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Streak Stopped, Talk Just Starting

Posted on July 23, 2010 at 9:42 AM
Filed Under: Chicago Cubs | Heroes and Goats | Philadelphia Phillies | St. Louis Cardinals
You know that, when Cole Hamels is pitching against your team, you are going to likely have a long night (or, in this case, afternoon).  However, I'm not sure you expect it to be that long.

However, this loss was different than most of the other losses this season--the Cards just got beat.  They have a whole lot of situations where they threatened.  When you only get one hit, you are pretty lucky to get into the 11th with a chance to win.  I believe I saw where it was the first road one-hit, 11 inning game since 1900.  That's dicing it up pretty slim, but you get the idea--when it's historic, there's not a lot you can say about it.

Being that there wasn't just a whole lot of offense, you probably give the Hero tag to Adam Wainwright again.  Six scoreless and, while he wasn't as sharp as he's been in the past, he still made the pitches he needed to make to get out of jams.  It was pretty obvious early that one run would be enough to win this thing, and Wainwright made sure not to give up that run.

I thought it'd be interesting to compare the Wagonmaker's numbers to those of the other pitchers most likely to be mentioned in the Cy Young voting.  I've never quite figured out tables on here, but here are the numbers.

Wainwright: 14-5, 1.94 ERA in 148.1 innings, 136 K, 1.00 WHIP
Josh Johnson: 10-3, 1.61 ERA in 134.1 innings, 141 K, 0.97 WHIP
Ubaldo Jimenez: 15-1, 2.38 ERA in 132.1 innings, 118 K, 1.07 WHIP
Roy Halladay: 10-8, 2.40 ERA in 154 innings, 131 K, 1.06 WHIP
Tim Lincecum: 10-4, 3.18 ERA in 130.1 innings, 138 K, 1.27 WHIP

Looking at that, the first thing that stands out is that Lincecum's Cy streak is probably over, because it's going to be very tough for him to pass up all those guys in the second half of the season.  The second thing is that, to me, it's a two-man race for the most part.  Jimenez does have the gaudy record, but he's slumped lately and that's the only thing he has on Wainwright or Johnson, and Waino's almost right there in wins anyway.

On the downside yesterday, I wanted to go with Aaron Miles, whose defensive maneuvering added pitches to Wainwright's total, but I don't think you can avoid Kyle McClellan.  When you give up the game-winner, you are often going to be the Goat.  Matthew Leach had some amazing stats up on Twitter yesterday, showing that McClellan has very good numbers in games where he comes in ahead or behind, even one-run affairs, but he's given up as many home runs in tie games as any other type of game in about a third of the at-bats.  Don't know what it is, but maybe Tony La Russa should keep him on the bench in those situations for a bit.

The buzz continues to swirl, though, about Roy Oswalt.  He still wants to play for St. Louis, St. Louis still wants him.  But matching up Houston's demands against St. Louis's resources may be a difficult task.  There's a lot of thought that the option is not going to be exercised, that Oswalt wants out of Houston and will drop that if it makes a deal happen.

Since St. Louis reportedly offered two young players from their current major league roster, it's fun to speculate who they were.  You figure one of the was either Jon Jay or Allen Craig, that's a given.  The Cardinals need to free up some room in the outfield and that's the logical way of doing it.  The second is a little more up in the air.  You'd think it'd probably be someone like Blake Hawksworth, perhaps McClellan (though I'd be very surprised if so), but what if they offered Brendan Ryan in that trade?  It'd probably more likely be Tyler Greene, but if Houston had thoughts that Ryan's offense would come back around, that'd have to be at least an intriguing notion.

To throw another log on the fire, apparently the Diamondbacks are now committed to moving Dan Haren before the deadline, and the Cardinals at least have their hand in on those discussions.  Again, I don't know how it works into the payroll and I don't see how the Cards have the prospects to get him, but it'll lead to some interesting talk.  Many people seem to prefer Haren to Oswalt, and while I like both, Arizona is going to have to come off their demands for him if they plan to move him.

Cards and Cubs match up this afternoon.  Cardinals send out Jeff Suppan, Cubs Randy Wells.  As you remember, last time the Cards faced Wells in Wrigley on a Friday afternoon, he didn't get a single out.  You have to figure he'll be better this time, but the offense really is going to have to be active today if they are going to start a new winning streak with Suppan on the mound.

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Interesting trade discussion. I wonder how this would change the equation if St. Louis were in 3rd place 4 games behind the Dodgers like they are in the pennant race league as opposed to 1/2 in 1st place with a chance for the wild card.

I like it when teams hold on to young talent because I think their #1 goal is building from within. I also don't like it when teams break down their roster because it hurts overall pennant race potential. (The goal is for more teams to be hoving around the .500 mark ).

The wild card puts emphasis on winning now or breaking down your roster. Ppennant races make it more difficult to get to post-season so longer term development is essential.

Don't know how this would effect Cards. I guess you have to know your farm system and potential surpluses in talent.

I'm still rooting for you guys! Maybe it's the 5 years I spent in Southern Illinois going to graduate school. I also think Cardinals are one of the best franchises in baseball history. Still, I wouldn't root for you if your playing the Mets or the Yanks.

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