Archive for the ‘Bogusevic’ Category

11/26/12: Happy Thanksgiving 2012

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Well, the good news is that I ended up cooking only pies and cranberry sauce. Sons 1-3 cooked the cornbread (with a little help, yes) and roasted the turkey legs. The giant feast was held at my Mama and Daddy’s and they are recuperating on life support, as Daddy overdosed on sugared pecans and Mama on coffee. NOW they see why I got tired of doing this every year. And why we are stricter than Carrie Nation about our No Alcohol No Kidding rule (hint: alcohol does NOT make everyone who drinks it more fun, more pleasant and a better conversationalist…)

Remembering 06
remembering 07
remembering 08
remembering last year

And best of all, we are not STILL eating turkey and ham. Although my kidsss would most certainly not complain about getting turkey legs. They are, however, complaining about the end of endless desserts.

And speaking of just desserts,  JB Shuck signed a minor league contract with the Angels – not that he has much of any chance to play on their ML team with Trout, Bourjois and Mark Trumbo in the OF – not to mention the virtually worthless Vernon Wells taking the 4th OF spot on the bench because he costs so much. Brian Bixler (utility IF who is a AAAA guy) signed with the Mets.

We haven’t signed any FA, regardless of cost.

Brian Bogusevic signed a free agent contract (minor league) with the Cubs. I wish him luck. The Astros wasted THREE years of his young life. Stupid player development people. A lot of baseball success isn’t talent – it’s being in the right place at the right time and having the right people like you. And not having stupid player development people screw up your career.

And speaking of players to develop – prospect lists are out.

Here is Marc Hulet (Fangraphs) Top 15 (Singleton is #1) then Correa, DeShields, Springer, McCullers, Cosart, Foltynewicz, Rio Ruiz, Carlos Perez (Brandon Lyon trade), Tropeano. Of those, 6 are Astros draft picks. You notice the absence of Jio Mier. Also Jonathan Villar, Domingo Santana, Ariel Ovando, and a whole bunch of guys who were pimped last year. Hulet’s reports are free, everyone else is subscription only.

Here is Baseball America’s Top 10 (Correa is #1) – then Singleton, Springer, McCullers, Foltynewicz, DeShields, Cosart, Ruiz, Tropeano, Fontana. Note that they don’t list anyone from the Bourn trade, anyone from the Wandy trade, anyone from the Chris Johnson trade, anyone from the Brett Myers or Brandon Lyon trade. Last year’s list had Jonathan Villar (uck), Brett Oberholzer (who the Organization likes, and is pimping and may very well make the ML team at some time this year, of not next) and Telvin Nash (who has incredible power, but strikes out most of the time and has a low BA as well).

Here is Baseball Prospectus’ Top 10 – they have Singleton #1. Then Correa, Springer, DeShields, Cosart, Jonathan Villar (????!!!!!!!), Domingo Santana, Ruiz, McCullers, Foltynewicz.

Here is BP’s Jason Parks’ (Kevin Goldstein’s replacement) scouting report on Carlos Correa (scroll halfway down.)

Nobody lists Paul Clemens, Ariel Ovando, Chia Jen Lo, Ross Seaton, Tanner Bushue (highly pimped, but sank beneath the waves into some kind of permanent Spring Training thing akin to the Yankees and Tampa), Austin Wates (with the minor league Catch Of The Year)

I have never understood how they do these prospect ratings, except that they have a thing about “potential” which is greater the younger the player. You notice they don’t list Jose Cisnero, AAA pitcher, who is more likely to make the ML roster in 2013 than anyone not named Singleton. I guess  having “potential” is more exciting than actually MAKING the major league team, even if it is as the 25th man or the last reliever.

Just a few more days until the non-tender deadline (Nov 30) and then is the Rule V draft on Dec 6.

The last 2 years, the Astros have done well in the Rule V – in 2011 with Aneury Rodriguez, and last year with Marwin Gonzalez. Let’s hope Kevin Goldstein’s scouting expertise will get some good, overlooked guys.

9/29/12: In Which Dallas Keuchel Goes From Good To Bad Just Like THAT

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Dallas had had a pretty good September – 2 R/ER over 3 games/17.1 IP and even won 2 of 3. Well, tonight, he started out fine – a quick 1,2,3 out.

Next inning – oh my. Leaving fat pitches in the middle of the plate is not a good idea for pitchers, but it’s a great one for hitters and Aramis and Corey Hart both blasted out 400+ footers to dead CF. Then it was a single, walk, sac-bunt and one of those stupid popup bloops that none of the fielders can quite get (and if they do they get a web gem) for 2 more runs.

3rd inning – it didn’t get better. Single, single, another homer to Corey Hart on ANOTHER pitch RIGHT down the middle. Youda thought he’d a learnt not to do that from the previous inning.

So it’s already Crew 7 Stros nada. Then it’s a flyout and another one of those stupid bloop doubles that neither Brett Wallace nor Scott Moore, playing RF (grrrrrr) could get. And that is the end of the line for Dallas. Mercy killing, you might could say.

Then Chuckie Fick comes in and Segura hits a sure double to the gap, only Brandon Barnes goes all Michael Bourn on that ball with a superlative diving catch (the boy is making Web Gem points) and he stands up and throws out Carlos Gomez by 10 ‘ as Carlos was pretty much at home plate when the ball was caught. That was absolutely AWESOME and really made the game slightly less painful.

Kind of made up for him getting doubled off second the top half of the inning when Altuve hit a screamer to the second baseman.

