Archive for the ‘Jose Altuve’ Category

1/22/13: Guess Who Is The Face Of The Astros?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Well, today I was at the home of someone who has satellite, which means they have the MLB Network, which they didn’t even KNOW (imagine THAT??!!) and on one of the shows they asked the question – who is the face of the Astros? Must have been posted somewheres on the astros dot com page, where maybe 2 dozen people saw it, because that appears to be the number of replies they got, judging by the percentages, which was a couple of guys at 8%, a couple of guys at 4% and a couple of guys at 2% and

the WINNAH

Jose Altuve at 68% – you note it WASN’T Biggio, who got 8% and Bagwell wasn’t even named. Bud Norris, now the Most Respected Exalted Veteran Commanding The Team High Salary – of 3 mill a year!!! drat that horrid union and their icky arbitration making Crane give some of that 85 mill he gonna be getting to the players – what an outrage!!!!!

where was I?

Oh yeah – Bud got 8% as did Biggio – Justin Maxwell, Luhnow and Kevin Goldstein got 4% and Julio Daniel Martinez got 2% and yes there were some other guys but just like the rest of the universe, I’ve forgotten who they are.

They then interviewed Bo Porter, seeing as how the Token Female they had on the show (thank GAWD she isn’t another slutty looking blond) couldn’t think of anything to say bout Jose. Or any other Astro or the Organization, for that matter. Just like the rest of the universe. So they had Bo Porter on as a (telephone) guest and naturally, he mentioned how “excited” he is about the team. That appears to be an Organization “Key Word To Always Be Spoken In Every Sentence To The Media” thingy this year – sort of like the old days of Killah Bees.

Anyway, Bo managed to contain his “excitement” enough to talk about his life history and how with the DH he doesn’t have to worry about thinking about his lousy bullpen – or something like that. Don’ worry Bo, ain’t hardly nobody else thinkin bout it neither.

Of course I’m wondering how many “fans” actually showed up at the usual Astros “Caravans” in Houston, let alone anywheres else. During the good years, the veterans and stars almost nevah dirtied their hands and noses by showing up at those – it was always the nobody vets and the rooks who were not stars. This year, they have Altuve and

um

er

whoever. Good time to get autographs, seeing as how their poor lil hands won’t be as tired as their asses.

You know the Astros are seriously lousy when then object to a Big Star like Fernando Martinez going off to play for – I forget who – Antarctica or Peru or something. Really, Luhnow expressed his unhappiness publically. Wonder how long it took for Buddy Boy to get on the phone and tell Crane to rein in his bigmouth dissing Buddy Boy’s Pet Project. Luhnow says they need to see him in ST to evaluate him. ORLY? Like, WHAT is it they missed in his few lousy months up here? But he’s “competing” for the LF spot with Proven Veteran Rick Ankiel. 

Can this team lose 120 games???

Three weeks to PACR.

Oh yeah – I forgot. MLB network is supposed to be so superior to BBTN. Let me put it this way – any network that employs Mitch Williams as anything other than a janitor gots no business thinkin of itself as “superior” seeing as how he makes Hawk Harrelson look intelligent and well-spoken.

Wonder why it seems that almost every ballplayer, as soon as he retires, turns into a whining, complaining grumpy old man who, back in HIS days, Men Were Men and this means they all worked like Dogs, never sinned and Knew How To Play The Game The Right Way (still don’t know what way that exactly IS, but it appears to be something that is done only by each successive generation as it has just retired). Too bad couldn’t nobody seem to take a lesson from Stan Musial, who might could have gotten old, but never caught the Whining Grouch Disease.

I love hearing stories about The Man. Never claimed to be bettern everyone else, or A Leadah, or Requiring Only Purple M and Ms, 100 in each bowl, before agreeing to pose for autographs, then leaving after the photographers did. Never put others down. Didn’t shut his eyes to Evil and pretend it wasn’t happening. Apologised for his friends’  transgressions. And, best I know, is what Joe Paterno pretended to be.

I don’t expect other ballplayers to be Stan, either as The Man or the man, unlike the media, but I know it is really great to know that there were and are people like Stan. May he rest in peace.

 

9/28/12: Jason Castro Hits TWO Homers And Jose Altuve Hits The Game Winning Homer

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Well, it did turn out to be the game winner, although it seemed to be just some icing on the cake at the time.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Yo Gallardo looked like some Astros pitcher. Really.

1st inning – Yo has piss poor control – takes him 22 pitches to get through 4 batters, has 3 ball counts to 3 of the 4 guys. Not like him.

2nd: Yo STILL doesn’t look like Yo, although he gets Brett Wallace on a good slider – the first good one he’s thrown all night. He walks Castro, who goes to secondon a Fernando Martinez groundout, then scores on a single to center by Dominguez, who is dead meat at second when Gomez smartly throws to Hart, the cutoff man, who knows darn well he can’t get Castro, who took off with the crack of the bat, and DOminguez is out by 10 feet. Good thing for Yo, because he hasn’t had much of anything. Bad thing for Astros, but it was a reasonable gamble because Gomez often overthrows the cutoff man to get gundown glory at home. Edgar Gonzalez gets 1,2,3,out.

Astros 1 Crew 0

3rd: Yo gives up 2 singles, has men on first and third, 2 out, and Jason Maxwell Ks, swinging. He got himself the Golden Sombrero tonight. He’s reminding me of Preston Wilson lately. Edgar gives up a solo homer to Carlos Gomez on a slider that didn’t, then gets 1,2,3 out.

