not Chris Carpenter
Are you excited? I'm excited. I'll be nervous until the end of the season, when Carpenter goes 35-0 and is awarded the National League Chris Carpenter award, but now that he's pitched one game and looked Carpenterian I'm ready to allow myself this small, dangerous leeway.
As for Max Scherzer, he's a very exciting young pitcher, and I'm impressed that the Diamondbacks have not yet moved him to the bullpen, in spite of the pervasive Scout's Honor wisdom that suggests he's destined to end up there.
As far as the lineup goes, I don't understand Ludwick's benching, but then I rarely will; for what it's worth, Scherzer's pronounced splits don't show themselves nearly so convincingly in his minor league numbers. It's odd, a week or so in, to be complaining about how quickly La Russa made Unproven Youth Colby Rasmus a senior member of the outfield platoon, but here we are doing it.
That one odd week in, La Russa--whom I don't see motivatedany time soon by a desire to make sure Rasmus learns on the job unless it best positions the Cardinals, in his admittedly idiosyncratic mind, to win--has yet to make any judgments about the outfielders' intrinsic quality. That's had beneficial effects--the unexpectedly extensive major league tryout for Rasmus--and detrimental ones--Ludwick not playing every single day, Duncan in the outfield against left-handed pitchers.
At some point I hope La Russa realizes that Duncan is the clear fourth choice against southpaws. But past that, each change in the rotation is going to involve some significant trade-off.
I'll be out of radio contact for most of the game; I've programmed two game threads. (My assumption is that if we need more something terrible has happened, in which case not having an extra game thread will be the least of our troubles.)