4th inning, Astros get singles by Scott Moore, then Brett Wallace, but Scott Moore gets his little self picked off second – and he was NOT paying attention neither. Really lousy baserunning. Of course, Wallace gets stranded. Chuckie Fick gives up a run on a double, a WP, then an RBI single that he tried to field, which made Tyler Greene get it to late to do anything with it.

I miss a couple innings – to summarize – Mickey Storey pitches 2 scoreless, allowing 2 baserunners in both innings. Enerio Del Rosario allows a run on 2 singles, a throwing error and a sac fly. Marco Estrada mows down Astros like a hot knife cutting through butter.

I turn the game back on at 9 in time for the 9th inning. Livan Hernandez is in to mopup in a 9-0 game. Why? Masochism must be the answer. Curiously enough, we’ve only been shut out 11 times this year, don’t ask me how that’s possible. We were shut out 17 times in 05 when we won the pennant.

Anyway, Livan gets 2 flyouts and a seeing eye single. Then it’s Fernando Martinez and I figure it’s gonna be a game ending K. But no, he hits a ball over the CF fence to bust up the shutout. Castro singles, then Bogusevic hits a ball to deep center – must have gone 440′ if it went an inch.

Crew 9 Stros 4. I don’t believe this. Tyler Greene is up, and Livan throws HIM a meatball and he hits it into the upper deck in left.

Crew manager has seen enough. In comes Jose Veras to face Brandon Barnes, who grounds out.

Crew 9 Stros 5.

Livan is on his last legs all right, but it’s true that even in this day and age, you still need mopup men. And old as he is, he’s never gone on the DL. Amazing.

Bad news is that I think we’ve lost the chance to grab The Sacred All Time Road Loss Season Record. But I DID get to see Bogu hit one out. When he gets hold of one, he gets hold of it GOOD. Now, all he needs is a good hitting coach to fix that swing…

8/10/12: Bogusevic Hits The Astros First Walkoff Hit This YEAR To Beat Brewers

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Yes, you read that right!! Bogu is the HE ro!!!!!

Sorry, I have an irrational like of this guy who should have been a regular major league center fielder  - he made a GREAT catch at the base of the Hill to rob Aramis Ramirez. Bogu has had a terrible August, just like everyone else, made 2 stupid errors, failed to come through in the clutch. Until tonight. This is almost as good as the granny he hit offn Carlos Marmol last year.

Bud Norris was pretty darn good tonight – gave up 3 doubles down the LF line to Rickie Weeks. Fernando Martinez moves like glue. Yes, Fernando. Julio Daniel got sent down, remember? Anyway, one run scored on a ROE, then a double. Second on a double, single, then a WP – What IS it with Astros catchers not being able to block pitches???!!! Third run on another single, then RBI double in the LF corner. 8 hits, no walks, 7 K.

It’s just too bad that Bud didn’t get a W on a night he pitched well. Of course, that happens to Astros starters a LOT. No run support, no bullpen. You know the story.

What on earth happened to Jon Axford? Did he lose his stuff or did the league just catch up with him?

Tomorrow is the rematch of Dallas Keuchel and Marco Estrada. Dallas better hope he gets good infield defense THIS time, seeing as how he is an inferior version of Chris Sampson.

 

8/6/12: The Astros Lose Because Of 2 Fielders Making Errors On A Bunt

Monday, August 6th, 2012

I swear to GAWD they find more ways to lose every DAY!!!

Dallas Keuchel kept giving up these piddly singles, 12 of em, in fact, but you CAN get singled to death – he lasted 6 innings, more than Edwin Jackson did, in fact, and gave up 4 runs, 3 earned, because Brett Wallace dropped the popup that shoulda been the first out.

Marwin had hit a homer in the first, so the surprise of being shutout or no hit had gone, and in the middle of the 6th, the Nats led 4-1, which pretty much means game OVAH.

But then Altuve led off with a single, stole second, Marwin grounded him to third and Edwin Jackson was pulled for lefty Gorzellany (who we know from years with the Pirates/Cubs) who gave up a sac fly to Brett Wallace – making up a little for the out that wasn’t made. Then Silvah Hammah (Justin Maxwell) Hi Yo Silvah, AWAYYYYYYYY, tripled to the RF bullpen and Steven Pearce, pinch hitting for lefty Scott Moore, singled him in.

Suddenly, it’s 4-3 and Julio Daniel is up and I don’t know whether or not to root for him to drive in the run, or at least get a hit, or remember that the Astros have to stick to the game plan of 3 or fewer wins/month to break the all time record. And he grounds out and I don’t know whether to feel disgust or relief.

But then, as usual, after Xavier Cedeno gets 2 leftys out and Mickey Storey gets his righty after walking his first righty), Millsie-poo sends up righty Ben Francisco to PH for Mary Jane Schafer, so the Nats manager naturally sends up a righty, who gets him, Corporan, and pinch hitter Bogu out. I think we now clean out of pinch hitters, so we’ll have to beat Drew Storen/Tyler Clippard with the lineup already there – which I seriously doubt.

I just absolutely HATE all this platoon crap. ESPECIALLY with the younger players who aren’t AAAA filler guys.

And holy moly, Froddy gets 1,2,3 out when he starts an inning – second day in a row. WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND HERE?

Next inning, Stros load the bases, 2 out, and sure enough, no runs as Julio Daniel lines out to center.

Wesley Wright gets 3 outs (with a HBP in the middle.) NOW the bullpen is working?

