Watching Astros baseball games is not real too good for my blood pressure.
Either the starter gives up a run or 2 in the first inning and I know the game is already lost, especially after the opposing pitcher gets 1,2,3 out on 5 pitches, because I want to yell and scream and call Drayton and gang the kind of names that I don’t want my kidz hearing me say because I have spent all these zillions of hours trying to teach them good manners. So there goes my blood pressure.
Or Michael Bourn manages to score a run in the first to put the Astros ahead, but then no one else can either get on base or drive someone home and we lose and there goes my blood pressure.
And tonight was 3 hours and 25 minutes of pressure packed game. Well, actually, blood pressure was fine the first couple of innings. Bourn led off with a walk (he’s up to 25 already – not bad – projects to about 85 walks for the year), then Kepp singled him to 3rd, then Lance had an RBI double off the wall just past the RF bullpen. So far, so good. The usual, Michael gets on and one of Kepp, Lance, Clank or Pence manages to get him home so we don’t get shut out.
But then shock deluxe – Clank does NOT GIDP, as I figured he would, he singles to left and it’s bases loaded. Hunter goes to 3-2, then walks in a run (he’s quit swinging at pitches out of the strike zone and is lookin GOOD) and then it is Geoff Blum, PLAYING SHORTSTOP!!! how absolutely ABSURD to take Tommy Manzella out to play Blum when it makes infinitely more sense to take out Pedro Suckage Feliz and have Blum play 3rd.
So Blum grounds out and Lance scores and unfortuinately, the runners move up. So even though Feliz is thevery definition of suckage, the Nats understand that Cash is an even greater mass of suckage (yes it IS possible) and they IBB Feliz, then Cash Ks and the pitcher is out.
But the Astros are up 3 runs. But I know better than to relax. And even though the Nats go down 1,2,3 on 12 pitches in the second, the Astros go down 1,2,3,4 on SIX freaking pitches in the bottom of the inning. 37 pitches in the first, and SIX in the second. At least Lance hit the ball to the wall and the LF had to leap to get it.
3rd inning, it’s blood pressure time again. With Guzman on first, Nyjer Morgan hits a single to left and Clank doesn’t even TRY to get Guzman at 3rd, but casually tosses it in to second. It’s what he always does. I know he’s terrible and has got an arm like a noodle, but the ball wasn’t hit THAT deep – in fact, it was a grounder that Blum didn’t get near. But Clank never ever TRIES to get the out, just casually tosses the ball in. You’d think that after 3 years of that crap I’d just shrug, but noooooooooo.
Anyhow, it’s bases loaded 2 outs, Adam Dunn out, but he strikes out swinging. Whew. In the bottom of the 3rd, Pence gets an IF single, then Blum, who has swung and misses ball 2 and 4, hits the next pitch to right and Pence goes to 3rd, then scores on a Feliz sac-fly – hey, he actually hit it to somewheres besides third, can you believe it???
4th is 3 up 3 down for both teams.
5th is blood pressure time again. Wil Nieves leading off the inning, again gets a hit – this time, a double juuuuuuuust inside the line to the LF corner. Pitcher Ks, Guzman singles to center and Nieves goes to 3rd. Then bad stuff happens. Morgan hits a nice GIDP ball to short and Blum bobbles it, a run scores, and everyone is safe. Peachy. Then Zimmerman walks and bases are loaded for Adam Dunn again.
Then stuff happens. He hits a nice grounder to Berkman, but somehow, he makes a bad throw home, Cash can’t corral it and 2 runs score and Dunn ends up on 3rd, then scores when Willingham hits a sac-fly.
Tie game on 2 BIG time errors. Blum has NO business at short and Berkman has to throw very carefully to Cash because he is just not a good defensive catcher (can’t block balls neither…) Yeah, 3 runs are unearned, but they count just as much.
But then Hunter Pence hits one into the Crawford Boxes to take the lead back and it’s 5-4. Feliz and Cash BOTH single with 2 outs (shock deluxe) but they are stranded.
Nats go down 1,2,3 in the 6th. Then Drew Storen comes out to pitch. He’s the reliever who the Nats drafted as their supplemental pick in the first round – no one really noticed because Strasburg was getting all the ink. But he blew through the minors and was called up a couple weeks ago and was pretty sharp with a 1.59 ERA. But Michael hit a double off the scoreboard, Kepp sac-bunted, even though they were all bunched in the IF, expecting it, and then Lance drove him home with a single to left thru the 5.5 hole. Clank swung just over a hanger and grounded out, then Pence went to ANOTHER 3-2 count before flying out. I likey him going to all those 3-2 counts!!!!!
So we’re ahead 6-4.
7th is 1,2,3 for the Nats and 1,2, then ANOTHER Cash single (????!!!! 2 in ONE game?????) but Jason Michaels grounds out on the first pitch he sees to strand him.
