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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Sunday 8/27, 7:05 CT

Tonight's starter is Les Walrond. This is an embarrassment to the franchise. Here's what Jim Hendry says about why he's starting:

"It really just came down to we thought Sean [Marshall] needed another [rehab start], and we're rewarding a guy who from start to finish has had a good year."
So a 29-year-old non-prospect pitches "good" for a year, and he gets as a "reward" a start on national TV against your biggest rival, in a game that does have playoff implications for that rival? That's just plain stupid. The ONLY way this becomes a useful move is if it results in the permanent removal of Glendon Rusch from a Cub uniform.

Walrond is so anonymous that Chris DeLuca couldn't even be bothered to look up his previous major league record; he wrote that Walrond:

will make his major-league debut in the nationally televised series finale tonight.
No, Chris. Walrond threw in seven games for the 2003 Royals -- and not very well; 7 BB and 9 ER in 8 IP for a 10.12 ERA.

He is anonymous enough that ESPN has no page for him -- so the "vs. StL" link in the pitcher box below takes you to his Retrosheet page, which was the only place I could find his record against the Cardinals. He faced them twice in interleague play vs. the Royals, throwing two innings, allowing two hits, two walks and a run. The walks were to Albert Pujols (intentional) and Scott Rolen; the hits were a double to Jim Edmonds and a single to Bo Hart. In both cases Walrond was throwing the ninth inning of a blowout loss. Today will be a little bit different.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Les Walrond
L. Walrond
vs. Jeff Weaver
J. Weaver
making W-L 5-13
his ERA 6.11
2006 SO 83
ML BB 35
debut HR 28
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

Jeff Weaver is having a horrid, horrid season -- can you imagine what we'd all be saying if, as some people wanted to see, the Cubs had paid $8 or $9 million for him this year?

A couple of other notes -- two Cubs club season records that have stood for many years are about to be broken this year.

Hall of Fame 2B Billy Herman holds the club record for at-bats in a season, 666, set in the pennant year of 1935.

Juan Pierre has 550 AB in 129 games, an average of 4.26 per game. Since he plays every day, he projects to 690 AB. Obviously, he's helped by having eight more games on the schedule, but he'll likely break it before the 154th game (Herman played in all 154 games in 1935).

The other longtime club record that should fall is for pitcher appearances in a season. The current record of 84 was set by Ted Abernathy in 1965 and tied by Dick Tidrow (affectionately nicknamed "Dirt") in 1980. Including yesterday, Bob Howry has appeared in 70 games. The Cubs have 33 games remaining; he needs only 15 appearances in those games to break the record. Given the state of the starting rotation and the rest of the bullpen, I think this one's also a lock to be broken. Cubs Gameday

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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