Oooo-kaaaaaay, raise your hand if you though Kip Wells (!!) would throw 8 shutout innings and beat Dontrelle Willis today.
The Cardinals are done. They're in third place, nine games behind the Brewers and the Cubbies are starting to play well. It's over.
Their present "rotation" includes Wells (4-12), Wainwright (yes, he struck out Beltran with the bases loaded to win the pennant last year; this year he's 8-7, the "ace" of the "staff"), Thompson (that's, uhhh, Brad Thompson, of the 5.06 ERA), Braden Looper (the less said the better) and now apparently Mike Maroth (5.20 ERA but hey he's lefthanded). In other words, they have five guys who should be #4 starters at best.
The offense isn't any better. Rolen is, as always, hurt. Edmonds is old. Pujols is having his worst season since 2002 (ok, he's still pretty good, can't criticize Pujols).
I think it's maybe time for LaRussa to declare victory in his quest to prove that he's the Smartest Manager in Baseball History and more on. It's just not working. Obviously it would be better if Carpenter and Mulder were pitching, but they're not. It's time to start again and think about 2008.