- Chris Carpenter threw like Christ Carpenter (hey, and Christ was a carpenter ... weird) Thursday, rising from the ashes of last year's injury to put together a near-perfect start--he took a no-hitter into the 7th (strangely enough, the Pirates were still winning 1-0, despite being hitless). Carpenter ultimately went seven innings for the win, allowing no earned runs and striking out seven. Redbird Nation had to be quite pleased to see this comeback performance from their ace.
- But oh, that closer situation. LaRussa threw gas on the fire by using a new closer in the team's second save situation of the season. While Jason Motte was anointed the closer going into the season, his blown save on Opening Day might mean he's lost the job to newly acquired Dennys Reyes. This could be the beginning of a season filled with drama when it comes to the Cards bullpen.
- The White Sox scored a grand total of five runs in three games against the Royals. Yeah, those Royals. And three of those don't count because they came on one swing off of home run machine Kyle Farnsworth.
- On the other side of the offensive spectrum, the Rangers put up 29 runs in a three-game sweep of the Indians. Cliff Lee? Lit up. Fausto Carmona? Not good. How 'bout Carl Pavano? Uh, not so much. 1 IP, 9 ER. The Tribe had a worse run differential (-15) in their series than did the Nationals, who were drubbed by the Marlins.
The Cubs payroll is actually $135 million, and ranks third in the ML behind the Yankees ($201) and Mets ($135.7). I stated earlier this week that the Cubs payroll was $118, but the new figures came out Thursday.