Apparently, there was a slight change in the Cardinals roster last night, so subtle no one noticed. But that couldn’t have been Kip Wells pitching that game last night. Not the Kip Wells that went into the game with an ERA approaching six and a half. Not the Kip Wells that had been removed from the rotation at least once this year. Not the Kip Wells that was dangerously close to being DFA not long ago. However, this did bear some resemblance to the Kip Wells the Cardinals thought they were getting when they signed him to a bargain contract in this offseason. Kip has shown some good stuff in the bullpen, and while that didn’t carry over to his Philadelphia start right after the All-Star Game, let’s hope that whatever the changes were have stuck now and this will be closer to the Kip Wells we’ll be seeing from now on.
On the other side of the pitching equation was Dontrelle Willis. Now, I’ve never though Dontrelle was as good as the hype put him out to be. I like him, love the smile and fun that he brings to the game, but I’ve never thought he was a #1 pitcher. A #2, probably a #3 on a real good staff, sure. But a difference-maker? No. I know he challenged Chris Carpenter for the Cy Young a couple of years back, but the underlying stats (i.e., other than wins) really weren’t that close.
So the trade rumor last year that had the Cards sending Anthony Reyes, Chris Duncan and Colby Rasmus to the Marlins for Willis really had me cringing. Thankfully, nothing came of that, especially since Dontrelle sported a 4.81 ERA going into last night’s game, and giving up 6 runs in 3 innings is going to make that creep on up. Not that the Cardinals are just flush with pitching, obviously, but we can get those kind of results for basically free. (And have been all year! ) If we had mortgaged any potential at a future for those kind of results, things would be more depressing than they already are.
Looks like Scott Rolen, at least according to the manager, is just going back to get a shot and could be back in the Atlanta series. This apparently is similar to what he did last October, and we know that he responded well then. (I still think he should have been World Series MVP over David Eckstein, but voters like the “scrappy” storyline.) Let’s hope we get some similar results this year.
Cards start a four game series in Atlanta tonight. (CCHers, be sure to get your YNOT entries in!) The Braves just got swept by the Reds, but I don’t think that means they are going to be easy pickings. If St. Louis wins 3 of 4 down there, I’ll be impressed.