It's bullet-point Wednesday!
* I saw exactly one at-bat of last night's game. I turned it on in the 4th to see the score, watched Jeromy Burnitz
hit his granny, and then turned it off and went to sleep (I was tired!). Therefore, I have a completely skewed concept of what last night's game was all about. I was happy to wake up and see the touchy-feely stories
about Jerome Williams
and his dad, sad (but not surprised) to see the latest in the shortstop saga
, and psyched when I remembered that it was Prior's turn to pitch. I should be able to get home in time for the end of the game (one advantage to living in the Eastern time zone), and that might be the last baseball I see for a little while as I am headed to India on a business trip at the end of the week.
* When the Cubs signed Greg Maddux
, I was happy because I felt that a talented young picher like Mark Prior
would have a lot to learn from him. I didn't think that one of the things he'd learn would be how to give up home runs. Maddux's HR/9 rate skyrocketed upon his return to Chicago -- it was 0.53 for the first 18 years of his career, and is 1.39 over the last two seasons.
In his first three seasons, Prior gave up 43 homers in 446 2/3 IP. That's .87 homers per 9 innings. This year, he's given up 21 in 125 1/3 IP, a rate of 1.51 HR/9. Is it something to be worried about? Probably not, but you know me.
* Why did the Braves take Jorge Sosa
out of the rotation in the first place? Oh, right, because injured starters Mike Hampton
and John Thomson
were on their way back. Here's what Sosa did during his 12-game stint in the rotation:
12 GS, 5-2, 2.77 ERA, 65 IP, 59 H, 47 K/26 BB
Here's how Hampton & Thompson have done since their return:
5 GS, 1-3, 6.64 ERA, 21 2/3 IP, 43 H, 12 K/7 BB
And Hampton is, of course, back on the DL, with Sosa starting in his place this afternoon.
* I have nothing to do with the "Cardinals are birds of prey" add that has popped up in the Blogads in the right-hand column (though I do appreciate the profane typo). Bring back Rachel Wacholder, I say!
* I don't have any problem with backup catchers -- every team has to have one -- but a problem arises when two of your starters prefer to throw to hm. Instead of throwing away that spot in the order once a week (14% of the time, roughly), you're throwing it away 40% of the time. If your backup catcher is as craptastic as Henry Blanco
, that's a real problem. The solution? Get a better backup catcher or get your starters comfortable with the front-line guy.
Meanwhile, on to today's game:
GAME 127 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT]
ATLANTA BRAVES (71-55) @ CHICAGO CUBS (61-65)
WRIGLEY FIELD, 1:20 pm CDT, TV: WGN, FSS, DTV 734