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Archive for the ‘Chris Sampson’ Category

Sampson Blows Paulino’s First Win, But Astros Come From behind To Beat Rockies To Break 5 Game Losing Streak!!!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

It’s not that Paulino pitched an ace game – like the one in which he struck out 11 Padres but lost because of no run support. He started off VERY shaky – got a goundout, then walked TWO straight batters, then gave up an RBI single, then got a GIDP – lucky for him. He was nice and sharp in the 2nd and 3rd innings, even though he threw first pitch balls to each hitter. He need 12 pitches/inning and looked as if he was on cruise control, as the Astros were leading 2-1.

But then in the 4th, Hawpe singled, Tulo Kd on 6 pitches, then somehow, he lost all control over the ball. He walked Helton on 4 pitches – NONE of which were anywheres NEAR the strike zone, walked Olivo on 5 pitches (and one was a checked swing). I have like NO idea why he all of a sudden lost it. With bases loaded, he managed to contain the damage, giving up the tying run on a groundout, then striking out Olivo on a checked swing after 2 fouls.

But he came back in the 5th and got 1,2,3 out on 10 pitches, only 2 balls. He was a little shaky in the 6th, going back in with the lead after Carlos hit a line drive like 330′ into the Crawford Boxes. He went to a 3-2 count on Hawpe, striking him out on a curve, got Tulo to groundout, walked Helton on a 3-2, then got Olivo on a swinging K on another 3-2.

Two runs over 6 innings, with FIVE walks, 2 hits and 4 K. Not a thing of beauty, but only wild pitche (which didn’t lead to a run, for ONCE), no hit batters, no IBB. And he SHOULD have FINALLY gotten his first W of the year when he left leading (he must be feeling like Shawn Chacon – hehhehheh) but….

Chris Sampson came in to pitch the 7th, got Mora to GO, then hung some kind of slow breaker, and Barmes hit it high off the CBox wall. Tie game.

And this, my friends, is why I really hate using pitcher win/loss to judge pitchers. The days of everyone finishing his own ballgames vanished over 50 years ago, and when it comes to bullpens, youneverknow. It was Chris’ first homer surrendered this year. But you know how sliders are – iffn you hang em, they gonna bang em. Ask Uncle, you disbelieve me…

So Lyons held the line in the 8th and Lindstrom closed the door in the 9th.

But I’m getting ahead of myself – I wanna talk about the Astros hitting – and tonight, they hit a LOT. Trouble was, they did lousy with MOB – at least  for most of the game.

Let’s talk about hits/walks (none until the last inning, but I’m getting ahead of myself again):

1st inning: Bourn singles, Kepp doubles him home, Berkman, Lee, Pence all GO – Lance 7 pitches, Carlos 3, Pence 2. The Astros have THE fewest pitches/PA in the MAJOR leagues. Along with the lowest BA and the fewest walks. That’s just sorry. Also, the 3,4,5 hitters leaving a man on second – that’s sorry, too.

2nd inning: Feliz hits one of those dribblers down the LF line that goes about 60′ and the 3B has to hope rolls foul because he couldn’t throw out the runner if he was Brooks Robinson (never saw the guy, but going on hearsay..) Tommy Manzella breaks an ofer 16 and singles to left. Cash is up. Cash has 1 hit in 19 AB. Should he sac-bunt or swing away? The guy can’t catch up to anything fastern 84 MPH. He’s even worse than Kaz Matsui. I mean. he’s GONNA be out. It’s not like you’re asking Lance to sac bunt, although lately – but I digress. Anyway, Cash Ks – what a total waste of an AB. Then Felipe Paulino singles, but Feliz is held up at third because he runs only slightly fastern Bengie Molina. Bourn grounds out, scoring Feliz, advancing the runners, and then with Kepp up, Manzella gets his fool self picked off third (although I think he might could have a case for the ump being wrong…)

No one asked Mills why in the name of all that is holy why he had Cash swinging away.

3rd inning: Kepp singles, Lance singles. Men on second and third, Lee pops up swinging on a pitch not in the strike zone. Pence gets an IF hit (he’s getting a LOT of those this year.) Feliz, the supposedly great RBI man the Phils phoolishly didn’t re-up, strikes out, swinging at two pitches WAAAYYY out of the strike zone. Manzella flies out – woulda had a sac-fly if there weren’t 3 outs. No runs on 3 hits, bases loaded.

4th: Cash, Paulino and Bourn go down in order.

5th: Carlos hits one out. Pence hits a clean single to left, Feliz Ks again. He’s getting near Kaz territory.

6th: Manzella singles, Cash sac-bunts (bout time) Jason Michaels pops up the first pitch, Bourn grounds out on a 3-2 count. Guess which Astro sees the most pitches per PA – and guess who still gets heck about the strikeouts. Much better for him to groundout on the second or third pitch like everyone else.

7th: it’s a new pitcher, a rookie with a 6 something ERA (like that’s helped the Astros) Esmail Rogers, who gets Kepp, Lance and Lee out after Sampson has coughed up the homer to tie the score. He comes back out for the 8th. He gets out Pence and Feliz no sweat. And then, miracles happen.

Tommy Manzella hits a slow grounder to the second baseman – it takes a sort of funny hop just before he gets it, and when he picks it up, he bobbles it and Manzella is safe. Not sure IF he could have fielded it cleanly, but Manzella is aboard. Now, I don’t know if Rogers freaked out because of the error, or if he just can’t pitch worth spit from the stretch, but he walks PH Blum on 5 pitches (and yes, I WAS shocked that Sullivan didn’t go first) and it’s men on first and second, 2 outs.

 Sullivan comes in to pinch hit. And DAMM if he doesn’t  manage to make contact on a curveball that is down and away and shoot it opposite field through the 5.5 hole. Manzella, naturally, broke for home and the LF races for the ball, tries to throw Tommy out at the plate, but Tommy actually runs well (the only guy on the team who is not Pence/Bourn fast, who is not slow) and he beats the throw, which was a lousy throw – gets away from Olivo and runners move up.

So the rook is all shook up – after all, Sullivan DID hit a pitchers’ pitch and he didn’t pull it, as he does 99% of the time. So, bring in a lefty to pitch to Bourn? Well, Bourn DOES hit leftys well. So it is IBB Bourn to load the bases and the rook to face Kepp. I personally think that IBBs, unless you are talking about Uncle with the game on the line, are usually bad ideas for the team that issues them, unless you are bringing in a new pitcher – and for some reason, the Rockies don’t.

And he goes to 3-1 on Keppinger, then throws him a nice meaty FB, inside, crotch high, and Kepp laces it down the LF line for a 3 run double. And the Rox lose.

Maybe we WILL manage to make it to 15-30.

Tomorrow, it’s a pitchers duel between Roy and Ubaldo Jimenez, who is currently the ERA leader at 1.12. He has only 1 loss and that was because he gave up 1 run over 8 innings and the other guy gave up none. He’s already no-hit Atlanta this year. So Michael Bourn had better be thinking of bunting for hits.