So then it should be a no-problem finish, right? I mean, we have our 15 mill setup guy and our closer fresh and ready, right?
Lyons comes out and can’t find the (swear words) strike zone. Walks Dunn, Willingham pops up, Desmond singles, then Lyons walks Roger Bernardina, in the middle of a 1-20 slump, who has 4, that is FOUR walks over 88 PA and all I can say is oh noooooooooo, this is baaaaaaaaaaad, and sure enough, he hits Willie Harris with the very next pitch to walk in a run. Don’t ask me how he got the next out – the hitter swinging at ball 2 which almost hit him, then somehow, Lyons suddenly managed to find control and threw 3 pitches which hit the inside corner for the last out.
Astros 6 – Nats 5
So bottom of the 8th, it’s a lefty pitcher and Bourn grounds out, Kepp singles, Lance walks. Then in comes a righty and Clank pops up, Pence walks on a 3-1 (he’s not swinging at balls !!!!!) and Manzella, who has come in as a (ahem) defensive replacement, hits a ball into the hole on the left, but Desmond makes a great play to get the force at second (barely).
A 1 run lead. Can Lindstrom hold it? I almost can’t watch, I’m so nervous – don’t ask me why, it’s not as if this game counts or anything.
So Morgan leads off with one of those singles that goes in between the pitchers mound and first and Lindstrom can’t get it in time to feed it to Berkman and actually, the toss is no good and rolls to the dugout, but fortunately, Morgan hadn’t turned the corner or he woulda been on third. Zimmerman is up and Lindstrom throw 3 FB – NONE of which are anywheres NEAR the plate – up near the shoulder, nose, 1 foot inside – ball 4 is actually strike 1, but Zim takes his 4th walk of the night. Arnesberg runs out – and I notice that someone is getting up in the bullpen WITH THE CLOSER ON THE MOUND. Peachy. I’m going back to Brad Lidge 06 time with that uneasy feeling.
Adam Dunn is up, fouls off the 2 pitches which are borderline strikes, then takes his second walk in a row.
Bases loaded, no outs, 2 walks in a row. This is not good. This is not good. This is not good.
Somehow, Lindstrom manages to find the inside corner at the knees and strike out Willingham. Now, all we need is a GIDP PLEEEEAAAASE.
But no. Desmond singles to shallow left, Morgan trots home. Tie game. Second Blown Save in 3 games for Lindstrom. Bernadina – remember him? the guy who was 1 fer 20 who almost never walks who Lyons just walked last inning – well, Mr. Slump singles in Zimmerman, the go-ahead run.
Mills has seen QUITE enough and he pulls the closer. Yes, you read that right. He sends in Wilton Lopez who gets the next 2 outs.
Nats 7 – Astros 6
And Matt Capps, who always shuts the Astros DOWN is in to close. I don’t know why I bother to watch. A glutton for misery, I suppose. Husband sits down to watch it with me. I’m sitting on the floor holding Jana Brattain Dog, who was a bit surprised that I went in the kitchen and picked her up, but she figures, hey, enjoy it while it lasts, and Dog Pappas trots in to make sure he gets his fair share of patting – he’s WAAAAYYYY too big to pick up, although he doesn’t like to admit it.
So it’s Feliz NaviDUD up and sure enough, he grounds to third and sure handed Ryan Zimmerman kicks the ball and Feliz is safe. No matter – it’s Cash who is up and he sure as HECK ain’t gonna go 3fer, and he gets the sac-bunt down. So it’s Cash on second and Cory Sure-out Sullivan up. And Sullivan hits the ball off the deep LF wall for a double and Feliz stops at third!!
FELIZ STOPS AT THIRD – FELIZ STOPS AT THIRD WHAT THE (expletives deleted) IS HE DOING STOPPING AT THIRD???!!! (I’m so busy screaming YEW IDIOT!!!) that I hardlt heard anything – and Mama, who was at the Box, texted me and told me that Dave Clark had, for some unknown reason, held him up. SERIOUS, SERIOUS effup. I mean, SERIOUS effup.
But then I realized that I scared the living heck out of my poor Dogsss and I just had to shrug and let the ol blood pressure go back down and figure that Clark would be the Designated Goat to replace Blum/Lyons/Lindstrom in my little writeup and I could spend the next 2 outs thinking up Clever Titles. So I watched them IBB Michael Bourn so hopefully Kepp would GIDP – and he did groundout to second, but they could only get the force at home.
So then Lance was up. And yeah, he had driven in 3 and given up 2, but he HAD been the one to drive home the winning runs on Sunday, so I watched him swing through a slider, then foul one off, then take a high pitch, then foul off another, then lay off a pitch juuuuust outside, then hit its duplicate down into left and wasn’t nobody could possibly throw out Bourn goin home and Lance made a winner out of Wilton Lopez and the Astros.
So I looked at Husband and he looked at me and he sez – well Baby, it’s baseball and the one thing you know is youneverknow.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…