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Gunga Galunga
 is the f***n' BEST

Overture, curtain, lights.

While Barry and Daddy Wags and the little game they played yesterday kept Wandy off the front pages this morning, the grand story that is Wandy Rodriguez is beginning to get some play. John Donovan makes Rodriguez one of his ten pitchers who have most stepped up for their teams in the early going.

Hard to argue with most of his list, either, which also includes Roy Oz and Greg Maddux and Bronson Arroyo.

Baseball Prospectus, on the other hand, has numbers that say Wandy's expected won-loss record is 2.7 - 1.1, and that he is therefore the second-LUCKiest pitcher in the National League.

Miguel Batista is number one on the list, and one of Wandy's four-win compatriots, Pedro Martinez, is third.

You all probably caught this, but Chris Burke was talking about the methods through which Wandy has found success in an article at the official site.

Most left-handers have kind of a sinking tailing action to their fastball . . . Wandy's fastball stays really true, and I think he gets a lot of takes on that outside corner because guys see it out of his hand and they think it's going to be down and away, but it stays true and holds its line.

Anytime you see a left-hander get swings and misses from righties on their curveball, you know that they're getting a good action on their pitches.

Alysson Footer's own words are also true: "His tempo is faster. His attitude is better. He's controlling his emotions on the mound, and he's making quick work of his opponents."

I also found it interesting what Wandy himself had to say in the same article: "Today, I failed on my location on several pitches, but fortunately, my curveball was working for me. . . I was able to put it in the zone and put guys away with it."

Has any major league pitcher with a 27.00 ERA ever been 2 - 0 before? We've now established that if the Astros are up 8 - 2 in the ninth, the game's too close to bring in Astacio. . . gosh, if we can't use Zeke there, you've got to wonder if there's a game situation imaginable where he'd be the guy to bring out.

The Indescribable Zeke Astacio
2 0 27.00 5.00 0.25

After last night's three hit affair, Chris Burke now has a 1.281 OPS, but may find himself on the bench again when the early season showdown with the Reds begins. The Chronicle has floated the possibility today that Everett might actually be in the starting lineup Friday. Evidently Adam was pleased that the overnight swelling in his hand hadn't gotten ridiculous, and even told Garner that he was willing to pinch run last night!

Backe wants to pinch run, Everett wants to pinch run, and Andy Pettitte's kvetching how he wanted to pinch-hit in the extra inning game. Talk about chemistry. Everyone wants to do whatever they can to help this team win.

But back to Burke. Did you see that little nugget in the AP story that said the secret to Burke's success so far this year has been that he's tried to move closer to the plate?

Enjoy the rest of your offday. . . think I'll have dinner with the old man.