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Pirates vs. Astros, 22 July 2008

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Paul Maholm vs. Jack Cassel, 8:05 PM. Here's the box.

This is the portion of the season where the Astros really lose it, I think. Roy Oswalt is on the DL, and Runelvys Hernandez, Brian Moehler and Cassel are all in the rotation, or at least they all were until an hour ago. Despite already being out of contention, the Astros have traded for lefty starter Randy Wolf, who was in the midst of a bad season for the Padres, for pitcher Chad Reineke. If I were the Astros, I would've just taken my chances with Reineke. Wolf has already allowed 14 homers this year despite pitching in a park that suppresses them, and Minute Maid Park has a very short porch in left field; if I were an Astros fan, I'd be watching from between my fingers anytime a power-hitting righty came up against Wolf.

Anyway, anytime a team makes a move like this at midseason despite having no real shot at the playoffs, they're in trouble. Decent move by the Padres, and a great career move for Reineke, who may suddenly look like a viable pitcher in PETCO.