OK, first off, Paul Maholm didn’t throw yesterday for the Pirates. Apparently ESPN has their schedule off, so I’ll start checking the official site from now on. And today’s matchup is a very interesting one, but we’ll discuss that after I’ve finished my meal of crow.
Perhaps Walt knows what he is doing by not offering Wells an extension during the season. After such a good run, Wells has fallen back into his early season results, going 0-3 with a 10.80 ERA in his last outings. That’s not going to cut it, especially when the Cards are in the hunt. Maybe Duncan can get with him and figure out what’s gone wrong. Or maybe I just need to talk him down like I do Looper and that’ll improve things all the way around.
Glad to see that the Brewers and Cubs both lost as well. I was afraid they’d lose ground with that blowout, but thankfully Carlos Zambrano wanted to imitate Kip Wells and the Milwaukee bullpen blew another one. So everything is the same, but one less day to make up the ground. That said, they weren’t going to win every one the rest of the way, so if they’ve got to lose, nice that the other teams in the race did the same.
OK, new day, turn the page, etc., etc. Today’s matchup (and I’ve double-checked this time!) is old friend Matt Morris vs. new Cardinal Joel Pineiro. Here are Morris’s numbers against his former team. It looks like Albert Pujols learned a lot about Matty Mo when he shared a clubhouse with him. That said, Pujols had good numbers against Ian Snell as well, and that didn’t pan out quite the way we wanted yesterday. Sadly, the player with the most experience against Morris (and with success, as well) is Juan Encarnacion, who obviously isn’t available.
Pineiro has been looking fairly good since he came over, but to make sure, he’s a terrible pitcher who will get lit up from the first pitch. (You can’t be too careful, you know.) Only four pirates have ever faced Pineiro, but three of them (Bay, Nady and Phelps) have home runs. Keeping the ball in the ballpark will be key this evening.
Scoreboard watching: Houston visits Milwaukee this evening, Brandon Backe vs. Carlos Villanueva. Backe’s making his first start of the year (seems to be a trend this week, with Pedro yesterday and Mulder tomorrow), so it’s hard to know what’ll happen there. Also, the Dodgers and Brad Penny tangle with the Cubs and Steve Traschel in another night game. Pitching wise, the edge is to the Dodgers, so maybe a good game by the Cards will get them a game in the standings.