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Game 160 Open Thread: September 30, 2006

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suppan sheets
12-7, 4.18 6-7, 4.05

now let the astros and their fans worry.

last night's results guarantee that st louis' season won't end sunday; there will at the very least be a makeup game monday. the cardinals, of course, would rather not have to play it; they'd like to get ev'ything wrapped up today. but if we have learned anything by now about this group of players, it's that they can't stand prosperity. we shouldn't assume they will win today, much less that the astros will oblige with a 2d straight loss. the strong likelihood is that, one way or another, the issue will await resolution on sunday -- meaning carp will have to pitch. should that prove to be the clinching game -- and it very well could be -- who pitches tuesday in the nlds opener? i posed the question in vol 1 of last night's game thread:

consider this: if the cardinals clinch on sunday but use carpenter to do it, that would mean only two pitchers would be available on full rest for Game 1 of the NLDS on Tuesday:
  1. marquis
  2. reyes
given tony's history with rookie pitchers in Game 1 of the NLDS (ankiel), i can imagine him being afraid to use reyes . . . .
it's not worth having a serious debate on that issue; lotta different ways in which the whole thing could be rendered moot. i raise it only to illustrate how desperately the cardinals need today's game, even despite last night's best-case windfall. if the cardinals lose today, then carpenter must pitch sunday no matter what; and if that should happen, god only knows what havoc will ensue in whatever subsequent games the cards play.

couple other stray items:

  • why no speezer in the all-rhb lineup? he's hitting .325 vs left-handed pitchers, f'crying out loud . . . . . and here's the rudimentary answer to that question: he's got no pop vs lhp -- only 3 extra-base hits in 83 at-bats for an isolated power of .048, or 20 points lower than aaron miles . . . . that's a historically supported split, by the way; over his career, speeze has slugged just .377 vs left-handed pitching. taguchi's a career .401 slugger vs lefties, with a batting avg 25 points higher than spiezio's. i wouldn't bat taguchi 2d in the order, but i do understand why he starts ahead of spiezio. still seems to me like edmonds oughta play over either of'm, though . . . .
  • josh kinney --- put him on the (presumed) playoff roster? his september era is 1.59; he's been scored upon in only 2 of his last 14 appearances (dating back to july 22), and he's stranded all 5 runners he's inherited this season. he's a groundball machine -- 2.2 groundouts for every flyout at the big-league level, similar to what he recorded at triple A -- and he's good against left-handers; they're batting .139 vs him, albeit in limited exposure (42 plate appearances), but kinney was also adequate vs them down at memphis (.258 / .357 / .361). his strikeout rate is very good (7.2 per 9 innings), his walk rate acceptable (3.0 per 9); about the only caveat i see is his BABIP, which stands at .221; he's been a tad lucky. but since he strikes so many guys out, that mitigates the importance of this stat. if you adjust his BABIP to reflect the league average, it only adds 4 hits to his total. i think the kid is a better bullpen option than sosa or marquis, roughly equivalent to brad thompson. if it's my call, i leave sosa/marquis off the playoff roster and include both thompson and kinney, to go along with wainwright looper hancock and the two LOOGies in the bullpen.