I'm back from a river trip, and it's good to see the Astros are still doing well. We haven't made any big Adam Dunn-sized moves yet (though I still believe we'll trade for another bat), and yet we're 49-46 thanks to dominant starting pitching and Lance Berkman, who is now at .314 / .419 / .500 after a slow start to the season.
As of right now, the National League wildcard race looks like this:
Houston 49-46 (4.5 GB)
New York 49-46
Philadelphia 49-47 (5.0 GB)
Chicago 48-47 (5.5 GB)
Florida 47-46 (5.5 GB)
Those NL East teams are sure to beat up on each other quite a bit, but the Braves just got Mike Hampton, Tim Hudson, and Chipper Jones back, so they look to be the ones to beat.
Supposedly the Reds are now asking for a package of Backe / Lane / Astacio / Nieve for Dunn, to which I say NO. I think Adam Dunn is the premier young power hitter in the game, but even I can't justify giving up that much for him. I stand by my proposed trade of Burke / Astacio / Bucholz for Dunn.
Mike Burns appears to have adjusted to the major leagues (3.94 ERA in 16.0 IP, and only 1 ER in his last 10 IP). It's good to see a minor-league lifer get a chance and do well.
Phil Garner says he plans to play Orlando Palmeiro and Mike Lamb more, meaning less playing time for Chris Burke and Jason Lane. It seems like a bit of over-managing to me. You can say that you're playing Palmeiro more often because he's playing well and you expect to him to keep it up, and you can say you're playing Lamb more because he's NOT playing well and you expect him to break out of his slump, but you can't have it both ways all the time.