Poor Roy…

5/11/2010: Jana Brattain Dog Gets To Watch Her First Ballgame And Astros Come Back To Beat Cardinals

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

I should call this entry – fielding matters, but there’s only so many times I can use that one. But anyhow, Brad Penny didn’t look as sharp as usual from the getgo. He went to 3-2 counts on Bourn (grounded out) and then Kaz (more on him later) before getting Lance to GIDP

Cards have Colby Rasmus leading off now, due to Skip Schumaker forgetting how to hit or walk. So he starts off with a K, then Ludwick walks. Uncle goes to 3-2, then hits a grounder to the right of second, but Kaz is moving in the wrong direction, don’t ask me why, and by the time he switches gear, the ball clanks off his glove and into right – and it SHOULD have been an inning ending GIDP. With Ludwick at 3rd, Holliday drives him in with a grounder. Freese walks. At this point, 29 pitches have been thrown, and Arnesberg goes to the mound and a LONG conversation happens, but Yadi Molina grounds out, first pitch.

Cards 1 – Astros zippo (and that run is entirely Kaz’ fault for lousy fielding)

1,2,3 outs for both sides in the second.

In the 3rd, Manzella singles to break up the no-hitter, but Cash GIDP. I wonder how long the Astros are going to keep this guy as a catcher to please the “prominent pitcher” who is neither Roy nor Wandy, when he isn’t hitting, walking or driving in runs, and has already GIDP twice in 10 AB. Oh yeah. Then the next hitter reaches on a throwing error by the SS (who had a bad BAD day), then Bourn singles, Kaz goes to 3-2, then strikes out swinging on a shoulder high ball 4. Kaz had a bad BAD day, too.

So in the bottom of the 3rd, Rasmus flies out, then Ryan Ludwick hits a fly ball to left center and Clank, as usual, gets a late jump and runs too slowly to catch it. So it falls for a double. Then Uncle singles to the 5.5 hole. Then the absolutely ridiculous – Holliday hits a popup to shallow right center. Bourn loses it in the lights, throws his arms out shouting – can’t see it – and Kaz is NOT backing him up, arrives late and the ball falls on the ground. Freese singles home Ludwick and Yadi mercifully GIDP. Well, mercifully for the Astros. So there are TWO runs which should never have scored in the first place and the Astros are behind 3-2.

In the 4th, Penny needs 8 pitches to mow down Berkman, Lee and Pence. Pathetic. Schu singles, Ryan pops up (toldja it wasn’t his day), then Schu goes to second on a WP, then Penny, squaring to bunt, pulls the bat back and pokes a single into center. Schu runs hell bent for leather around third, but is dead meat at the plate when Bourn throws him out. He leads the league in assists. His arm isn’t quiiiite as strong as Pence’s,  but he’s very accurate. He EARNED that Gold Glove.

In the 5th, Blum, getting a start at third, singles, Manzella hits into a FC, then for some reason I do NOT get, Mills calls for the hitnrun with CASH at the plate – you know, the guy who can’t hit at ALL, and Manzella is a dead duck at second. There’s no WAY I’m gonna believe that Manzella decided to pull that one on his own – against Yadi Molina, when he isn’t exactly Mr. Base Stealer. Cash, naturally, is out, and it would have been another GIDP 5-4-3 anyway. Then Ludwick singles, and Uncle GIDP (it wasn’t HIS day neither, thank goodness) and Holliday grounds out.

Penny needs 7 pitches in the 6th to mow down 3 hitters. I fugire he’s gonna have himself an EASY complete game. Freese, Yadi and Schumaker go down 1,2,3 – and I figure that this here game is about ovah.

So I’m sitting, holding Jana Brattain Dog kind of draped over my right arm, with my scorebook on the table to my left, and I go to get up and she protests. Guess she wants to watch the rest of the game. OK, I’m easy. Besides, I’m not gonna be able to hold that Dog for real too much longer because she is gonna be a BIG Dog like her Mama. And her Daddy…

So then something amazing happens. Lance takes a ball and then a strike, then flies out to deep center. Then Clank is up. Penny throws a pitch, shakes off Yadi TWICE, then throws the pitch he wants for a called strike, then shakes off Yadi AGAIN and Yadi trots out to the mound, they talk, then he goes back and Penny throws a ball. Then he throws a strike, then Clank hits a ball right to the SS, only he makes a dumb throwing error and Clank is safe. It really was NOT Brendan Ryan’s night. Then Pence fouls one off, then hits a sinker of some sort to deep right center for a double. Dave Duncan trots out – long conversation, but he leaves and he doesn’t get any reliever up. I don’t know why. Something was different – can’t say what, but I could tell.

So then Blum is up and he comes too far inside and hits him (second HBP this game) and it’s Manzella up with bases loaded. And Tommy hits the first pitch – some kind of offspeed pitch – to deep right to drive home Carlos and break up the shutout. Cards 2 Stros 1.

Naturally, Mills sends Cory 0.056 Sullivan up seeing as how 0.056 is more than 0.000 to pinch hit for Kevin Cash. GIDP, sez a certain male, not even sarcastically. But sort of like a couple year back, when Phil Garner decided to let Brad Ausmus, who was like 1 fer 60 against Tom Glavine, bat for himself because he was “due”, guess Sully was “due” and he singled to left, Pence comes home and IT IS A TIE GAME!!! YEEEEE HAHHHHHHHHHH I yell and Jana Brattain Dog sez WOOF!!!!! Little baby Doggie is good luck, it seems. Then Quintero pinch hits for the pitcher and HE singles home a run. Then it is Bourn up and he pops up a bunt over toward the second base bag, but Uncle, who gets the ball, has nowhere to throw it to because Penny is all discombobulated and forgot to cover first. Astros up 4-2. Then Kaz grounds out, stranding 2. Like I said, it was NOT his day neither.

Fulchino comes on to pitch the 7th. He faces pinch hitter Jon Jay – a FINE looking brotha fer SHER – who singles off Kaz’ glove – Kaz got another bad jump (3 strike day, you know what I’m sayin) and it goes for a single instead of an E4 (hometown scorer) and instantly, there’s this big meeting on the mound while Sampson starts warming up. Fulchino is having trouble throwing strikes and walks pinch hitter Tyler Green on 5 pitches. Rasmus flies out on a 2-0 pitch, then Ludwick singles home Jay.

Chris Sampson comes in to face Uncle, induces a slow roller to short, so it is just a FC instead of a GIDP. Holliday grounds out to Blum.

The Astros have actually come back!!! And not given up the lead again!!!!! I cheer!!! and Jana Brattain Dog sez WOOF (well, actually, more like YAP but I’m giving gf the benefit of the doubt here…)

Jason Motte comes in throwing 95+ MPH heat. Lance fouls off a couple of pitches, takes a couple of balls, then smokes a high FB into the RF bullpen. Just like in the old days. Clank flies out to center. Then Pence comes up. Motte throws only sliders. Pence takes a strike, then a ball, then fouls off a couple, then hits one juuuuust over the fence into the LF bullpen – Holliday doesn’t jump for it, lucky for Hunter. Blum and Manzella K. So it is Astros 6, Cards 3.

Lyon and Lindstrom nail it down and Astros win their second in a row!!! But with the win, the Astros lose their death grip on last place in the majors to the hopeless Royals.

Wandy tomorrow!!! I’ll be wearing my Wandy t-shirt!!!

5 Million Dollar Set-Up Man Brandon Lyon Pitches Like A 5 Cent Pitcher

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Roy Oswalt pitched 7 shutout innings of 5 hit (and 2 of those hits were crappy fielding by Pedro Feliz again and lousy positioning of OF) 6 K ball.

Lyon came in, got a groundout then a single, then back to back doubles on pitches belt high down the middle, then a K, then another double on yet ANOTHER pitch right down the middle.

3 runs right there, man on second and goo-bah shutout.

Sampson comes in with a man on second gets the out.

