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Game 132 Open Thread: August 31, 2006

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suppan willis
10-7, 4.77 9-10, 4.01

the cards balanced their roster for the playoffs today, sending mulder to the DL and recalling catcher mike rose. that alignment --- 14 position players, 11 pitchers --- is now fixed for the entire postseason.

since the trade deadline passed, dontrelle has helped do for the marlins exactly what the cardinals, reds, dbacks, and other suitors were hoping he would do for them --- improve their position vis-vis the postseason. he's gone 3-2 with a 2.91 era in august, florida's 2d-best pitcher for the month. (rookie anibal sanchez has a 2.03 august era.) the marlins will have a chance to decide their own fate down the stretch: 16 of their 30 remaining games are against other wild-card contenders, including 10 vs the phillies, whom they play on 3 of the season's final 4 weekends. i imagine the reds and padres will enjoy seeing those teams beat up on each other.

despite their just- snapped 9-game winning streak, the marlins have only the 4th-best record (16-11) in the league for august --- and only the 3d-best in their division, behind new york (19-8) and philadelphia (18-10). the cardinals, at 12-15, are guaranteed their 2d losing month of the campaign -- a feat that even the despised 2003 team avoided. hasn't happened since 1999, a year in which the cards went 75-86. . . . cards also are in danger (albeit slim) of finishing below .500 against two of the nl's three divisions. they're 32-32 vs the central, currently 14-13 vs the east with 4 games left (1 fla 3 wash).