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Cards News and Notes: 2006, the draft, Pujols

Yesterday's VEB

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Godar started things off yesterday critiquing Matheny's lineup construction, and he's not the only one annoyed with Aledmys Diaz still hitting eighth, behind Yadier Molina and (when he's in the lineup) Matt Adams. As Ben noted, lineup construction doesn't matter all that much, but it does still matter, and it can be annoying that Matheny's leaving run production on the table.

The Red Baron shared his fourteenth draft preview with us yesterday, this one focusing on college bats. The article features a bat-first first basemen as well as a center-fielder from the same home town as Colby Rasmus, and Rasmus is a decent comp for him as well. The third is a center fielder for now who will probably end up in left, and draws comparison to Kolten Wong as a little guy who can hit.

Lil Scooter's Hunt and Peck is a great short story about the ghost of Albert Pujols visiting a certain Cardinal player. As usual, it also contains all your links to get you caught up on everything important in the baseball world.

With this year being the 10th anniversary of the Cardinals winning it all in 2006, John compared the 2006 team to the other 21st century Cardinals teams. Interesting enough the 2012 Cardinals team leads 21 century Cardinals teams in WAR so far.

The Cardinals' offense was firing on all cylinders again yesterday, beating the Diamondbacks 11-4. Check out the game thread and check out Dr. Howl's recap thread for a full post-game analysis. Today is the fourth and final game of the series with the Cards looking to take three of four. The Birds will send Michael Wacha to the mound who is doing well so far in terms of ERA and fielding independent numbers with a 2.82 ERA and 2.83 FIP, but those numbers would look much worse if he hadn't yet to give up a homer yet this year. The strikeout numbers are weak at just over six strikeouts per nine, and the walks aren't rare enough to make up for it at 2.82 BB/9. Those put his xFIP at a much more pedestrian 4.13.

Wacha will face off against Rubby de la Rosa, who in three starts (and three relief appearances) has a 5.08 FIP. That's due to some homer issues though, as he sports a much more reasonable 3.75 xFIP, earned from a 9.72 K/9 and 3.24 BB/9. Last year he clocked 188 innings in 32 starts, with a 4.81 FIP, 4.10 xFIP, 7.16 K/9, and 3.24 BB/9. The game kicks off at the same time as the last two, at 8:40 CT. Go Cardinals!