In comes Tyler Clippard, The Closer. He gets Downsie-doo swinging. I’ve given up asking why he’s on the roster – just like Jason Useless Michaels the past few years. So he hits Corporan with a pitch and Lucas Harrell pinch runs. Don’t you like it when our best starting pitcher gets sent in to pinch run? Bogu walks – it’s not HIS fault Clippard hasn’t thrown a strike. Then Jose Altuve DOUBLES OFFN THE SCOREBOARD and it’s a tie game. Marwin Ks. And it’s Brett Wallace. It’s hero/goat time.

And naturally, being a good Astro he Ks swinging, leaving men on second and third.

So it’s extra innings time and you DO know what happens to this team in extra innings this year, right?

10th – Wilton Lopez gets 1,2,3 out. Craig Stammen gets Maxwell, Pearce and Julio Daniel. Oh man, you know who is left, right? hahahahaha

11th – Wilton Lopez comes back out and then I miss the fun because I hear #2 son, in the kitchen, suddenly yell a Word He’s Not Supposed To Yell and out I go to find out that Jana Brattain Dog has had diarrhea all over the floor and I have to take her outside and wash her off – (and she’s staying out, too) and clean the floor and next thing I know, Roger Bernadina has singled and then Kurt Suzuki, who hits like Matt Downs, has bunted and somehow, Steve Pearce has screwed it up and the ball is in right and somehow Bogu, normally a great fielder has screwed it up and Bernadina has scored the go ahead run so by the time that Wilton has gotten the other 3 outs, Stammen has come back out and all we’ve got left is Downsie-doo, who naturally gets out, and Snyder, who swings after fouling off a bunch.

So it’s Bogusevic, the Goat. Who I wanted so much to succeed this year, and like everyone else, hasn’t. And it ends up being Altuve who makes the final out as the Astros, as usual, lose an extra inning game – the 11th this year.

 

6/28/12: Brett Myers Gives Up 6 Runs In The 9th And Padres Come From Behind To Win

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Here and I thought I was going to have to write about us getting no hit AGAIN. Cashner, not exactly a great pitcher like Cain, mowed em down 1,2,3 – except for one walk, to Jed Lowrie, for 6.1 innings. Lots of staring Ks, thanks to the HP ump’s large and ever changing strike zone, and grounders and lazy fly balls. One really well hit ball and that was a liner smoked to the first baseman.

Dallas Keuchel had managed to allow only 1 run over his 6 innings, a solo homer on a FB right down the dead middle of the plate. He didn’t have the stuff or control he had last game, walking 4, giving up 3 singles in 96 pitches over 6 innings. He just barely made it out of the 6th – got a grounder, then gave up an IF single that he tried to get a glove on. Then a 5 pitch walk – got one of those as a called strike, but it was one of the HP ump’s bad calls. Another 5 pitch walk with ball 4 being a pitch that was called a strike 2 ABs ago. Bases loaded. Then a 7 pitch called K on yet another of the HP ump’s crazy calls. Then, with bases still loaded, a flyout to center.

End of 6, Astros losing 1-0.

7th inning, Rhiner Cruz comes in, gets 1,2, E-5, 3 (and CJ had NO excuse for that ball under his glove) and for the first time in a LONG time, he looked like the Rhiner Cruz who pitched in April.

Cashner cruising, gets Lowrie out, then Carlos Lee hits a clean single to left center. What a relief. Then Bogu comes up, takes 2, fouls off 7, and hits the next pitch into the upper deck in right. Goo-bah nono, goo-bah shutout.

Astros 2 Pads 1

8th inning: Julio Daniel walks, Scott Moore, playing second, gets his first Astros hit, singles to right and JD is on 3rd, then scores on a WP for an insurance run. Which is a good thing because unless the pitch is down the middle, hitters don’t know whether it’s a ball or strike.

Astros 3 Pads 1

Brandon Lyon gives up a single, gets 2 outs, then Wesley Wright comes in and gets the 3rd out. Millsie-poo does NOT trust Lyon to get leftys out at ALL.

9th: the ol WB comes in to close, gives up a double off the scoreboard his first pitch. Not a good sign. Then gets a 6-3. Then a single and men on first and 3rd. Then CJ makes a REALLY egregious error on what SHOULD have been a 5-4-3 and the run scores. Then a single and bases are loaded. Then a bases loaded HBP to tie the game. Then a swinging K. Then a grand slam to Alexi Amarista.

Padres 7 Stros 3

Yeah, I know the inning shoulda been over, or at least there shoulda been 2 outs, 1 run scored if CJ had gotten that ball. But he didn’t give up the next single or the HBP and he CERTAINLY didn’t give up the grand slam. That’s on Myers himself, who has looked, uh, tired lately – the 5 runs given up to KC 5 games ago, the 2 runs he let score the other night, the 6 runs tonight.

Xavier Cedeno has come in after him and cleaned up 3 times. Maybe HE should close.

Huston Street mows down the Stros – hard to believe it has been TEN years since he was the closer for the WS winning Longhorns. What I remember from those games is that the announcers announced about 50 times per game that Huston’s father was a college football player on a winning team. And it doesn’t say much for a series when all i can remember is that the announcers were obsessed with some college FOOTBALL player.

sigh

Off to Wrigley, where Bud Norris, fresh off the DL, to face lefty Paul Maholm, who has a 5.38 ERA AND his lowest ERA this year has been 4.05. He’s always pitched well against the Astros, too. In fact, he’s pitched better against the Astros than every other ML team who he has faced at least 7 times – except the Braves. At Wrigley, over 130 IP, he has a 4.87 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP over 18 games pitched.

