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Misc items and thoughts related to the Birds....

-  I'm growing more fond of Chris Perez, and not just because of the jam he got out of last night.   I think he could have used a full year in the bigs as a setup guy before closing, but long-term I believe he is the real deal.  He has good movement on his pitches, throws in the mid-90's, and maybe most importantly, has the bulldog mentality of a closer.   If he continues to pitch well, I bet Mozeliak scraps the idea of going after a closer and gives the job to Perez in 2009.   That might work, as long as we go out in the offseason and get LH relief help to complement Perez.

-  Kyle Lohse appears to be hitting a wall a little bit.  His command in his last 3 or 4 games is not what it has been.   If he tails off the rest of the way, it'll give Mo a reason not to go after him in the off-season, if he is still thinking that he might.  Hopefully, it's just a lull for Lohse, and he can come back and return to the level he has been at all year.   He did look sharper on Tuesday after he surrendered the HR to Ramirez.  I am still dumb-founded as to why he gave Ramirez something to hit with first base open and two outs in that spot.   I don't get that one.

-  Speaking of head-scratchers, what were the Marlins thinking trying to steal in the 9th on Yadi, when they were down by two??   Tying run at the plate......Yadi catching.....and you get thrown out stealing.   That's just bad baseball.

-  Joe Mather continues to be impressive and make a case that he belongs in the majors, and deserves a shot at playing every day.   If he continues to play at this level, it may make it easier to let Ankiel go in the off-season if the Boras bidding gets too high for the Cardinal's taste.    GREAT catch on the Gonzalez ball last night, btw.   Mather made the top 5 on WebGems.

-  I posted a thought about this on Locker talk on the main page regarding Felipe Lopez, but I'll reiterate here.   When the Cardinals signed him, they said it was basically because they didn't like  the job Brendan Ryan was doing as a part-time utility player.   While I think that is true, I also think the are auditioning Lopez for a starting middle infield job for 2009.   Remember Lopez had a BIG offensive year as recently as 2005, and he fits the Cardinal profile of trying to add production at a reasonable dollar amount with other teams cast-offs.   It's worked in the past with players like Mark Grudzielanek and Tony Womack.....why not Lopez?

-  The Brewers 8 game winning streak is pretty frustrating.   It's going to be imperative that the Cards win both games when Milwaukee comes to town in a couple of weeks.   The Brewers face Jake Peavy today in San Diego, so maybe he can end the win streak.

-  The Cardinals have shut down Mike Parisi for the year with elbow problems.  He's pitched pretty well at Memphis since going down, but he may have to have Tommy John surgery.  That would end his ability to make a play for the Cards roster in 2009.

- While I am on the Memphis train of thought, watch out for Jess Todd.  He has zipped through the Cards' minor league system this year, starting at A ball before moving to AA Springfield, where he has been dominant.  Todd was called up to Memphis this week, and made his AAA debut last night, pitching 6 2/3 and only allowing 4 hits and 1 run with 6 strikeouts.  He got the victory in the Redbirds 2-1 win.   I think the Cards view him as a Major league rotation candidate in the next year or two.

-  The Cardinals continue to get solid, consistent starts from their rotation.   Looper and Wellemeyer in particular have pitched deep into games lately and are regularly giving us a chance to win.   Pineiro, too, in his last couple of starts.   The rotation remains a pleasent surprise for the 2008 Cards, and are the primary reason we are still in contention.

-  Finally, no matter what role Adam Wainwright ends up assuming, I am excited to see him come back soon.   He is going to upgrade us either in the rotation or the bullpen, although it's clear he'll likely start in the 'pen.







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