Spring Training 2010 – Astros Pitchers Report

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Yes, I know this is not exactly a staff to boast about, but at least there are plenty of middle relievers. Ed Wade is GOOD at picking up middle relievers offn the trash heap, waiver wire. He’s not so good at signing them as FA or trading for them, however. Interesting that this Organization, like the Giants, in spite of monstrous effups in the draft, has managed to develop some pitchers. And NRI does NOT mean no chance to make the team – remember Moehler and Rick White… Let’s take a look:

Fernando Abad, age 24 RH RP: signed as an undrafted FA out of the D.R. in 021 by the Astros. Started and relieved in Rookie League Greenville (a hitters’ paradise) in 07, did OK with a 4.14 ERA. Threw 76 innings in relief of 3.30 ERA ball at Lexington in 08. Last year, threw 82 innings in relief at A+ with a 4.14 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, low BB and HR and 8.4 K/9. Promoted to AA, started 3 games over 14 IP with a 3.21 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, increased to 1.9 BB/9, but 0.6 HR/9 and 8.6 K/9. Not sure if the change to starter is going to stick, but at least he seems to have some control. Of course he needs more time in the minors.
Alberto Arias, age 26, Rh RP: one of Ed Wade’s GOOD scrap heap pickups – this time from the Rox at the trade deadline in 08. He uck-sayed as a starter, but this year excelled as a 1 inning reliever until Cooper overused him and he broke in August. He spent the rest of the year on the DL, but should be ready for ST. He threw 45.2 innings over 42 games, ended with a 3.35 ERA/1.49 WHIP, 0.2 HR/9, 3.7 BB/9, 7.7 K/9. He should make the ML team – he’s out of options and would have to pass through waivers before going to AAA…
Yorman Bazardo, age 25, RH SP/RP: signed as a FA in 09 after he was released by the (surprise, surprise) Phillies, who let him go after ST. He had a great year at AAA, was the second best pitcher in the PCL behind Bud Norris (would have been nice if someone at RR besides JR Towles and Tommy Manzella had been able to hit the ball, but I digress…) but he had a very low H/9 AND, unfortunately, a very low K/9. It didn’t translate into major league success, as he exhibited poor control and mediocre stuff and he managed only 1 decent game – threw 5.2 innings against Cole Hamels and NL Champion Phillies, giving up only 2 runs. Yes, I know that every now and then, pitchers with low K rates manage to have ML success, but not combined with high H/9 and high BB/9. I seriously doubt he makes the ML team out of ST, but yeah, youneverknow.
NRI – Josh Banks, age 27, RH SP/RP: second round pick of Toronto on 02. He’s one of those guys with a high ERA and low WHIP who doesn’t walk many, but gives up too many hits. He was called up in 07, pitched 7 lousy innings. He started 08 in AAA, his 3rd year in AAA, and when he had 3 bad starts, he was released and picked up by the Padres. He had 14 starts and 3 relief appearances in 08 with a 4.75 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 9.9 H/9 IP, 1.3 HR/9. 3.4 BB/9, 4.5 K/9 over 85.1 IP (around 5.2 IP/GS). He started off 2009 badly, 3 GS, 3 in relief over 22.1 IP with a 7 something ERA – reduced walks AND Ks and increased HR. He spent the remainder of the year at AAA – did fairly well with a 3.46 ERA, 1.25 WHIP over 125 IP – lowered homers and walks, and increased K/9 to 6.8. He’s one of those guys who has minor league success but has a tough time translating it to ML success. I would guess that he’d be stashed in AAA along with Bazardo.
Tim Byrdak, age 36, LH RP: one of Ed Wade’s scrap heap pick up middle reliever success stories (see, I DO give Fast Eddie credit when credit is due) in ST 2008. He posted a 108 ERA+ over 55 innings in 08 and a 130 ERA+ over 61 IP in 09. (By the way, he is supposed to be the exact same size as Wandy – 5’11″ and 195 lb – all yall look at them next time you can, see who is larger – hint, it ain’t the Wand Man…) Last year, he had 2 BS (both L) and 9 holds. He was used quite a bit as a LOOGY, although leftys hit a little bit better against him: – .700 OPSA vs .640. But that is just year to year variation as in 08, leftys hit .469 OPS against and rightys hit 1.005 OPSA. He is certainly capable of pitching 1 full inning, even 2, and it will be interesting to see how Brad Mills uses relievers.
NRI – Gustavo Chacin, age 29, LH SP: now this one really IS 5’11″ but last I saw him, he was a HECK of a lot more than 205 lb. Anyway, he was signed out of Venezuela by the Blue Jays in 98, had a cup of coffee in 04, then pitched 205 VERY good innings in 05 with a 119 ERA+ but, um, let’s say he sure nuff didn’t repeat his excellence in 06 at the ML level. Don’t know why – maybe he was hurt, maybe he was eating too many donuts, but he spent the next couple of years bouncing between the ML club and AAA, doing lousy. After 45 execrable innings in 08 at AAA, he was either released or went on the DL. You’ll never guess which Organization he was with last year. Yeah – but at least he had a decent year at AAA – pitched well for the first time since 05 at ANY level with a 3.21 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 8.9 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 5 K/9. Like some of the other guys, I would guess that he has little to no chance of making the ML team but would be AAA filler.
NRI – Roy Corcoran, age 30 RH RP: Signed as an undrafted FA by the Expos in 01. Pitched a couple of good innings in 03 and 04, but spent all of 05 and virtually all of  06 at AAA because he has a leeeeeeetle problem with control and giving up almost 5 BB/9 IP at AAA is not good. He was picked up by the Marlins as 6 year minor league FA for the 07 season, kept his ERA down, but couldn’t lower all those walks. He was signed by Seattle in 08 and, surprisingly, pitched 72 decent innings over 50 games with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP (his old walks problem) but only gave up 1 homer – actually, not givein up homers is definitely his strong point – his lifetime HR numbers are 0.4/9 IP. Anyway, in 09, he pitched 19 horrible innings for Seattle (walks out of control at 8.1/9 IP and Ks decreased to 2.8/9 IP, and he was released and picked up by Ed Wade. He only threw 22 innings at Round Rock and he actually DID decrease walks, but unfortunately, at the expense of increased hits. He CERTAINLY isn’t a better reliever than either Arias or Gervacio, so I would guess he gets to go back to AAA.
NRI – Casey Daigle, age 29, RH RP: AKA Jennie Finch’s husband. First round pick of the DBax in 99 – has had limited ML action because, well, let’s just say they should have picked his wife instead. He had a low ERA last year, 2.91, but a 1.54 WHIP because of a high hit and walk rate, even though he had 8.3 K/9. He appears to me to be another AAA lifer.
Evan Englebrook, age 28, RH RP: picked by the Astros in the 8th round of the 04 draft. Has moved up a level every year, having trouble with adjustint when he first moves up. He started the year at AA, taking some of the closing duties, threw 26 innings in 21 games with a 3.16 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 6.7 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 5.6 K/9. He was promoted to AAA, threw just 10 innings with a 6.97 ERA, 1.69 WHIP (too many hits.) He uck-sayed in the AFL this year, so I would gues he’s AAA bound. He doesn’t appear to be remarkable in any way.
Jeff Fulchino, age 29, RH RP: One of Ed Wade’s GOOD waiver wire pickups – this time from the Royals. He threw 82 innings of 123 ERA+ ball over 61 games: 3.40 ERA, 1.18 WHIP. Walks were a little high at 3.4/9, but he kept the hits low, 7.7/9, the HR low at 0.8/9 and the Ks reasonable at 7.5/9. Hope he repeats his numbers this year – he had a .707 OPSA leftys and a .649 OPS vs rightys.
Samuel Gervacio, age 25, RH RP: signed by the Astros as an undrafted FA out of the DR in 02, called up in August and was a VERY pleasant surprise – he was great. In fact, he almost duplicated his minor league numbers which are 3.11 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 7.1 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 3 BB/9, 11.2 K/9. In the majors, over 22 IP, Sammy had a 2.14 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 6.9 H/9. I hoped he would move into the setup position, but not until the more expensive Lindstrom fails, I guess. He SHOULD make the ML team, but youneverknow…
Matt Lindstrom, age RH RP – either set up or closer: click here to read my evaluation.
NRI – Chia-Jen Lo, age 24, RH RP: signed out of Taiwan 2 years ago. This year, threw 39 innings over 30 games with a 2.31 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 6.9 H/9, 0.2 HR/9, 4.6 BB/9 (uh-oh), 9 K/9. In the AzFL, he threw 10 innings over 6 games with a 3.60 ERA and a 0.9 WHIP – 7 H, 1 HR, 4 ER,  12 K, 1 BB. I expect him to be promoted to AAA.
Wilton Lopez, age 26, RH SP: picked up on waivers from the Padres by Ed Wade (and at this point, he don’t look so good, but at least he’s not someone who is expensive.) He threw 110 mediocre innings at AA – 3.90 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 10.9 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 1.1 BB/9 (GOOD) and 5.6 K/9. Got called up to pitch a couple of starts because darn near everyone was already on the DL and SOMEbody had to do it. Let’s just call it batting practice and let it go. Not sure if he’s even going to make the AAA team. He’d BETTER NOT make the ML team.