Bud has pitched twice at Wrigley, once starting and once in relief, giving up 5 R/ 2 ER over 9.1 IP with 11 H, 2 HR, 1 BB, 9 K. Small sample size, yeah. But tomorrow is gonna be hot and the wind is gonna be blowing out and Paul Maholm has already given up 7 homers in 7 games there this year.

6/23/12: Dallas Keuchel Throws Complete Game To Beat Indians For His First ML Win

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

He pitched great his first time, but unfortunately, the Astros batters looked like little leaguers facing a college pitcher.

And sure enough, the Astros started off looking like 10 year old kids AGAIN this game going 3 up 3 down for the first 4 innings – and Gomez threw only 40 pitches. So I started writing an entry about how I was gonna be cursed to watch two no hitters against the Astros in one month. Keuchel is pitching absolutely great except for one hanging pitch that Asdrubal Cabrera hammered to the Conoco Pump.

Tribe 1 Stros nono

And then, a miracle occured. Bogu lined the first pitch of the 5th inning for a double to the RF bullpen. AW RIGHT!!! We’re not getting no hit, but this means I have gotta re-write the entry.

I did, by the way, almost go to this game, my resolve is weakening, my footing on the wagon slipping. I was given a ticket – so free game – but what actually helped me was not a sponsor leading me from temptation, but the realization that it is over 100 degrees out and finding parking on a Saturday afternoon downtown and then walking in the 100+ degree heat would be beyond unpleasant. Yes I know that the official temp (at the airport) is not 100 but trust me on this, downtown with all that concrete is well over 100.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Bog u sev ic CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP

Then Chris Johnson goes to lay down a bunt – no, I am NOT kidding – I don’t think the guy has bunted since he was a little kid, if then – and he fouls it off. Yes, this team has sunk SO bad we are having Chris Johnson sac bunt. And I don’t know whether or not it was his idea or Millsie-pooo’s. But anyway, next pitch is a VERY inside fastball and CJ pulls it into the LF corner for a double and Bogu trots home.

Stros 1 Tribe 1

So I’m re-typing the entry – Hey, Dallas will at least get a ND instead of a loss as long as he manages to keep em offn home plate.

Jason Castro flies out to center, then JD Martinez hammers a hanging slider almost to the tracks over the CBoxes for a 2 run homer. He’s still struggling with almost anything that isn’t mid plate, but hey, a hit like that is HUGE.

Stros 3 Tribe 1

So I’m chatting with a baseball buddy about the suckage that is Jordan Schafer and the guy must have read my thoughts because he hammers the very next pitch for an opposite field shot into the CBoxes. No, not kidding. Jordan Schafer hits an opposite field homer. Really. Honest.

Stros 4 Tribe 1

Keuchel grounds out, then Jose Altuve breaks a string of ofer with an infield single to short – the SS bobbled the ball, but it would have been a tough beyond belief play that you would need Adam Everett to make. Then Jose steals second, only the ump calls him out – replay clearly showed he got his foot in before the tag. Oh well, we’re still winning.

Top of the 6th, Gomez the pitcher leads off – Jim Deshaeis is intrigued, thinks the manager figures – hey, he got slammed in 1 inning, but maybe he’ll recover and do fine the next. So anyway, he hits a ball to right center. The OF were clearly startled, neither expected him to hit the ball at all (he CLEARLY doesn’t know how to bunt – his attempt in the second inning was beyond pathetic) so Schafer got a late jump but managed to put on a burst of speed and catch it at the last second. Then Dallas gets the next 2 outs no probs.

Bottom of the 6th, Lowrie, who had hit 2 flyouts about 30′ short of the right bullpen fence, drew a walk. Next pitch is a FB right down the exact middle and Carlos Lee hammers a line drive to the left bullpen and Lowrie scores standing up. Bogu and CJ fly out to right center. Then the Indians manager, Manny Acta (remember, he’s one of the guys that The Old Regime wanted for a manager, but Cleveland offered a better contract) pulls Gomez and sends in a lefty to face Castro. Interesting that he didn’t send him in to face Bogu, but I guess that would have meant that he’d have to face CJ, who eats leftys. Castro Ks

Stros 5 Tribe 1

Top of the 7th, Keuchel gives up a leadoff single, then strands the runner. Stros go 1,2,3.

8th, Keuchel gets 1,2,3 out on 9 pitches. JD mentions that only Wandy has managed to go 8 innings this year, and only once. Some of that isn’t the pitchers’ fault – some of that is Millsie-poo playing matchups with relievers in the 8th and 9th for whatever reason.

Jeremy Accardo, RHP, in for the Tribe. I didn’t realize he was still in baseball – I remember him pitching for the Giants back when Barry Lamar was still playing. Checking bbref, I see he was traded to the Jays in 06 for Shea Hillenbrand – you talk about a controversial guy, not sure why, but the fans hated him along with his clubs’ management.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Altuve leads off (I like this by the way – him leading off, Lowrie batting second and Schafer batting 8th) takes a ball, then hammers the next one into the Crawford Boxes. So much for you have to be a Josh Hamilton looking guy to hit home runs.  Accardo has this shocked look on his face – something like – how’d the ballboy get in the lineup and what is he doing hitting a home run?

Stros 6 Tribe 1

Then Jed Lowrie doubles off the scoreboard almost didn’t make it because he didn’t slide, Bogu grounds him to third. Carlos slams a pitch off the LF bullpen fence and Lowrie trots home. CJ doubles to the RF bullpen fence – 5″ higher and it would have been a homer. Carlos trots home. Castro and Julio Daniel ground out.

