- in his first four years of pro ball, rick vandenhurk never advanced beyond class A; at this time last year he was back in rookie ball, presumably rehabbing an injury. i take it he throws pretty hard --- struck out 10 guys per 9 innings at double A / triple A this season, and has nearly maintained that average in 29 major-league innings.
- tonight's st louis starter, brad thompson, has a dreadful home/road split this year; era is a run and a half worse away from busch III, and he has yielded 10 dingers on the road vs just 4 at home in about the same number of innings. that's a career-long pattern for him --- career era of 2.98 in the two busches, 5.09 on the road.
- don't mistake me for a skip schumaker fan; i think the kid'd make a swell 5th outfielder for some team, preferably not mine. but i'll give him this: he came into the month batting .196 but has gone 12 for 20 in july --- that's a .600 average --- with 3 doubles and a homer, raising his overall average to .303. he's starting tonight and batting 2d. the lineup: