It's a bit disappointing to see the Cubs get swept over the weekend and only pick up one game in the standings. A little more disappointing is to notice that the Cardinals did capitalize on the opportunity. We sit 4.5 back of the Cubs, and 2.5 back of the Redbirds and the wild card. Anyway, on with the Cup...
FanGraphs Win Probability Chart
As dixieflatline pointed out last night (just scroll down), Gagne is back on the roster, while DiFelice heads back to Nashville. It must be a bit disappointing for Mark, as he surely knows Randy Choate is on his way back. We may not be stacked with great relievers, but we are stacked with marginal ones, and it might take more than one injury to get DiFelice back to the bigs before September.
Also regarding DiFelice, Yost commented that he needed to work on getting lefties out. His results were pretty drastic: righties were 6 for 34 against him, while lefties were 8 for 19. Batting average is an okay measure for DiFelice, since he didn't walk any of the 55 batters he faced. Oddly enough, his splits were very nearly the reverse of that in Nashville this year.
Back to interleague for a second. Now that it's wrapped up, we've confirmed another year of AL dominance, with an overall record of 149-102. Only three NL teams were above .500 in interleague: the Mets and Reds at 9-6, and the Braves at 8-7. (Of course, five of those losses were one-run games.) The Crew was one of three teams at 7-8.
Back to the links. I'm sticking to my policy of not linking to a certain newspaper site, but I'll happily read and just as happily link a dismantling of a Michael Hunt column, like this piece at The Yost Infection.
Couple of notes about trade targets. A name you heard a lot in the offseason, but not so much since, is Joe Blanton. Now, he might not even be the second most desirable starter on the A's. Baseball Musings wonders whether he'll get any interest at all. I suspect he'd do well the first time around the NL, though he might not be a great long-term option. If the Brewers were convinced he was a project worth taking on, he could be around for longer than just 2008, as he's two more years away from free agency.
If we're talking about relievers, Ron Mahay may well become a target. I'll admit, this Dugout Central piece has him correctly pegged as "The Most Under-Appreciated..." I not only had forgotten about him, I'm not sure I ever knew he signed with the Royals. The Royals will almost certainly make him available, and he's got a reasonable (for a reliever) deal that goes through 2009.
Jeff at Lookout Landing finds some images to represent his ideas of various MLB clubhouses. Quite the experience.
CJ Nitkowski, the former MLB pitcher, wrote an article for the AP about Japan's very different interleague structure. Good stuff.
The Crew is in Phoenix, opening a series against the D-Backs tonight at 8:40. Until then...drink up.