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Matchup/diary Game # 158 at Cardinals

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Brandon Backe   Chris Carpenter
10 - 8, 4.59    21 - 5, 2.71

15/16, or 93.75%.

Those are the odds I've figured of the Astros making the playoffs.

(You can click here if you want to know how I came up with those numbers.)

Those are pretty darned good odds considering that there are still five innately unpredictable baseball games to go. And they are therefore a very good reason not to panic if, for example, Backe gives up a shot early in tonight's game, or something.

So take it easy tonight, as I will. A win would be nice ('coz this is a winnable series, as we said yesterday, right?), but it's not critical.

Brandon Backe has given up 1 run and eight hits over his last 13-2/3 innings, while striking out 11 and walking only one. Win or lose, I'd love to see him continue with the high strikeout to walk ratio, as the walk is truly the only thing that can bring his stuff down.

Chris Carpenter, as I said yesterday, has been pretty lousy this month. Maybe he's got the Cy Young heebie-jeebies . . . .

The Cardinals could do us a favor by sitting Larry Walker, don't you think?