Stros 6 Tribe 1

9th inning – Millsie-poo is letting Keuchel finish up. Hard to believe, but then again, not so hard to believe, seeing as how the pen isn’t that good and the guys there are pretty tired from overuse and Millsie-poo’s leftyrighty fetishes.

Shin Soo Choo doubles to left – I’ve noticed that he’s a lefty who likes to go the other way. Cabrera grounds back to Keuchel and Choo stays put. Kipnis singles to shallow left and Choo can’t go past 3rd. Jose Lopez flies out to Bogu on the RF line and Bogu throws a bullet to Castro – Choo stayed put. Just as well, he would have been dead meat. Brantley flies out to right and there’s the ballgame.

Dallas Keuchel pitches the Astros first complete game of 2012. As Jim Deshaeis reminds us, first time a rookie has thrown a complete game since Taylor Buchholz shut out the Rangers with a 5 hitter in 06. Too bad he hurt his shoulder. And too bad that either he didn’t tell them because he didn’t want to be considered a wuss like that no good Luke Scott, or that he DID tell them and they told him to pitch through it.

Speaking of hurt and playing through it – apparently Justin Maxwell has a bad ankle with bone chips floating or something, but he’s not getting it fixed or even going on the DL, but he’s gonna play through it. What a great idea.

9 IP, 4 singles, 1 double, 1 HR, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 K.

Wonder if Bud Norris is worrying he’s going to be Wally Pipped. Me, I think that if anyone should go back down, it’s

Houston hitters had 1 walk, 10 hits. Every position player in the lineup had a hit except Castro. Of the 10 hits, 6 were doubles, 3 homers, 1 single.

Tomorrow, it’s J Happ vs Derek Lowe, groundballer – over his last 5 games he’s given up 8, 1 7, 1 ,7 ER. And he won the last game, too – Mat Latos gave up 7 runs too.

Bad news for Husby-doo. Alyson Footer is leaving the employ of the Astros and going back to write for mlb.com, only she isn’t going to be the Astros reporter any more, so no more Alyson on TV. She’s going to be covering all the teams, but not a columnist like Justice. Not surprised, she’s not a Selig apologist.

6/7/12: Correa Signs For Under Slot And Bogusevic Pitches The 9th

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Astros signed Correa for “substantially less” than the slot price of 7.2 million. I’ve heard they had a pre-draft deal worked out. Of course, this can’t be anything like Matt Bush, no – and, believe it or not, the year he was drafted, he was ranked in the top 10. I would guess that the guys who are drafted 1-5 are going to be screwed over the bonuses because they would have to gamble that next draft, they would get a higher slot and then they STILL wouldn’t have any leverage. It’s the guys who are picked in rounds 11 on who are going to turn down the pittances, unless they are seniors and don’t have any choice.

The Astros are apparently going to have to go above slot to sign the #2 pick, Lance McCullers Jr, who is a high school guy and does have the leverage to go to college.

I would guess the bonuses are going to rapidly decrease every year, seeing as how there aren’t too many guys who have the choice of doing anything but going to college. Too bad for Drayton that he doesn’t get to enjoy the days of ALL the clubs screwing prospects more and more.

What I don’t understand is how the Players Union thinks that it helps their own membership to screw the younger guys – it’s not like they are getting the money that isn’t going to young players. And it’s not even like that much money gets spent on the draft anyway. But it’s the usual situation where the insanely wealthy get part of their enjoyment of life from squeezing the last dime away from the powerless and the poor. I’m always reminded of that rich mine owner who owned a house on top of the hill where he could look down on all the poor, starving, sick, barely surviving people who made him rich.

And yeah, I know that first year major league players are paid almost 500 large. And I also know that guys in the low minors are barely given enough to eat and find a roof over their heads. Part of the fun of life is starving young people. Actually, I think that one of the reasons that these days the major leagues are filled with either sons of the wealthy upper middle class is that their parents are expected to support (feed) them when they are being unpaid in the low minors.

Let’s see – what to say about tonight’s game?

Happ did fine for the first 2 innings, then turned into Happ-less. Gave up only one homer, but 4 other hits, 5 walks!!! and 4 runs in 4.2 innings. He left with bases loaded and David Carpenter came in and stranded them all.

6th inning, Carpenter managed to get 2 outs, and was pulled with bases loaded and Rhiner Cruz came in and stranded them.

7th inning, Rhiner Cruz gave up a clean single, then a homer 5 ‘ above the 315′ LF pole. Hurts to give up a 320 foot homer. He got 1 out, left bases loaded and Wesley Wright came in. He  gave up an RBI single then a granny to David Freese.

8th Brandon Lyon gets 3 outs without giving up a run.

9th, it’s Bogusevic, playing Brooks Kieschnick – at least SOME fun as the score is already 12-2. Brett Wallace goes to 3rd, CJ goes to RF (really), Chris Snyder goes to 1B, Maxwell goes to CF and Castro comes in to catch.  Bogu gets a flyout, then gives up a single, then David Freese hits one into the Crawford Boxes. Steven Hill pops out to first, which should be an easy out, but Snyder isn’t used to catching popups at first and drops the ball. Poor Bogu. He gets another flyout, put gives up a single next pitch, then has a 7 pitch 3rd out for a 6-4. Hope his arm isn’t fragged.

Cards have 16 hits, TEN walks. This is the team that just got no hit, then shut out by the Mets last week.

It’s baseball and youneverknow.

