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around the n.l.

Postby pkarr5000 » Sat Aug 09, 2003 9:26 pm

The Cardinals have left 900-year-old reliever Jeff Fassero in the rotation, answering their need for a left-handed presence. Fassero is 0-1 in three starts, but has a 2.30 ERA over 15 2/3 innings, compared with a 7.71 ERA in 45 relief appearances. What's the difference? He has been pitching more aggressively and confidently as a starter... The Astros are understandably concerned about starting pitcher Wade Miller, who has seen the velocity on his fastball dip below 90 miles per hour. With fellow ace Roy Oswalt (just six victories in 17 starts this season) sidelined by his fifth groin muscle strain in two years, Houston desperately needs Miller to regain his "A" game. He continues to insist his problems are mechanical, not physical... The Astros did get a surprisingly strong debut from Jared Fernandez, a knuckle-ball specialist called up from Class AAA New Orleans... Expos pitcher Livan Hernandez was 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA in six July starts, which is why Montreal got some interesting trade offers for him... Cardinals rookie Dan Haren, 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in six starts, gets to match pitches with brilliant Marlins rookie Dontrelle Willis (10-2) in a mid-week showdown... The Cubs hope Ramon Martinez can fill in for second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, who could miss up to a month with a broken hand. Grudzielanek was leading the Cubs in hits when he was injured ... Brewers first baseman Richie Sexson hit .441 (15-for-34) with two homers and seven RBI on his team's 10-game road trip... Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols ran his hitting streak to 18 games, batting .408 during that span. He is destined to become the first major leaguer to hit better than .300 with more than 30 home runs and 100 RBI during his first three major league seasons... The Dodgers will mostly use Robin Ventura at first base, but let's see if his presence finally gives third baseman Adrian Beltre his much-needed wake-up call.
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