Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bucs and Cards

Honestly, I'm a bit tired of the same old "The NL Central sucks" stuff. The truth is that while the division is not great, I think there are two tiers in the division that will emerge pretty clearly this year. The Brewers and Cubs and everyone else. The division was no good last year, but no more than three teams had any realistic shot at winning the thing and it was probably down to only the Astros and Cards. Just because no team is the Mets in the division doesn't mean the Pirates have a chance.

And so we get two of the rejects in the division this year facing off tonight at 8 PM in St. Louis (the thread is going up a bit early because I'm going to a Greensboro Grasshoppers game tonight). The Pirates are a bit ahead in the standings, but the Cardinals have played much worse, scoring fewer runs than the Pirates and allowing more. Still, they're the Cardinals and we're the Pirates. It's hard to get that delineation out of my head at the moment. Zach Duke takes the mound tonight and he's about as good against the Cards as he is against anyone, with a 3.72 ERA in five starts. His WHIP against them is high (1.45), but if you remove intentional walks, it drops to 1.34. I suppose that means the sample size is too small to do mean anything to anyone.

His opponent tonight is Adam Wainwright. Wainwright has pitched rather poorly of late. He says it's because of tendinitis. Tony LaRussa thinks that is bullshit. Great manager/player interactions on the Cards these days, huh? Anyways, Wainwright is about due for seven innings of five-hit ball in which the Pirates score two runs and he takes home a 5-2 win, don't you think?