NRI – Shane Loux, age 30, RH SP/RP: picked by the Tigers in the 2nd round of the 97 draft out of HS. Saw ML service for the horrible 02, 03 and 04 Tigers and trust me on this, he was DEFINITELY part of the problem. After another lousy year at AAA in 05 (5 something ERA, 1.49 WHIP) he was let go and the Royals signed him as a 6 year minor league FA. He was slightly worse, believe it or not. Anyway, for some reason, the Angels picked him up for the 08 season and he lowered ERA, H/9 and WHIP at AAA and also pitched 16 good relief innings in the ML. He wasn’t able to duplicate his success in 09 and his contract wasn’t renewed. Minor league totals: over 1291 innings, 4.43 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 10 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3 BB/9, 5.4 K/9. Not even AAA material.  Meh.  
Brandon Lyon, age 30, RH RP: will setup or close. Picked by the Blue Jays in the 14th round of the 99 draft. Originally a starter, he threw 63 innings of 108 ERA+ ball in 01, then threw 62 lousy innings in relief in 02 and was sent down to AAA, started and continued to suck. Placed on waivers at the end of the year, he was picked up by the BoSox and threw 59 innings of 113 ERA+ ball in relief in 03. Which was an, um, INteresting year for him – he was part of the infamous Mike Gonzalez trade with the Pirates (he was traded back a week later) and then, after the Pirates found out he was hurt, demanded Gonzalez back PLUS Freddy Sanchez.
At the end of the year, Lyon, Casey Fossum and Jorge De La Rosa were traded to the DBax for Curt Schilling. Lyon missed the vast majority of 04 and 05 due to injury, came back in 06 and threw 69 innings of middle relief with a 3.89 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. As a 7th inning guy and setup man, he did very well in 06, throwing 74 innings with a 2.67 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.
The DBax were confident that he could replace Valverde as closer, so they traded him to the Astros for Qualls. Lyons didn’t do particularly well as closer – his ERA increased to 4.79 and his WHIP to 1.49 – he significantly increased both hits and HR/9 and by mid August, lost his closing job to Qualls. He signed a 1 year deal with the Tigers in 09 to be a setup guy and pitched well again: 78.2 innings with a 2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP – had a career low 6.5 H/9 and a career high 3.5 BB/9, and had his usual low K rate of 6.5/9 and his usual HR/9 of 0.8. He was signed by Ed Wade, supposedly bidding against some other team, to a 3 year 15 mill deal – imagine – a setup guy is getting the same $$$ as the #1 starter. I have a feeling this is gonna be a Kaz Matsui type deal…
NRI – Gary Majewski, age 30, RH RP: Native Houstonian drafted by the White Sox in the 2nd round of the 98 draft out of HS. While still in the minors, he was traded to the Dodgers for Antonio Osuna and a bunch of minor leaguers, and was again traded that July back to the White Sox for James Baldwin. He was in AAA, picthing very well and closing when he was traded in July to the Expos/Nats for Carl Everett (yes, I’m serious.) He was called up and threw 21 innings over 16 games with a 3.86 ERA, marred by a hit rate of 12/9 IP. He had a career year in 05, throwing 96 innings with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. In 06, he had thrown 55 innings of 3.58 ERA, 1.34 WHIP relief innings when he was traded to the Reds for Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez. I guess he was already hurt or immediately hurt and let me say that in the m,ajors, he has uck-sayed and in the minors, has been barely mediocre – he has a low K rate for a reliever – 5.3/9 IP in his good seasons and he tends to give up too many hits – at least 10-11/9 IP, although he is not homeriffic. He spent last year at AAA, you NEVAH guess which Organization, and threw 65 innings of 4.02 ERA/1.55 WHIP ball. He never recovered from injury, looks like.
Brian Moehler, age 38, RH SP/RP: AKA El Cucaracho. Started 29 games and threw 154 innings of 77 ERA+ ball: 5.47 ERA, 1.78 WHIP. The ERA is a little better – 4.91, if you omit his 2 April starts when he was OBVIOUSLY hurt. He also had 2 bad starts at the end of the year – he was obviuosly tired, but the Astros had no one else to take the ball, so he did – increased his ERA from 4.80 to 5.47. He’s not a terrible 5th guy and he can relieve (as long as he doesn’t go more than 3 days without work and he isn’t over worked, and he can pitch long relief. He’s getting paid 3 mill – just 2 more than Wandy, our best pitcher.
Brett Myers, age RH SP/RP: I’ve already talked about the Wifebeater enough – click here to review what I wrote (stat stuff starts about halfway down)
Matt Nevarez, age 23, RH RP. Drafted by the Rangers in the 10th round of the 05 draft and traded to the Astros last August for Pudge Rodriguez. Just finished A ball – for his minor league career, he has a 2.94 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 6.4 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 5.2!!! BB/9 and 11.3 K/9; I should not that his walk rate decreased significantly last year to 3.5/9. Hope it continues its downward trend.
Bud Norris, age 25, RH SP: picked by the Astros in the 6th round of the 06 draft out of Cal Poly: Expected to be our #3 or 4 starter this year. Was the top pitcher in the PCL before his promotion. After callup, he had 3 good starts, 1 bad start, 1 relief appearance from heck, another bad start, then 4 straight good starts to end the year. Historically, he has kept the H/9 below 9 and the K/9 around 9.4 with noce low HR rates of 0.5/9 – but he sometimes has a bit of trouble with control – his walk rate is 3.7 in the minors and was 4.0 in the majors. I hope he sticks. He looks like a tough guy out there.
Roy Oswalt, age 32, RH SP: Roy struggled with injuries, his manager and his pitching coach last year – and oh yeah, his catcher – between Pudge and Coste, that is. He threw fewer than 200 innings for the first time since 03 when he hurt his groin, but managed 29 starts and 6 IP/GS. He had his worst ERA in the majors – 4.12, but the rest of his numbers really reflected his career norms: 1.24 WHIP, 9.1 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 2.1 BB/9. 6.8 K/9. I have NO idea how he’ll do this year – guess it depends on his back, how bad it really is, and whether or not THIS year, he has better communication with his manager and pitching coach.
Felipe Paulino, age 26, RH SP: well, last year, he was shuffled between AAA, starting and relieving until he hardly knew which way was up. I will say that once Coper was fired and he was put in the rotation and kept there, he did better – 3 starts lasting 6 innings and 3 lasting 5 and only one bad one, really. He had 3 hard luck losses – 2-0, 2-1 and 2-1. He just might could be a decent 5th guy. In the minors, he has a 4.07 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 8.1 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 4.3 BB.9 and 8.3 K/9. I’ve seen him throw exactly ONE excellent game, but if he has a better pitching coach and knows he has a spot in the rotation, he just might could surprise me. I sure hope so.
Wandy Rodriguez, age 31, LH SP: (see the last entry) just lost his arb. Must be, um, interesting to hear the Organization brass tell exactly why you suck and aren’t worth much…
Chris Sampson, age 32, RH RP: did fantastic until the ASB when he got hurt – had 40 games, had a 2.68 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He got hurt, they let him spend a week on the DL after the ASB, he came back, or at least tried to, and he just gave up hit after hit and run after run until they FINALLY, um, sent him down and THEN he went on the DL, where he should have been. He had surgery, he’s ready for ST and he should be back in great form. Too bad the Organization was so determined that he not start…
Polin Trinidad, age 25 LH SP: split last year between AA (did awesome) and AAA: 87 IP with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Career minor league stats: 3.57 ERA, 1.14 WHIP: 8.7 H/9, 1.0 HR/9, 1.9 BB/9 (HEY, control!!! What a concept!!!) and 6.9 K/9. Will be interesting to see how he does in AAA this year. His minor league numbers look incredibly better than Paulino’s – except for the Ks, that is.
Jose G. Valdez, age 27, RH RP: picked up on waivers from the Yankees – he repeated AA last year, had 38 IP with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP and was even worse in his 19 innings at AAA. Minor league filler – not sure why on earth he’s an NRI.
Henry Villar, age 23, RH SP/RP: undrafted FA from the DR, joined the Astros in 08. Threw 90 innings at A ball with a 2.60 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 8 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 1.7 BB/9, 10.1 K/9. Looks good all right, but surely not ready for prime time…
Wesley Wright, age 25, LH RP: maybe I should put down LH SP, seeing as how the Organization has in mind to train him to start. He went to winter ball to learn to pitch more than 1 inning at a time and did pretty well for his first 5 starts, then he pulled something and it went kinda downhill. Wesley struggled, uh, a bit last year, got sent down to work some stuff out, ended up with a 77 ERA+ which is a  5.44 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP (ugh) due to a huge spike in hits/9 IP from 6.5 to 10.5 – and he kept his horrid walk rate or 5/9 IP. Dude gots to learn some control. Coop liked to use him as a LOOGY – trouble was that leftys hit him better than rightys – .924 OPSA vs .853. But it just might be year to year variation, as leftys hit .621 OPSA last year. Youneverknow. IF they want him to start, they’ll probably start him in AAA so he can be sure to go every 5 days. Between him and Polin Trinidad, we might could have a lefty factory underway.

