I don't have clubhouse access at Miller Park (and after writing this, I'll probably never get it), so for now we'll have to settle for this imaginary job interview with Ken Macha (KM), Carlos Villanueva (CV) and Tim Dillard (TD).
KM: Gentlemen, thanks for coming today. As you know, we need a starting pitcher for tomorrow night's contest and I've decided to wait until the last minute to announce one. A starting pitcher's job is an important one, mainly because he's responsible for getting outs. Tim, can you get outs?
TD: Well, I haven't been given a chance to do it at the major league level in 2009, but I've been recording a lot of outs in Nashville. I've already recorded 118 innings in AAA and posted a 3.66 ERA. In my last start I retired 24 batters on 65 pitches.
KM: Those are insignificant outs. Carlos?
CV: I'm having trouble with outs lately. I've given up 18 hits and five walks (.463 OBP) to the last 49 batters I've faced, and a lot of those non-outs are being hit for extra bases, as my 1.310 OPS against might suggest. I've allowed an earned run or more in four of my last five appearances, but after recording just two outs in three previous games, I've recorded 12 in my last two.
KM: Our bullpen is exhausted because our starters can't seem to remain effective past the fourth inning. Carlos, how many innings can you give me?
CV: I haven't pitched more than three innings in a game since July 4 of last season, and haven't thrown more than 56 pitches in an appearance since throwing 83 last May, in a game where I allowed five earned runs in four innings. On top of that, I pitched an inning in relief on Friday, so I'd be going on three days rest. I can maybe go three innings.
TD: I pitched eight innings on Wednesday, and have gone six innings or more in eight of my last ten starts in Nashville. I've gone eight innings in three of my last six starts. I can go at least 5-6 innings and save the bullpen a bit.
KM: (mumbles something about preferring track records of major league mediocrity over unproven minor leaguers.) Tim, can you do an impression?
TD does his Ed Sedar impression.
CV: I've been doing a 2003 Luis Vizcaino impression all year. Didn't you notice?
KM: Ok, this has gone on long enough. Carlos, you've been less effective lately, your arm is less stretched out and your impression was clearly inferior, so I'm going to have to give you the job.
TD and CV: What!?
KM wanders off to tell the media...