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Gameday Thread, #121: 8/17 vs. Cardinals

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Webb (10-8, 3.78)
Mulder (13-6, 4.10)

  1. Royce Clayton, SS
  2. Alex Cintron, 2B
  3. Luis Gonzalez, LF
  4. Troy Glaus, 3B
  5. Conor Jackson, 1B
  6. Chad Tracy, RF
  7. Luis Terrero, CF
  8. Chris Snyder, C
  9. Brandon Webb, P

Stop me if you've heard this one before: our pitcher has a better ERA, more strikeouts and fewer walks than the Cardinals' starter. Yet they're now 19 1/2 games ahead of us, largely because their ERA overall is 1.28 runs better than ours (3.47/4.85). When was the last time we conceded less than four runs per game over a series? Not this month. [We did the last three series in July, conceding 33 runs in 11 games, but only won six of them]

Interestingly, the Cards' starters also have 64 of the team's 75 wins, and have figured in 82.4% of all decisions - compare our 74.2%. Even Mulder has a 13-6 record, enough wins for fifth best in the National League - he's a rarity, with more wins than Quality Starts, which says a lot about the St. Louis offense. Webb, however, has been great lately, with a 1.64 ERA in his past three starts; he has yet to beat St. Louis in his career though.

Let's just hope he doesn't plunk Jim Edmonds or things could get nasty. However, Webb has only hit two of 683 batters faced all year, one of the best ratios in the NL [John Smoltz has hit none of the 745 he's faced!], and a lot better than his previous two seasons, when he nailed 11 and 13 respectively. If he hits someone today, you know it's probably deliberate, but I think that's unlikely. Interestingly, "Head-Hunter" Halsey ranks #8 in the league, with nine hit batters so far. Overall, St. Louis are 7th and we're 4th in this category.

With a left-hander on the mound for St. Louis, Jackson gets the start at first, with Green (.200) and Counsell (.267) "rested" in favour of Terrero (.276) and Clayton (.340) respectively. I'm fairly optimistic, especially if Webb can sustain his recent good form. I should be around for most of this - tonight is our designated sloth evening - and look forward to seeing you here. And, finally, a nod to Viva El Birdos, viewing the NL from their lofty perch.