Sure wish we could do as well with position players as we do with pitchers – I mean, actually having guys who seem to possibly have SOME promise…

And, by the way, I will be happy to post any of your own pics from ST and any of your own observations, if you like.

8/17/09: All I Missed Was The Suckage

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Well, not quite.

I missed Hunter Pence winning yesterday’s game with both bat and glove to avoid the Sewwp by the Crew and I missed watching Roy Oswalt virtually ignoring – or at least not looking at – Cecil Cooper when he came to the mound to take the ball from Roy yesterday. Mama told me he just handed the ball to Coop sideways, meanwhile still talking to Pudge.

Even the national news media is more than aware of the low opinion the Astros players have of the manager.

And he has managed to overwork Wesley Wright onto the DL and to overwork an OBVIOUSLY hurt Chris Sampson down to AAA. And how surprising it was only one outing after that closed door meeting Sampson and Coop had after Coop made himself a national laughingstock by making Sampson walk Johnson and pitch to the second best RH hitter in the NL, who just happens to have THE best BA vs RHP in the ML. He tried to justify himself with the stupid excuse about lefty/righty, but only made himself look more iggnerint.

Lessee, what else?

We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of Aaron  Boone. For some reason I still don’t get. Well, actually, we’re REALLY eagerly awaiting the firing of Cooper and the pitching coach, but seeing as how Cooper’s “close friend” Selig dropped in to give Coop his “approval”, it might could unfortunately take a little more time.

Yorman Bazardo was used in relief of Hampton again, but this time he knew it was coming and he did very well, giving up NO runs over 2.2 IP and he’s going to start in Hampton’s slot in a few days. Sammy Gervacio got re-called, and hopefully, won’t get too overabused – not that I’m especially expecting much, as he didn’t have a particularly good year in AAA. Brocail said that ROY fixed his delivery and he’s now pitching well, and pain free, even though Coop has told the media he won’t be back until Sept 1. Great pitching coach we’ve got, hunh? I mean, Berkman fixes Roy’s delivery last year, he doesn’t notice that Sampson is OBVIOUSLY hurt, Roy-O fixes Brocail’s delivery.

McLane SEZ he’s losing all this money. Well, maybe if they put the young guys out there and sat all the Katas the fans might could get interested again, just as they did 2 Septembers ago. I’m tired of Coop and his crap.

Just like Roy, who again had a bad outing this last time – 5 ER/6 IP with 2 homers and Wandy who (shudder) gave up 10 ER/4 IP – I can’t bring myself to go look at the rewind – he added 0.6 ERA with that.

This team isn’t going anywheres but to the bottom of the NL with the Pirates – even the Nats are playing better – and it makes more sense to see who we have for next year. Well, it doesn’t make sense if we keep Cooper, THAT’S fer sher.

Tomorrow, it’s off to take the kidz shopping for Skool stuff – hard to believe it’s that time of year again. I’ve got the twins (do i really REALLY gotta hafta gooooo???) and Da Bull (oh boy oh BOY I wish it was today) and Lil Miss (do I REALLY gotta pass EVERYthing to play baseball???) and not that they exactly NEED anything, but hey, it’s sort of like offering bobbleheads to get the fans in the stadium…

Then it’s Nolasco vs Norris, Round 2. Last time, Nolasco pitched like Backe on a bad day and Bud wasn’t much better, although he gave up fewer homers. He’d best be darn careful – and Nick Johnson is out with a sore something, as usual. Gonna be REAL interesting to see what happens if Coop orders him to walk someone to pitch to Hanley Ramirez…

7/28/09: Wandy Pitches Great, Hitters Don’t Hit, Cooper Mismanages And Astros Lose To Cubs

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Wandy threw 7 great innings, giving up 6 hits, 1 solo homer, 1 walk, 1 IBB and 7 K. He wasn’t tired, but was removed for a pinch hitter.

The batters combined for a nice, solid Golden Sombrero – and the guys have scored exactly one run in the last 23 innings. Every time an Astro got on base, fer SHER the next batter(s) would either strike out swinging at some pitch in the dirt or GIDP.

And yeah, Coop mismanaged. More than once.