This weekend is DH ball. Uck. The Astros lead the majors in homers given up, including 4 tonight, and they are off to pitch in a homeriffic ball park at Comisky. I mean the Cell.

The Regulators sure look de-Regulated to me.

Marwin Gonzalez has a hurt foot but is sitting out and not on the DL. Like the bench isn’t short enough, right?

6/5/12: Cards Out-error Astros So Lucas Harrell Wins

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Barely.

Lucas Harrell did his usual pitch to contact no Ks thing and, well, when you pitch to contact, your fielders had darn well better field the ball. One of the reasons I’d guess that Bogu was back in RF instead of Fernando Martinez. Anyway, game started off badly with Jose Altuve screwing up a grounder to second which clanked off his glove that let Furcal go to second, and he went to third on another grounder and home on the next, so that’s one unearned run.

Stros came back in the bottom of the first – Jaime Garcia looked BAD. You know that his elbow is supposed to be fine and the MRI is fine. And all I can say is, yeah, surrrrrrrre.

Jose, to make up for his mistake in the top of the first, led off with a double down the LF line. He had one of those games where the good, going 4 fer 5 and scoring 3, made up for the GIDP, CS and E4. Lowrie groundout, Justin Maxwell, starting for Jordan Schafer, who is sick with some kind of flu-like something, struck out. Julio Daniel Martinez singled up the middle and Jose scored to tie it and erase his error. CJ walked (yes, again) then Brett Wallace walked to load the bases. Then Jaime Garcia throws a WP (Cards error #1) and Julio Daniel scores. Then Snyder singled to left to score 2 more, so Lucas has a 3 run lead.

Lucas gives up 2 singles in the top of the second, but no runs. And Jason Maxwell homers off the tracks again with Altuve on base. Second day in a row he’s homered off the tracks. It’s like that guy in the beer commercial – I don’t hit much, but when I do, I prefer to homer over the tracks.

And good thing he did because very next inning, it’s 2 out, and Jed Lowrie can’t get Allen Craig out on an IF single (to be fair, I’m not sure that Adam Everett woulda made that play neither) and then David Freese doubled into the gap. Then Mike Adams, who actually IS the kind of big and fat that Astros fans used to accuse Lance Berkman of being, hit a belt high unmoving sinker down the middle over the wall in deep center, maybe 10′ left of the flagpole. You gotta admire that, you really do – ain’t real too many balls have been hit over the fence in deep center. Even Michael Bourn wouldn’t have been able to get that one back.

And Jaime is gone after 2 innings – and although there wasn’t any announced injury or anything, it had been only 43 pitches, and these days, for reasons I don’t get, starters aren’t pulled when they obviously look bad in early innings unless something is wrong – and there is most definitely SOMEthing wrong with Garcia. And of course these days, teams don’t have long men – just lots of 1 inning/1 out type guys.

Bottom of the inning is ended by Chris Snyder trying to stretch a single to left into a double. Now I know it’s Holliday, who ain’t exactly no Bryce Harper, and that it woulda been a double for Altuve or Lowrie or Schafer, but really, poor ol Chris was out by 20 feet. See what happens when the third base coach always stops you? You get desperate to run SOMEwhere and run into a glove.

4th inning, the backup catcher, Tony Cruz (you wanna have fun, try to remember who has been the backup catcher every year since, say 2001, when Matheny took over the catcher’s gear – I’m always surprised when I see he got 140 AB because it always seems like maybe 20) singles. The reliever Maikel Cleto can’t lay down the bunt – he fouls out and Tony Cruz is caught stealing – no, really. Even Snyder can throw out a catcher. But it didn’t matter because Furcal grounded into what would have been a 4-6-3 DP anyway.

Bogu up, and he homers off the RF foul pole – the ball hits like 1 foot below the top of the pole – free chicken sandwiches for the 6000 people who showed up!!!!! He also hit the balls that he hit that were outs a long LONG way – to the LF and the RF bullpen, but they were caught. Jose Altuve singles, but gets caught stealing – got a very bad jump and he’s easily out.

5th inning – the first 1,2,3 for Lucas. Cleto still pitching. Justin Maxwell barely beats out an IF single, then Julio Daniel walks. CJ Ks, then Cleto is out and lefty Sam Freeman is in to pitch to Brett Wallace, who Ks swinging. Chris Snyder does too. You know, Brett Wallace used to hit lefty pitching as well as righty pitching in the minors before he was first called up. I wonder if he got all screwed up because he was almost always benched against leftys during his time in the majors…

6th inning – Lucas gives up a single, but gets the 3 other groundouts he needs. 97 pitches, 4 runs, 3 earned, 1 K (the pitcher, on a foul bunt), 8 H, no walks. 1 bad pitch = massive homer.

Jose Altuve doubles with 2 out – it looked like a simple single up the middle, but somehow he beat the throw – serious hustle. Awesome. Jed Lowrie, still looking bad, hits a high chopper right in front of home and Freeman, the pitcher rushes to get it and throws it away, when he had Loqwrie by a good 5 feet – Altuve scampers home. And THAT, my friends, was the Cards’ error #2 which led to their eventual loss.

7th – Wesley Wright gets 1,2,3.

In the bottom of the inning, righty Victor Marte pitching – CJ doubles off the LF wall – like 2″ below the yellow line right next to the Crawford Boxes – he thought it was gonna be out, but didn’t stand and admire it too long to get to second in time. Brett Wallace doubles him home with a bloop over the first base bag.

