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Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, 18 August 2007

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7:05 PM, WPGB

Jamie Moyer (11-8, 4.68) vs. Paul Maholm (8-14, 4.38).

A copule notes:

-P- Tony Armas will stay in the rotation, with Shane Youman heading back to the bullpen, even though Youman is a year and a half younger, is under the Pirates' control for the next several years, has an ERA a run and a half lower than Armas', and pitched better than Armas in their last starts. I'm not crying my eyes out for Youman, who's a marginal pitcher, but I'm still not sure how keeping Armas in the rotation helps the Bucs in the future or in the present. It's not worth worrying about, really, but it's silly.

-P- A Cubs win and a Brewers loss has given the Cubs the NL Central lead. The Brewers' pitching has completely fallen apart in August - Yovani Gallardo, Chris Capuano, Claudio Vargas and a number of relievers have all been horrible, and the team has posted a 7.07 ERA and a ridiculious .926 OPS against this month. The offense has still been good, but it's really hard to put enough runs on the board to still win games when your pitchers have alloewd that many runs.

-P- Rany Jazayerli with an interesting point about "slot money":

Rob [Neyer]: So the "recommended slot money" never really was realistic [in the Royals' negotiations with Mike Moustakas], was it?

Rany: Not for the first 4 or 5 picks, no.  I don't have a problem with the slotting prices in general, but the slots have never held for the first few picks.  To me, the "slot" for Moustakas was what Alex Gordon got two years ago...which was, coincidentally enough, $4 million.  By any realistic assessment, the Royals did get Moustakas to sign for slot.

Daniel Moskos signed for slot money, but that's exactly the point - if the Pirates are unwilling to sign top draft picks for more than slot money, well, they might as well just not have top draft picks. Moustakas, top pick David Price, third pick Josh Vitters and fifth pick Matt Wieters all signed for above slot. So did many of the top talents from other recent drafts. If the Pirates aren't willing to go above slot, it's almost as if they might as well be picking tenth or fifteenth instead of fourth.

-P- Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Dave Davidson all made their debuts for Class AAA Indianapolis last night. The Indians were five-hit by Jae Seo and Jay Witasick, but McCutchen went 1-for-3 and Davidson struck out three of the seven batters he faced.