He sends Kata to pinch hit for Quintero, then Pudge to pinch hit for Wandy. What the heck. Why pinch hit for Wandy at all with the game tied and him having only thrown 100 pitches? And why not pinch hit Pudge for Quintero so that you don’t burn up two PH?

And I LUUUVVED how Pudge couldn’t manage to make an easy double play on Fontenot’s botched squeeze – he should have EASILY had Hoffpaiur at third.

I also just LUUUVVV the way he tells Bourn, the top base stealer in the NL, not to steal against the Cubs’ emergency backup catcher who has caught exactly 2 major league innings, and instead wasting an out with a sac-bunt. Or did he just figure that Kaz was SURE to hit into ANOTHER double play? Or did he just want to leave that little task up to Carlos Lee?


And I LUUUVVV how he left Sampson, just barely back off the DL, in there to throw a second inning, especially after seeing, with the rest of us, how he could barely get pitches over.

Good grief.

Tonight, Roy will face Ryan Dempster, fresh off the DL. If the batters uck-say as much tonight, hopefully Roy will kick some overly complacent ass, is all I can say.

5/8/09: Miggy Tejada And Chris Sampson Have An Excellent Game

Friday, May 8th, 2009

ACCentuate The Positive (try like heck to ignore all the negative…)

Miggy hit the ball with serious authority 4 of 5 times – hitting his first homer of the year into the CBoxes, stroking a double to the RF bullpen, a ground rule double to right and a smoked single to left.

Chris Sampson pitched three 1,2,3 innings, needing only 34 pitches.

As for the rest,



Ortiz, naturally, had a lousy first inning. So what else is new? He gave up 2 walks and 2 singles and got lucky he didn’t give up more because Pudge picked off Riot leaning offn third. He was better in the second – Fontenot reached on error because Matsui threw very wide of the bag and Lance (who had a TERRIBLE game – more on that later) barely gloved it then dropped it. Soto singled, Lilly popped up his bunt and then Sori grounded into a rare DP (Sori had himself a great night – dude has only 20 hits at the Box, but 9 of em are homers and 2 of em were hit tonight.)

Anyhow, Ortiz starts the third at 37 pitches with the Astros ahead 2-1. Riot singles to center as Jason Michaels, who is NO Michael Bourn with the glove, can’t get anywheres near what should have been an easily caught single to shallow center. Then Fukudome walks, then Aramis Ramirez singles Riot home, Hoffpauir pops up and Bradley singles to right.

To my absolute shock, out walks Cooper. Ortiz is at 57 pitches, Fontenot, Sost and Lilly are up, the bullpen is worn – they have pitched even more innings this year than the Yankees bullpen. But he pulls Ortiz and in comes Byrdak.

You know, it would be one thing if he used any pitcher as a long man. But he doesn’t, preferring to tire out a whole lot of guys, pretending that it is more important to do batter/pitcher matchups. Even in the third inning.

Byrdak actually did a decent job, except for giving up a homer to Sory off the Conoco Pump, but he was only left in 1.2 innings. Oh yeah – he did let an inherited runner score – he got to a sac-fly in shallow center, but made a terrible throw home. Why pull him? Yeah, I know – a pinch hitter. But there were 5 more innings to go and that HAS to be considered.

Then Sampson pitched 3 awesome innings and he was pulled – also for a PH with only 1 out. He can’t bunt? The Cubs couldn’t TOUCH him.

Next inning, Wesley Wright comes in and, like yesterday, no trace of the Wild Wesley from 2 games ago. He gives up a single to ARam (which Keppinger, if he wasn’t a Kent-like statue, would have gotten, but Miggy had to get and try to throw from deep in the hole at third), then a double to the bullpen which Bourn woulda had, then 2 Ks. But Coop won’t let him finish the inning (WHY???) and brings in Paulino who has his only good matchup tonight.



Remember last week I was talkin some talk bout maybe Paulino looking incredibly better than I remembered and he might could be closer material etc?

Well, he came in to start the 9th. Miles fouled off 6 pitches, took 3 balls, then laced a midplate FB to right. Sori came, he saw, he homered (off the facade in left). Riot doubled to left on the first pitch (and hey, Clank actually hustled after this one and made a hard throw.) Fukudome went to 3-2 then popped up to Carlos. Ramirez took two balls, fouled off a couple, then laced an RBI single to left. Hoffpauir walked after fouling off 4 pitches. Joey Gathright lashed a single to left on his first pitch. Fontenot walked on 5 pitches that weren’t even close.

43 pitches, 24 strikes, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 4 ER in 0.2 IP – and he left with bases loaded.

He got lucky – Alberto Arias came in and got Soto to GIDP, so no inherited runners scored.

And there was the score, Cubs 8 – Stros 2.

Stros scored a couple in the bottom of the 9th off Chad Fox, who I didn’t even realize was back in baseball. He had some pretty hellacious arm/shoulder injuries and I can’t remember seeing him since 03 (with Milwaukee), but he did appear in a couple dozen games in 04 and 05 for the Marlins/Cubs. But of course Sweet Lou brought in the closer and the Astros folded.

In no small part thanks to Lance Berkman, who had the Golden Sombrero tonight and was waving at almost everything. He looked more lost than Mo Ensberg in 06 after his shoulder injury. And that is BAD.


The Ortiz Experience is not very good, in spite of his “wins” and it just might could be time to put Sampson back in the rotation. Yeah, I know – over The Organization’s dead body. After all, a middle inning mopup guy is more important than a good starter, right?

And please – we simply CAN’T trade the expensive vets for prospects. Nobody wants Tejada. Lee refuses to leave (and so does Berkman, except to one team and I don’t think that team needs a first baseman) and Roy might agree, but we would replace him with WHO?? The Mets? They don’t have any prospects, and even though the media doesn’t like David Wright, the team isn’t dumb enough to dump him. Valverde is injured and nobody wants Fragile Matsui.


I love my Astros. I’d rather watch a whole bunch of young guys get their heads beat in learning how to play than this bunch of stiffs.

Tomorrow, it’s Chad Gaudin vs The Magic Wandy.

And here’s hoping he pitches a CG because GAWD knows the team needs it.

5/6/09: Astros Bullpen Blows Ballgame Bigtime

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Roy pitched well through 5, giving up only 2 runs on a homer. Unfortunately, he had to come out in the 6th after giving up a single, a WP and a walk.

And even more unfortunately, Chris Sampson caught the wildness walking virus from Wesley Wright, who must have sneezed on him. And for the second day in a row, Nationals fans were treated to a sight of Nats scoring without having to lift the bats off their shoulders – 6 runs in the 6th inning. Ready? Single, Walk, GO, Walk, Walk, Walk, K, Walk (from Sampson), then, after Byrdak came in, another run on Tejada’s error, then another run on a WP.

Fortunately for the Astros, the suckulesence of the Nat’s bullpen came through for the Astros and even though Byrdak gave up none of his own runs over the 1.1 innings he pitched and Geary gave up 2 runs over the 3 innings he pitched, the Astros managed to tie the score before the game was mercifully called on account of boredome. I mean rain.

Hampton faces the Cubs tomorrow. Can’t see him managing to last more than 6 innings, at best, and the bullpen has been beaten to pieces over the past 4 games.

The Astros will face Rich Harden, who has started 5 games, has 3 QS – 6 innings each with 1,2 and 2 ER; 2 more starts of 3 IP giving up 4 and 5 ER. So far, he has a 5.11 ERA/1.42 WHIP/.228 BAA/.748 OPSA - 24.2 IP – 21 H, 5 HR, 14 BB, 37 K.

