Monday, September 27, 2004

"Bullpen Starts"

I'm sitting here, watching the Cards getting shelled early in Houston. While I'm not too concerned about the game - the Cards still have time, the game doesn't matter, etc - a topic of discussion during the game has me a bit concerned.

According to the Fox Sports Midwest broadcast, the Cardinals are going to have two - yes two - so-called "bullpen starts" over their last 6 games (after tonight.) Two? One for Chris Carpenter, I can understand (even though I'm not sure why Haren isn't starting.) But two? Apparently, the 2nd one will be in the slot that should be occupied by Matt Morris.

What?

Let's review. Morris' last start was against Milwaukee a week ago tonight, in which he only threw 78 pitches over 5 innings. He was pulled early, so we were told, by design. His next start, Saturday in Colorado, was going to be skipped to keep him fresh. Considering the numbers that Matt has been putting up this season on 6 days rest, or in starts following outings of 100 pitches or less - fatigue seemed like something he was probably dealing with. I didn't mind a skipped start, especially in Coors Field.

But now he's being skipped again? With Carpenter already unlikely to pitch in the first round of the playoffs, how can the Cards skip Morris, thus having him pitch in the NLDS with a minimum of 14 days of rest? Are they for real? Is he hurt and they just don't want to say?

Color me confused.

On a brief positive note - Scott Rolen appears to be ready to start on Tuesday night, getting 2 or 3 at-bats over the next few games as he eases back into his regular role.

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