8th – Wilton Lopez gets 1,2,3

Mitchell Boggs in – PH Fernando Martinez reaches on a stupid throwing error by Furcal. Jose GIDP. Jed Lowrie finally gets a hit – beats out an IF single to third – one of those dribblers – but hey, a hit is a hit. Justin Maxwell gets hit by a pitch just above his knee, but Julio Daniel Ks swinging on a ball in the dirt. sigh

9th – David Carpenter sent in to mopup with the score 9-4. You know that Millsie-poo wants a short bench so he can have all the relievers possible, right? You know that the bench is Marwin Gonzalez, Bogu/Fernando Martinez and spare catcher, right? Anyway, Carpenter, who hasn’t looked nearly as good as he did last year, gives up a single up the middle, then a K, then another single up the middle. Two slow guys on first and second. He then throws a mid-plate FB at the knees to lefty CF Adron Chambers who golfs it over to center, to the right of the LF bullpen, and Justin Maxwell got a bad jump and isn’t sure just where the ball is going and it falls for a triple and 2 runs score.

So Millsie-poo has to trot out and delay so the ol WB has time to throw a few fast pitches. And he trots in and has a tough time finding the plate, and when he does, Furcal hits a homer off the RF foul pole (no more free chicken, though – wonder what if ticket holders would get 2 free sandwiches if 2 Astros hit homers off the foul poles) and it’s 9-8.  Carlos Beltran pops out to CJ, Holliday walks and Allen Craig grounds out to Lowrie

and it’s barely a W, but hey, a W is better than a L.

Wonder if the Cards are still reeling from the massive ass-kicking they took from the Mets this weekend.

And it’s gonna be Bud Norris vs Adam Wainwright. If Bud looks like he did last 2 outings, we’ll KNOW he’s hurt.

5/8/12: Aneury Rodriguez Pitches Really Well, Doesn’t Win, But Bogusevic Does

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Well, Bogusevic didn’t start again, (hitting OR pitching) but he came in to pinch hit after Travis Buck singled against righty reliever Ryan Webb and he hit the ball opposite field against the scoreboard in right and Buck, who had taken off at the crack of the bat (woulda been out if it had been caught) scored the winning run standing up.

You best believe I’m gonna tip my hat to Aneury – gave up only 2 hits – unfortunately, both solo homers, and 2 walks over 6 IP with only 74 pitches and the only reason he didn’t go deeper was that he was pulled for Marwin Gonzalez to pinch hit. Turned out to be fortunate for Aneury, because the Astros, who looked like AA guys vs Ani Sanchez, tied the score (after loading the bases with singles to Marwin, Jose and a walk to Caballo) thanks to an easy groundout to Omar Infante who first bobbled the ball, then over threw to let 2 guys score. Man that’s tough when you are the starter, have been killing the other team, then your own player screws you out of a W.

At least Aneury won’t get a L.

At least the Astros didn’t get shutout the second night in a row, as it sure nuff looks as if they would.

And CJ and Lowrie almost hit em out over the RF wall, but close is no cigar.

JD Martinez again looked BAD at the plate – he’s been dropped to 6th with Lowrie hitting 3rd. He’s looking like CJ did at the beginning of last year – is having a really tough time making adjustments. And other trouble is that when a young guy is struggling, umps are bad to call borderline pitches strikes

In the second, the ump calls a high inside FB a strike, so in the 4th, JD swings at it and naturally, misses, because it’s not hittable. But this stuff builds up.

Tomorrow is Josh Johnson, who is coming back from TJ surgery and has, um, not looked real too much like Josh Johnson, vs Lucas Harrell, who looks like the #5 guys that he is. Interestingly enough, Josh Johnson has never done well vs the Astros – has a 5.82 ERA over 3 GS and 1 in relief (geez, I don’t remember him as a reliever – looked it up, was Opening Day 2006, the last time in the past 10 years that the Astros have won Opening Day, besides this year) over 17 IP with 20 H and 4 HR, 10 BB, 17 K. So be it and shall it remain.

Lucas has a 4.76 ERA, 1.41 WHIP over 6 GS, 34 IP. He gave up 4 ER over 4 IP earlier this year when facing the Marlins – 7 H, 4 BB, no HR, 2 K. Let’s hope “better” Lucas shows up – would be very nice to sweep this here series against this very good team.

5/2/12: Chris Johnson Hits 2 HR, Gets 6 RBI And It’s A Wandy-erful World

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

My favorite kind of game – my favorite players absolutely ROOL and Astros Win!!!

Wandy started off kind of shaky – threw a ball, then the leadoff hitter hit a ball off the scoreboard – JD hasn’t learned yet how to play that scoreboard – he jumped at it – bad jump, and ball bounced off the scoreboard and the runner foolishly decided to try for third and even JD managed to throw a decent throw to CJ to get the runner. Wandy shrugged and got the next 2.

Bottom of the first, Schafer drew a walk to reach base for the 24th straight game, then stole second, but got stranded.

2nd – Wandy gives up a walk, gets 3 easy outs. Bottom of the inning, Clank out, then Lowrie singles up the middle, Bogu gets an IF single which goes kind of in between the mound and third and Wright can’t throw him out. Then CJ goes to 2-2, no swinging at any pitches out of the zone, and hits a sinker into the mid Crawford Boxes for his first homer of the year!!!!! BOUT TIME!!!

Astros 3 Mets Zippo

Then Castro singles, Wandy sac-bunts, Schafer walks, but Altuve and JD strand them. 2 LOB. Cmon guys, every time I go braggin on yall, somehow, your bats ain’t comin thru, you know what I’m sayin.

