Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Jack, you ignorant slut. Time to start posting again. We're a half-game back of the Cubs for the Wild Card!

We won our ELEVENTH straight game Tuesday night, as Oswalt (who just became a father earlier in the day) pitched into the eighth inning to pick up his ninth win in his last eleven starts. Carlos Beltran and Mike Lamb once again led the offensive attack. Mike Lamb!?!? Where did this guy come from? (That's right, the New York Yankees) He's 8-for-13 with 10 RBI in his last three games! Morgan who?

Clemens goes against Jose Acevedo to wrap up our season series against Cincy. Such a shame, too... I was getting used to walloping those guys. Rocket hasn't thrown well his past three outings or so, but he's managed to keep winning thanks to the Astros' new found bats. Let's make it an even dozen in a row. Then it's off to Pittsburgh, where we'll play five games in four days. We gotta take advantage there and at least win the series. With our slated starters (Hernandez, Munro, Redding, Backe) it doesn't look good. But who knows? I'm glad to see Timmy back. And the way Backe has been pitching lately, we really could take this thing.
A note about Oswalt: He is in the Cy Young race. Like his team, he has to leapfrog a few guys. But he's definitely in the mix. Consider the other contenders:

Schmidt: It's his award to lose, although he's been trying his best to do just that. He's allowed six earned runs in each of his last three starts, including a thumping in Denver last night. His numbers have taken a hit (3.19 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 215 Ks). Post-All Star ERA: 4.43

Unit: He's good (2.80, 0.89, with 249). His team's not (He's 12-13).

Sheets: Call him Unit, Jr. Check out his numbers (2.93, 1.00, 217). Too bad he also has a losing record (10-11).

Pavano: Who? Exactly. No one knows about this guy, but his numbers speak for themselves (3.09, 1.18 and 16 wins). He strikes out nobody, but if the Marlins pass us for the Wild Card, give this guy all the credit. Beckett and Burnett have better stuff and Dontrelle is more popular, but Pavano has been the ace for the Marlins and the reason why they're hanging around this year.

Rocket: Oh yeah, this guy. Great story, only really really good numbers (3.27, 1.21, 177 Ks). Like Schmidt, he's really fallen off in the second half (4.48 ERA).

Oswalt, meanwhile, has won 9 of his last 11 starts, and has 17 on the year (thanks to that win in relief). His ERA (3.59) stands a half point higher than his career average, and none of his stats can match Schmidt or Johnson or Sheets. More importantly, he's been on a tear down the stretch. Without him, we'd be below the Brewers. If he keeps this up (and maybe if he's the NL's only 20-game winner), he stands a chance.
Random thought: last year, with our season on the line, we sent Jeriome Robertson to the hill, who got precisely one out. We got trounced by the Brewers. This year, if our rotation stays as is, Our last three pitchers will be Hernandez, Munro and Backe. This is not good.
Another random thought: Napoleon Dynamite is the best movie ever. I'm being serious.

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