He faced the Astros once, going 5.2 innings, giving up 4 runs.

4/28/09: Astros Beat Coco Cordero To Defeat Reds

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

When Hitter Pence hit a double to right to drive in 2 runs, I jumped up and started screaming – OHMIGAWD we’re FINALLY gonna beat Coco Cordero. After all these years we FINALLY scored some runs against him.

My niece, sitting on the couch next to me said – but we beat him last August – remember? And Chris Sampson won that one too. Actually, I didn’t remember at all, which was strange, until I went and looked it up and saw that I’d been on a weekend away with Husband. A baseball-free weekend.

Roy pitched very well, as usual. He went 7 innings, gave up 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 K and 1 run. I thought he was fer SHER going to pitch a complete game, but he ran into trouble in the 6th. He got 2 quick outs on 6 pitches, then suddenly lost command, giving up a double, an RBI single, then another double. He then intentionally walked lefty Votto, then FINALLY got the last out on Encarnacion. 28 pitches, and there went his lead and CG.

But he came in and pitched a good 7th, getting a single, a groundout and a GIDP. The GIDP was his best friend, seeing as how he sems to have lost his ability to strike out guys. He almost got into trouble in the 4th, with Miggy not turning the 1-6-3, but the NEXT batter did him a favor and also GIDP.

Lance hit homer #5, but the rest of his ABs weren’t good. He had a 6 pitch walk in the first inning, but he just looked at 2 very hittable fastballs – midthigh, outer third. In the 4th, he swung at a FB straight down the middle and only fouled it off. He struck out looking at another decent pitch midthigh, outside corner. Something is STILL terribly wrong. I hope he gets it together because it sure seems to me that his timing is off. Maybe he needs lasix?


I hope he doesn’t go all Dale Murphy.

Chris Sampson pitched 1.1 innings and got the win. He now has 2 wins – 1 more than Wandy, 2 more than Roy. This is, um, sort of ironic, seeing as how the team was always determined to find some excuse to not let him start and now he has more wins than the top 2 starters combined.

And speaking of Wandy, he faces Harang tomorrow. Harang had a terrible year last year, but he’s recovered quite nicely this year, going 2-2 with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP with 5 BB and 19 K over 27 innings.

I hope that for once, Wandy gets a little run support.

At the GAB, Wandy is 2-0 over 27 IP – 5 HR, 10 BB, 19 K with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. The good thing is that he won’t be facing Griffey, who knocked him all over the place.

Also, I think that Valverde won’t be available again as he said that pitching last night made him worse. Maybe Sampson will be made the closer in absentia. It would be kewl because he sure as heck doesn’t fit the stereotype one bit.

End Of Season Comparison Of 2008 Astros Starters – Part 2

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

In Part 1, I ccompared ordinary stats. This time, I’m going to look at run support in both wins and losses, ND numbers, numbers of games with different lengths of IP and how many QS produced wins.
Pitching Win Shares courtesy of www.thehardballtimes.com and RSAA courtesy of Lee Sinins at www.baseball-encyclopedia.com

Roy Oswalt: 17-10 in 32 GS (22 QS – 16 W, 4 L, 2 ND): 208.2 IP: really 31 GS over 207.2 IP leaving out the 1 inning in which he was still hurt – and he missed almost the entire month of July. Team wins in his 31 starts: 19-12.
- Pitching WS: 18.5
- RSAA: +20 (hard to believe he was -11 at the end of May)
< 4 IP: 1 (L-8 ER)
5-6 IP: 3 (L-3 ER; L-7 R/3 ER; W-4 ER)
6-7 IP: 11 (1 ND,2 W-1 ER;†1 ND, 1 W-4 R/ER; 1 L-3 ER; 1 L-4 R;†1 ND, 1 L-5 ER; 2 L-6 R/ER
>7 IP: 16 (4 W- 0 ER; 4 W-1 ER; 1 W-2 ER; 1 ND, 3 W, 3 L-3 ER;
4 starts 0 ER; 6 starts with 1 ER; 1 start with 2 ER; 12 starts with 3 ER; 2 starts with 4 ER, 3 starts with 5 ER; 1 start with 6 ER;1†start with 8 ER. 23/32 starts of 3 or fewer ER.
Run Support in Wins: 5.64 runs scored: 2.18 runs allowed
Run Support in Losses: 2.2 RS – 6 RA
Run Support: Runs Allowed in ND 4.2 – 4.5: 2 W, 2 L. Also, the bullpen lost NO games for Roy in the 2 losses – Roy was pulled when the score was tied, not when he was ahead. So there weren’t real too many games he should have won, but didn’t – maybe 3.

Wandy Rodriguez: 9-7 in 25 GS (10 QS – 7 W, 2 ND, 1 L): 137.1 IP (omitting the 2 games he had to leave early because he was hurt – 9-7 in 23 GS (10 QS) 132.1 IP. Team went 11-12
- Pitching WS: 10.7
- RSAA: +13
< 4 IP: 1 (L – 4 ER/2.1 IP)
4-5 IP: 2 (L – 6 ER/4.2 IP; L – 6R/3 ER/4.2 IP)
5-6 IP:†10 (1 W-0 ER; 2 W- 1 ER;†2 L – 2 ER; 2 L – 5 ER; L – 6 ER; ND – 2 ER; ND – 3 ER)
6-7 IP: 5 (W – 0 ER; 2 W – 1 ER; W – 2 ER; L – 5R/0 ER)
>7 IP: 5 (1 W -0 ER;†1 W -1 ER; 1 ND -0 ER; 2 ND -1 ER)
note: every start (10) in which he lasted at least 6 innings he gave up 0-2 ER. In 7/10 starts of 5-6 innings, he gave up 3 or fewer ER. He had only 4 starts in which he gave up 5 or 6 ER.
Run Support in Wins: 5 R/G
Run Support in Losses 2.7 R/G
Run Support: Runs Allowed in 7 ND (team went 2-5) 6.3: 5.7 (verrrrrry interesting…)
The bullpen blew 3 games in which he left while winning and he left with the score tied in 3 more.
Total: 5 starts 0 ER; 6 starts 1 ER; 3 starts 2 ER; 2 starts 3 ER; 3 starts 4 ER; 2 starts 5 ER; 2 starts 6 ER. 16/23 starts of 3 or fewer ER – and only 9 W.