3rd – Wandy goes 1,2,single,3 out – 33 pitches. Astros up –  Clank flies out (he isn’t hitting the ball well when he does hit it) then Lowrie doubles to the LF bullpen fence opposite field, Bogu pops out. CJ up, lays off the high FB, then hits a curve to the Conoco Pump for his second homer. His first 2 homer game!!!!! Castro flies out to the RF bullpen – hit very solidly but Torres made a very good catch.

Stros 5 Mets 0

4th – Wandy walks David Wright, who steals second (is Castro EVER gonna throw ANYONE out?) and Torres drives him in.

Stros 5 Mets 1

Wandy lines out, Schafer Ks and Altuve grounds out 5-3.

5th – Schafer comes out – sore left ribs and Justin Maxwell is in. Wandy gets easy grounder to second, tough grounder to 3rd – solid play by CJ who has really REALLY improved his fielding this year – he’s making sure he plants himself right BEFORE throwing, which was really his weakness before. He never did miss that many he should have gotten to. Then Ruben Tejada hits a popfly to right, Bogu tries to catch it on a slide – hard to tell if he slid too soon or got caught on the turf, but the ball doesn’t end up in his glove and Tejada wisely stops at second this time. But he’s stranded on another groundout.

Stros up – Schwinden out – he really wasn’t that bad – lots of ground balls and a couple of curves that CJ hit out. Manny Acosta, mopup man, in. Julio Daniel grounds out 6-3. Clank hits a liner to right. Then Lowrie goes 3-2 and bounces a single to right (can you believe he’s outhitting and outslugging Tulowitski???!!!) Bogu hits the ball to the RF corner and Carlos trots home and it’s men on second and third.

AND CJ hammers a FB inside to left to drive in Lowrie for SIX RBIs!!! You’d think it was HIS birthday!!!

AND Castro hits a liner to right to drive in Bogu and CJ goes to third. Then Wandy takes a ball, fouls one off, then screws up the bunt (sac, not squeeze – WHY???) and Thole makes a great diving catch of the popup. Maxwell Ks looking at Ball 4 leaving men on first and third. But that’s Ok because it’s

Astros 8 Mets 1

6th – Hairston hits a double off the scoreboard – makes an odd turn off to the stands – wasn’t JD’s fault this time, and he is heading to third, but barely makes it back to second to beat the throw. Nieuwenhuis singles to right, men on second and third one out. But Wandy Ks Torres and gets Ike Davis to groundout to Altuve.

Altuve and JD groundout (cmon guys!!!!! what’s with this out stuff???!!) then Clank singles to right again, but Lowrie grounds out.

7th – Wandy back out, 10 pitches, 3 easy outs – he’s at 90 pitches and lookin good.

Acosta out, Ex-Stro Tim Byrdak in (and he’s still a good lookin man). Bogu Ks. CJ singles to left and he is now 4 fer 4 and his average is up to .313!!!! but Castro GIDP. (Deshaeis says that this is CJ’s 3rd 4 hit game in the ML – I thought he’d had more than that, especially in 2010, but no)

8th – Wandy is out. It’s not OK to let guys who are cruising finish games after 7 innings. David Carpenter is in. He gets an out, then David Wright triples off the top of the RF bullpen (the el cheapo Mets are most likely going to let him leave – incredible how many Mets fans are angry with Jose Reyes for “leaving” when he wasn’t offered ANY sort of contract at all) but Hairston and Nieuwenhuis strand him there.

Frank Francisco in – he’s the guy who the Rangers traded to Toronto last year for catcher Mike Napoli and did that turn out to be a BAD trade for the Jays. Lowrie out, Marwin Gonzalez in – and Marwin pops up. Justin Maxwell singles on a pop bloop to right, then Altuve smacks a single to left. Men on first and second. Julio Daniel Ks swinging (BAD day) then Clank flies out to the warning track at the 404 sign. 2 left on base, but that’s OK because Astros still 8-1.

9th – Abad in to mopup and he starts off facing a righty, Andres Torres, who Ks looking at a FB down the middle – he wears the sombrero today, as well as driving in the only run. He gets leftys Davis and Thole out – manages to actually get 3 straight outs in 1 inning – actually he manages to actually get outs!!!!! and it’s the Astros first series sweep this year!!!!!

Saint Looey is comin in for the weekend and we start off with Lucas Harrell vs Kyle Lohse, who is seriously kicking ASS this year. He’s started 5 games, thrown 6 to 7.1 innings every single game, won all but one and he went 7 innings and gave up no runs in that one. He’s thrown 33.1 innings, given up 22 hits, 2 HR, 6 walks, 21 K and 6 runs for a 1.64 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.

You know he was a 29th round pick? Of the C*bs? Traded to the Twins in 99 for Rick Aguilera and Scott Downs. I didn’t even remember that he was traded to Cincy in 06 for some crappy minor leaguer, was with them in 07 and then traded to Philly late in the year for some crappy pitcher. He started pitching for the Cards in 08 had a 112 ERA+, was hurt part of 09 and 10, had a 109 ERA+ last year and is looking like Sandy EFF Koufax this year. I mean the 61-65 Koufax. Because he looked like the pre-ace Koufax before that. Who would have believed that he’d be by far outpitching Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright this year?

Then again, who would have thought that Chris Johnson would be outhitting Albert Pujols this far into the season? Who would have thought that Brian Bogusevic would be outhitting Albert Pujols this far into the season?

It’s baseball and youneverknow…