his best outing to date, yielding 2 earned in 5.1 innings. as noted a little while ago, he might be somebody the cardinals can grab in a post-waiver deal. and the way flores and johnson have been struggling, the cardinals must still be weighing options re a post-waiver trade for a LOOGY; the pirates' damaso marte has thrown 4 innings vs the mets this year: no runs, 2 hits, no walks. . . .

final thought re st louis left-handers, from kevin goldstein's scouting notebook at baseball prospectus:

Pitching for Palm Beach is 20-year-old lefthander Jaime Garcia, who has been one of the breakout performers in the minor leagues this year, going from a 22nd-round pick last June to the Futures Game in July. The National League scout who saw him recently insisted that his performance this year is anything but a fluke. "I wasn't sure what to expect, but his first pitch was 93 mph and I was like, 'Hello!" and then he held onto the velocity all night." While Garcia is very good now, the scout didn't have much projection for him, however. "He's kind of stocky and mature physically for his age, so I don't think his stuff is going to get much better, but what he has is pretty good. You are talking about a lefthander with a plus fastball, plus curve and a chance for a plus change--he could be a number three starter, so that's a hell of a find." Though the scout did have concerns about his workload. "I'm surprised at how many innings he's thrown for a guy who just got drafted. He's probably in the 130s now [136.1 to be exact] and when I saw him he was gassed in the sixth but they pitched him into the eighth. I'm now sure why they are taking that risk."
oh brother; don't get me started . . . . .