Rough game today in Wrigley. All the scoring was in one inning–the sixth–and it just went to prove that Looper is not quite a starting pitcher, or at least not one you can count on to go deep into games.
Someone noted in the VEB game thread that Looper’s BAA against in the 76-90 pitch range was an unreal .371. That said, it’d be tough to yank him after five scoreless innings and just getting a 1-0 lead from Albert Pujols’s home run. If he could have wiggled out of the sixth without damage, then you can go to the pen without too much difficulty. But in a four-game series, plus the fact that you don’t have an off day again until a week from Monday, you hate to start burning your bullpen too early even if it’s not been taxed lately.
Obviously, though, Looper didn’t get out of it. A single and a Jacque Jones home run, and that was all she wrote on a day where the wind was blowing in and a lefty was on the mound. The Cards did have a few other chances in the game to cash in–especially late with two on and Pujols up–but just weren’t able to get it done.
Still, there lies the possibility for a winning series or at the least a split. This was the pitching matchup I was least excited about. I think the rest of the series stacks up, if not in the Cardinals favor, at least fairly even. And, yes, that even includes Kip Wells vs. Carlos Zambrano. Wells, as I’ve documented often, is pitching very well and Zambrano, well, he’ll either come out and dominate or come out and implode. You never can be too sure, but the Cards have had fairly good success against him, I believe.
Right now, the Cubs are tied for first place. It’s enough to make you root for the Brewers tonight.