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Game 142 Open Thread: September 10, 2006

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suppan gonzalez
11-7, 4.39 3-7, 5.64


Well, we just got Carp'd last night, plain and simple. At least this time it wasn't Ramon Ortiz doing the dirty work. It took Webb 96 pitches and an hour and 45 minutes to carve up the Cards; even Gibby would be proud. Webb certainly has a solid case for NL Cy Young. Webb's tied for 1st in the NL in the win column with 15 W's, and his 3.00 ERA is 2nd behind only Carpenter. Coming into the game Webb's Win Probability Added was 3rd in the NL with 2.92 and you can imagine throwing a 1 hit compete game shut out will only boost that up all the more higher. His 19 Win Shares is also tops among all NL pitchers. It'll be interesting to see how Carpenter, Webb and Oswalt pitch the last month of the season in a race for the hardware.

Marquis was good, but not great and managed to cough up his league leading 33rd homerun. But the alarming trend as of late is how anemic the offense has been, scoring an average of 2.55 runs per game in the month of September. Outside of Albert and some good games from Molina and Spiezio, not a soul is hitting much of a lick. So while the pitching has begun to somewhat stabilize (Reyes rough outing aside), the offense has gone to pot. So it's been with this strange 06 version of the Cardinals.

The Cards go for the split with Jeff Suppan versus Enrique Gonzalez. Suppan has been a different pitcher since the All Star Break. I don't have lboros's table-drawing skills, so you'll have to work with bullet points here.

  • ERA pre/post All Star-5.83/2.24
  • K per 9 4.6/5.6
  • BB per 9 3.1/3.4
  • HR/9 1.32/0.84
  • Hits/9 11/8.4

This isn't the first time Suppan has turned it on in the 2nd half. Last season Soup went 7-3 with a 2.78 ERA after the AS break.

Out of all the Cardinal starters that are becoming free agents this offseason, Jeff Suppan may be the most desired to return. It can't be because he has the best stuff of any of them, it's just because for the most part you know what you're gonna get with Suppan. You know he's gonna chew innings, you know he's gonna usually keep you in ball games, and I think most of us know he doesn't have a head full off broccoli and cheese. He's not as easily rattled as Weaver, nor is he as flaky as Marquis. He's not a pretty boy like Mulder. He's Jeff Suppan, who keeps his mouth shut, does his job, and gives the tv announcers their "word of the day" and is religiously devout. He's likeable, or at least I like him. He's a California guy, so I wouldn't be shocked if he bolted for LA or San Diego next season. But I do hope to see him around still in Cardinal red next year and I can't say that about any of our other FA to be starting pitchers.

As for Enrique Gonzalez, he's a rookie facing the Cardinals for the first time in his life so who knows what we'll get here. Looking at his minor league numbers, he projects to be a solid middle of the rotation guy who has just hit some rough bumps in the road thus far. Hopefully the offense can wake up and take advantage of someone who's been quite hittable. Enjoy the game.

Oh, and one last thing. Vote Pujols for the "Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award" this season. Can't have DUI'er Ryan Freel represent the NL Central.

mini-disclaimer:That's not to say Freel is a horrible person for havin' a DUI or 2, and I can't say I'm not glad he is doing some good in the community. It's just that a lot of us know what the superstar Pujols does on his off days in order to do some good. [UPDATED]Joe Strauss at the P-D ran a story this morning about the upcoming free agency market, be sure to check it out. It mentions the prospect of resigning Suppan, as well as waiving bye-bye to Jimmy Edmonds. I think what struck me the most was the title of the article "What could the Cardinals buy with $26 million?" Is this an indication that payroll will stay around the same in 07? And is 26 mil enough to get a top of the line starting pitcher, a #4 and possibly #5 starter, a new center fielder, and a 2nd baseman? Just getting a top flight starter like a Jason Schmidt and a CFer (Strauss mentioned Torii Hunter, not a move that would thrill me. Sooner see Juan moved to center.) will cost the biggest chunk of $26 mil alone. What also could be seen as worrisome is the fact that now the club seems to be rather sold that Duncan will continue to produce and therefore the the aging Jimmy could be shown the door. $26 doesn't seem like enough to replenish the rotation with 2 or 3 starters, get a regular 2nd baseman not in the Miles mold, a CFer, and some bullpen arms and bench to boot. It'll be interesting to see what happens this winter.