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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Mediocre starters dominating Cardinals

Nothing against Rodrigo Lopez, but I have to admit that the right-handed pitcher inspired this article. Saturday’s starter for the Philadelphia Phillies went six innings on three earned runs for the win.

While Lopez has a surprising 3.09 ERA this season, it is in just 23 1/3 Major League innings. Simply put, Lopez is a journeyman who failed as a starter in Baltimore, for Pete’s sake, and has a 4.76 career ERA. He has spent most of the last two seasons in the minor leagues.

Lopez joins a list of seven other veteran below-average pitchers who have dominated the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009. Each of the following seven has a season ERA of basically five or more, averaging 5.81. In aggregate, including their seven wins over the Cardinals, the group has a 33-41 record.

Take away their Cards wins and the “Magnificent Seven” are 26-41 (.388). As a point of reference, 29 of the 30 MLB teams have a better win percentage than .388. Only the hideous Washington Nationals are worse.

Given the Cardinals’ ongoing challenges against left-handed pitching, it is not surprising that four of the seven are lefties. Perhaps the club’s addition of right-handed bats Julio Lugo, Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa will change matters, but they did not on Saturday against the righty Lopez.

Date Team Pitcher L-R Score Inn ER 09 ERA 09 W-L Comments
5/2 WAS Shairon Martis R 6-1 9 1 5.25 5-3 Sent to AAA in June
5/17 MIL Manny Parra L 8-2 6 2 6.42 4-8 In AAA from 6/14-7/9
6/5 COL Jorge De La Rosa L 11-4 6 2/3 3 4.95 7-7 3 games in ’09 w/7 ER each
6/12 CLE David Huff L 7-3 7 1/3 3 6.39 5-4 Came up on 5/17
6/22 NYM Tim Redding R 6-4 7 4 7.16 1-4 May be released
6/28 MIN Francisco Liriano L 6-2 7 2 5.56 4-10 Double-digit losses already
7/20 HOU Brian Moehler R 3-2 6 1/3 2 4.92 7-5 Career 82-96, 4.74
5.81 33-41
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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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