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St. Louis Cardinals at Houston Astros, Aug 29, 2008 7:05 PM CDT

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National League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Milwaukee 77 56 .578 0 Lost 1
St. Louis 74 60 .552 3.5 Won 1
Philadelphia 73 61 .544 4.5 Lost 2
Florida 68 66 .507 9.5 Lost 1
Houston 68 66 .507 9.5 Won 2

(updated 8.29.2008 at 10:30 AM CDT)


Let's start our focus of tonight's game and opening series with the Wild Card Picture. We're still a daunting 9.5 games back of the Brewers, but I (and some of you too) have pretty much discounted the notion that we'll ever catch the. However, I will still consider this season a success, and a thing of beauty, if we catch the Cardinals. It kills me that it was supposed to be us, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh battling for the NL Central basement, but somehow TLR has somehow managed to push the right buttons and still have a play-off contender on his hands. Just look at their rotation. Is there a single impressive name on it? Their bull pen has been a cluster fu...you get the picture...all season long, but somehow, there they are.

The positive in all of this, is that if we just take this series, we'd only be four games back of them and could conceivably be 3 if we manage to pull of a sweep (I won't hold my breath on that). With those hopes in mind, let's turn to the series preview:


Current Series

3 game series vs Cardinals @ Minute Maid Park

St. Louis Cardinals
@ Houston Astros

Friday, Aug 29, 2008, 7:05 PM CDT
Minute Maid Park

Kyle Lohse vs Randy Wolf

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 90.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 08/30

Braden Looper vs Brian Moehler

6:05 PM CDT
Sun 08/31 1:05 PM CDT

I assume that Wandy will pitch Sunday, but I'm too lazy to see who's slated for the Cards. Either way, this isn't the strongest pitching match-up series ever. Lohse is enjoying a season in which command and a stellar Cardinals defense have made Lohse a sure fire candidate to get some multi/multi deal that will probably look insane by it's end and left Ed Wade looking like an idiot for taking Chacon over Lohse (do you think Lohse would have beat him up?). Looper and Moehler have both enjoyed anomalous seasons and could either be good or bad. We should just flip a coin to predict it. So this is a series in which hitting will be the main story and unfortunately, I think the Cards have us beat in that regard. So we'll need some great pitching performances.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Kyle Lohse 13-6 28 28 0 0 0 0 168.0 178 77 74 15 41 93 3.96 1.30


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Brian Moehler 9-5 25 20 0 0 0 0 121.2 133 57 54 15 29 66 3.99 1.33

For this series, I hope the Cecil Cooper remembers that Yadier Molina has a ridiculous arm and we should not run ("Please God, give Cecil Cooper a modicum of restraint. Thanks." I just violated Kevin Costner's rule from For Love of the Game, sorry Kevin.). Also, this is the debut of Instant Replay for the Astros -- thank God Bud Selig, et al., got off their high horses and did something intelligent.

Oh, and here's your starting line-up:


Lineup

St. Louis Cardinals @ Houston Astros

08/29/08 7:05 PM CDT

St. Louis Cardinals Houston Astros
Cesar Izturis - SS Darin Erstad - CF
Nick Stavinoha - LF Ty Wigginton - LF
Albert Pujols - 1B Miguel Tejada - SS
Ryan Ludwick - RF Lance Berkman - 1B
Troy Glaus - 3B Geoff Blum - 3B
Yadier Molina - C Hunter Pence - RF
Joe Mather - CF David Newhan - 2B
Kyle Lohse - P Humberto Quintero - C
Felipe Lopez - 2B Randy Wolf - P