Brandon Backe: 9-14 in 31 GS (10 QS) over 166.2 IP (Note that he was less than useless in September – most likely had a completely dead arm and he should have been shut down. Actually, he wasn’t doing too badly by Aug 1, at which time he had a 4.72 ERA and a -3 RSAA. Then he had that bizarre August in which he had games of – 3 ER/6 IP; 11 ER/3.1 IP; 1 ER/7 IP; 11 ER/4.2 IP; 3 ER/7 IP; 2 ER/6.2 IP. By the end of August, he had a 5.42 ERA and a -18 RSAA. It was the catastrophic September which dropped him down to the bottom of the NL barrel.
I’m going to omit the 3 inning 0 ER start from the rainout at Pittsburgh. 9-14 in 30 GS over 163.2 IP with 10 QS (
- Pitching WS: 1.3
- RSAA: (-) 31 !!!!! (so let’s not lump him in with Wandy as if they were equivalent, OK? They weren’t even equivalent if we omit his August and Sept starts.)
< 4 IP: 4 (L – 1.1 IP/8 ER; L- 1.2 IP/5 ER; L- 3 IP/5 ER; L – 3.1 IP/11 ER)
4-5 IP: 2 (L- 5 ER; ND- 3 ER)
5-6 IP: 9 (W -0 ER; W – 2 ER; L- 2ER; L- 4 ER; L- 5 ER; L- 11 ER; ND- 2 ER; ND- 3 ER; ND- 6 ER)
6-7 IP: 10 (2 W- 2 ER; W- 3ER; L- 3 ER;†3 L- 4 ER; L- 5 ER; ND- 2 ER; ND- 3 ER)
>7 IP: 5 ( W- 0 ER; 2 W- 1 ER; W- 3 ER; ND- 3 ER)
Interesting that he pitched at least 6 innings in half his starts – sure didn’t seem like it.
2 starts with 0 ER; 2 starts with 1 ER; 6 starts with 2 ER; 7 starts with 3 ER; 4 starts with 4 ER; 5 starts with 5 ER; 1 start with 6 ER; 1 start with 8 ER; 2 starts with 11 ER.
17 starts with 3 or fewer ER and only 9 wins. Of his 7 ND, he left 4 wwhile winning and the bullpen blew his W.
Run Support in Wins: 4.7
Run Support in Losses: 2.6
Run Support: Runs Allowed in ND – 6.4: 6

Shawn Chacon: 2-3 in 15 GS (9 QS) over 85.7 IP – note – including the 1 IP game in which Coop pulled him for Shawny being Shawny. It should be noted that he was the Astros most reliable, best pitcher during April and May – before he, Coop, Dewey and Eddie, uh, um, er, had difficulties – ahem – in June… In fact, at the end of May, Shawn was tied with Wandy for the best SP – with 5 RSAA.
- Pitching WS: 2.5
- RSAA: (-) 6
< 4 IP: 2 (L- 4 ER/1 IP; ND- 5 ER/3.1 IP)
5-6 IP: 3 (L- 6 ER; L- 7 ER; ND – 5 ER)
6-7 IP: 5 (ND- 1 ER; 2 ND- 2 ER; 2 ND- 3 ER)
>7 IP: 5 (W- 2 ER; W- 3 ER; ND- 0 ER; ND- 1 ER; ND- 4 ER†)
The bullpen lost him 2 games. He had ND in 10 of his 15 starts. He was tied when he left in 6 of those, was ahead in 2 and behind in 2. The Astros went 4-6 in those starts, In every ND except one, the bullpen gave up runs after he left the game.

Randy Wolf (ONLY his numbers as an Astro) 6-2 in 12 GS (6 QS – 5 W, 1 ND) over 70.2 IP
- Pitching WS: 6.3
- RSAA: +7 (just with Astros)
< 4 IP: 1 (L- 5R/4 ER in 2.2 IP)
4-5 IP: 2 (ND- 3 ER; ND- 6 ER)
5-6 IP: 1 (W- 0 ER)
6-7 IP: 4 (W- 0 ER; ND- 1 ER; 2 ND- 4 ER)
>7 IP: 4 (W- 0 ER; W – 1 ER; W- 2 ER; W- 3 ER)
Note that the bullpen blew none of his games and that he won twice after leaving with the score tied. He also had only 1 hard luck start, getting a ND after 6.2 IP and 2 runs.
Run Support in Wins: 5.5
Run Support in Losses: 1.5 (but only 2 games – SSS)
Run Support: Runs Allowed in ND 6: 3.7

Runelvys Hernandez: 0-3 in 4 GS over 19.1 IP
2 ER/5.1 IP; 3 ER/5 IP; 4R/3 ER/5 IP; 10 ER/4 IP
- Pitching WS: (-)1.7
- RSAA: (-)9 (and that is JUST over 19 IP!!!!

now, for the pitchers who both started and relieved – and sorry, but unfortunately RSAA doesn’t separate starting and relieving and the same with pitching WinShares.

Alberto Arias: 1-1 in 2 GS over 7.2 IP
- Pitching WS: 0.4
- RSAA: (-) 2
0 ER/5 IP and 2 ER/2.2 IP. He had 3 ace innings on the first start, then couldn’t find the plate for the next 2 and was lucky to escape. In the second start, he could hardly get anyone out and was lucky to escape with only 2 earnies. Looks pretty AAA to me.

Jack Cassel: 1-1 in 3 GS over 14.1 IP
It is very difficult to judge him – he’s an extreme GB pitcher who seldom strikes out hitters. He is very efficient with pitches, averaging 11/IP, but the manager CLEARLY didn’t like him and pulled him early. He was by FAR the best starting pitcher in the AAA club, but for some reason, the incredibly lousy Runelvys was given far more opportunity which he didn’t deserve to earn a spot. Actually, he reminds me of Chris Sampson, who, no matter how well he did, the Astros just did NOT want him as a starter, don’t ask me why.
- Pitching WS: 0.4
- RSAA: (-) 4;
3 ER/5 IP (68 pitches); 3 ER/4.2 IP (70 pitches); 5 ER/4.2 IP

Chris Sampson: 4-3 in 11 GS (4 QS – 3 W, 1 ND) over 55.2 IP
- Pitching WS: 7.7
- RSAA: (-)8 as a starter
< 4 IP: 2 (L- 6 ER/0.2 IP; ND- 5 ER/3.1 IP)
4-5 IP: 2 (L- 3 ER; L- 5 ER)
5-6 IP: 2 (W- 1 ER; ND- 4 ER)
6-7 IP: 3 (W- 2 ER; ND- 2 ER; ND- 5 ER)
>7 IP: 1 (W- 2 ER)
Of the 4 ND, he left 3 while winning and the bullpen blew it. He also lost another game because the bullpen let inherited runners score. He had 3 of 11 bad games. Which gave the Organization the excuse it had been looking for for over a year to put him in the pen.
Run Support/game in Wins: 6
Run Support in Losses: 4
Run Support: Runs Allowed in ND: 6.5: 7.75

Brian Moehler: 11-8 in 26 GS (9 QS – 7 W, 2 ND) over 141.2 IP
- Pitching WS: 8.7
- RSAA: (-) 2 as just starter
< 4 IP: 2 (L- 5 ER/1 IP; ND- 5 ER/2.1 IP)
4-5 IP: 2 (L- 5 ER; L- 7 ER)
5-6 IP: 11 (2 W- 0 ER; W – 1 ER; W- 3 ER; 2 L- 3 ER; L- 4 ER; L- 5 ER; ND- 1 ER; ND- 2 ER; ND- 4 ER)
6-7 IP: 7 (W- 1 ER; 2 W- 2 ER; W- 3 ER; W- 4 ER; L- 5 ER; ND- 1 ER)
>7 IP: 4 (W- 0 ER; W- 1 ER; W- 2 ER; ND- 1 ER)
3 starts with 0 ER; 6 starts with 1 ER; 4 starts with 2 ER; 4 starts with 3 ER; 3 starts with 4 ER; 5 starts with 5 ER, 1 start with 7 ER.
The bullpen didn’t blow any of his games.
Run Support in Wins: 5.3
Run Support in Losses: 2.5
Run Support: Runs Allowed in ND: 4.4: 3.8

Conclusions (besides Roy ROOLZ – after the ASB he went 10-2 with a 2.24 ERA):
- no question that in spite of injuries, being on the DL for a little over 2 months total, and being pulled early for pinch hitters more than a few times, Wandy was unquestionably the second best starter on this team.

Oh yeah – Randy Wolf and Brian Moehler are NOT #2 pitchers.