Off Day Miscellany

Daniel ShoptawAnalyst IAugust 25, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 19:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

No major moves.  No breaking stories.  Just a quiet, ho-hum off day.  Which means there's not too much to write about.  So let's just hit a few links before we take a look at the series that starts tonight vs. Houston.

Matthew Leach has another of his mailbags up.  Possibly the most interesting point was that Jamie Garcia is now off rehab and is pitching for Memphis, but he likely won't get much of a look in the bigs this year.  You'd think that they might want to see him in September, get him a few innings more of work, but I can understand the desire to not press their luck.

Josh at Redbirds Row does a quick recap of where we stand now, then announces his move to Pitchers Hit Eighth.  Which means tomorrow night's UCB Radio Hour will be basically sponsored by PH8, since Josh and founder Nick will be hosting.

Cardinal John has a little fun with his Red Sox-loving cousin.  Like La Beisbolista said on her Facebook page, wouldn't it be ironic if John Smoltz got the win and Julio Lugo a key hit in a 2004 Series rematch?  While Boston is paying both of those guys to beat them?

While the Cardinals can be forgiven for looking to October, there's still a month of baseball to be played.  Stranger things have happened, and the team isn't getting ahead of itself.  You would expect a TLR-managed team to stay focused and continue to pile up the wins.

My monthly post is up today at Baseball Reflections, if you want to check that out.  August was a very good month to write about!

Tonight, the Cardinals have to take on one of their nemesises in Wandy Rodriguez, whom has provoked some dislike in quarters of Cardinal Nation. Rodriguez has moved onto the list of Cardinal killers, not in the least because he can shut down Albert Pujols as well as just about anyone.  The Cardinals can beat him--he's 1-1 in three starts against them this year--but it won't be a slugfest, as he's only allowed a 2.65 ERA against the Birds in 2009.

However, if you are going into a game that you don't expect to score much in, it's a good thing to be taking a Cy Young candidate into it with you.  If momentum means anything, Adam Wainwright has got it.  His combined ERA for the months of July and August?  1.34. He's given up 11 earned runs in the that span, which is fewer than he gave up in May and June each.  He's been particularly tough on the Astros as well this year, fashioning a 1.50 ERA with one win in two starts.  He lost a 2-0 game in his last start against them, but in his career he's done all right against people not named Hunter Pence.

Should be a good, quick, low-scoring game tonight and I'm looking forward to watching it.  If you missed James's take from the Houston side of things, you can find that post below.

Cubs host the Nationals tonight, so if the Cards want to keep that streak of not losing ground to the Baby Bears since July 30 (on days the Cards have played), they probably better find a way to win tonight.  Hate to see that eight game lead drop at all, wouldn't we?