On the heels of the trade deadline, let's discuss pitching for a moment.
Cardinals acquired Joel Piniero from the Red Sox. I did a modicum of research on Piniero. Here's what ussmariner.com had to say:
"The Cardinals just traded for Joel Pineiro. On purpose! He now gets to team with Spiezio again. Hope the pharmacies stay open late in St. Louis."
And here's what Viva El Birdos had to say:
"the cardinals picked up joel piniero for a ptbnl. this guy's career era away from capacious safeco field is above 5.00. even in his good years (2002-03) his era was largely a ballpark illusion --- more than 1.50 lower at home than on the road in both seasons. i don't know why the cardinals even bother with players like this"
Of course, I can't find the numbers now that I looked at yesterday, but suffice it to say that Piniero's pitching numbers since 2005 are so bad only SIDNEY PONSON pitched worse.
So naturally the Cardinals have decided to give him a slot in the rotation and bump Brad Thompson, one of the rare starters the team has used this year that can actually get people out consistently, to the bullpen.
Why do we insist on giving these hopeless rejects a chance? It's as if the Cardinals clubhouse has turned into the Betty Ford clinic for recalcitrant pitchers. I can see the slogan now: 'Made the Majors? Having trouble sticking? ERA over 4.00 career? Lost more than you've won? Then come on down! We've got a uniform and a plane ticket for you. Believe in yourself!"
When you want pitching really bad, you get really bad pitching. If La Ro Ro and Dunc would stick with Wainwright, Looper, Reyes, Thompson, and a pitching machine as their rotation, they might actually make up ground in the race. Sure, you'd lose with the pitching machine...but would you notice the difference between the machine's outing and KFW's? Or Maroth's?
[update 2300] So much for the 4 game winning streak. Looper and Maroth get baked.
[update 2 August 2129] I found the story I was looking for yesterday. It's here. Never mind about the article, just read the gray box at the top right hand corner.