Tie game

4th: Wallace singles, Castro flies out to left. And by the way, Braun has most positively made himself into a 5 tool player. Really excellent glove, VERY good baserunning – smart, good basestealer – too bad he’s gonna get all that hating from last year’s tossed test, because he should be second in MVP voting behind Andrew McCutchen, who won’t win because the rest of his team sucked MUCHO from Aug 1 on – looks as if they are headed for their 20th straight losing season again – and they just got no-hit tonight by Homer Bailey and the Reds, 1-0.

Where was I? Oh yeah – Fernando Martinez hits a double just inside the LF foul line which bounces into the stands and it’s men on first and third. Then Yo runs into bad luck. SS Jean Segura screws up an easy grounder by Dominguez, makes a crappy throw to Maldonado, then misses the return throw, so Martinez is on third. So instead of runners don’t move, 2 outs, another run is in. Then Edgar bunts the ball on the left side of the mound. Hart slips going to get it, Yo forgets to cover first, so everyone is safe and Martinez scores.

Crew are lookin like Astros, not a good thing for their desperate last minute playoff run. Yo gets Altuve and Moore, but the damage is done. Edgar gets 1,2,3 in 11 pitches

Stros 3 Crew 1

5th: Yo gets 2 outs, then gives up a massive upper deck homer to Brett Wallace, then an opposite field homer to Jason Castro – no, I am NOT kidding. Fernando Martinez grounds out, then Edgar comes back on and gets 1,2,3 out.

Stros 5 Crew 1

6th: Yo’s first 1,2,3 inning – groundout, walk GIDP. Edgar is at 60 pitches, but his luck has run out. He gives up a single, WP, single, so it’s men on first and third, no out. He then gets a popup, and a 5-2 FC – nice to get the out at home. Good play, too. But then Ryan Braun is up and he golfs a slider into the LF gap, splitting the outfielders and 2 runs are in and Edgar is out.

Hector Ambriz comes in, gives up a stolen base to Braun, who just made the 30-30 club again, with his 30th SB. He walks Aramis, then gets Corey Hart swinging.

Stros 5 Crew 3

Without looking it up – too tired to go through every I)&*%! year game log – I think this is one of Yovani’s worst outings vs the Astros, if not THE worst. Not a real too good sign for the Crew’s faint playoff hopes with only 5 games left.

7th: New pitcher Jim Henderson gets 1,2,3. Ambriz gets 1,2, single, SB, 3.

8th: In comes the remnants of Francisco K-Rod Rodriguez who gets an out, gives up Jason Castro’s second homer – STILL can’t believe I’m writing that, gets an out, gives up a single to DOminguez, then Aramis makes a really good play on Bogusevic’s grounder and it’s 3 out.

Astros 6 Crew 3.

Wesley Wright comes in and it’s our best fielding OF with Maxwell in left, Barnes in center and Bogu in right. Or it SHOULD be. Aoki walks. Wesley is left in to face rightys!!! imagine that, and Weeks Ks, then Braun grounds to third, but they can’t turn a double play.

Then for some reason I do NOT get, Wesley is yanked and replaced with – get this – Rhiner Cruz!!! to face Aramis Ramirez. Wesley can pitch to Braun but not Aramis? WHY????? So Cruz gives up a fly ball to right and Bogu slides a little late, the ball goes by him, Braun scores and Aramis is on third with a “triple” – and why those are not scored as errors, I never have understood, except that MLB wants scoring high and errors low.

Cruz is immediately yanked, in comes The Closah, Wilton Lopez, and he gets the third out.

Astros 6 Crew 4

9th: Righty Kameron Loe in. Jose Altuve homers into what would be the Crawford Boxes – second game in a row he homers. Second wind. Also his 52nd multi-hit game. But Loe gets the next 3 and Wilton-ie is back in to Seal The Deal and he’s got a 3 run lead – no prob, right?

Lefty Logan Schafer (their 3rd round pick of the 08 draft) in to pinch hit, and he singles to left. Carlos Gomez flies out, but then Segura sends a rope into the LF corner and Schafer scores while Segura trots into second. Lucroy and his .330 BA in to PH – he grounds to Dominguez, who makes a rare error, boots the ball, Segura scores, and it’s 2 runs in already, man on first. Then Aoki obliges by grounding into a rare (for him) DP to end it.

So you see, Altuve DID hit the game winner, he just didn’t know it at the time.

Oh – gossip tidbit – I hear tell that Bo Porter was Crane’s pick, NOT Luhnow’s pick. Shades of Drayton McLane. And just to save relocation expenses? Not surprised. Especially after even Maury Brown wrote about Crane spending the money from next year’s increased income on, coughcough, “the debt.”

Count me not surprised even a teensy weensy bit. It’s almost fer SHER a lot of the reason so many guys turned down offers to interview for manager…

9/27/12: Bud Norris Pitches An Ace Game And Jose Altuve Ends The Astros Tenure In Minute Maid With A Bang

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

This post is hard to write.  I’m not crying now – that will come later, I know, after the WS is over, the first time I drive past what used to be a baseball stadium and I have to face that baseball in Houston is gone forever and has been replaced with a sham called DH ball.

Sometimes, it is hard to face the cold, hard, painful truth of reality, but sooner or later you have to.

In the meantime, I have to thank Bud Norris for that absolutely awesome pitching performance. He looked like the Bud Norris was was absolutely ACE until his hip problem thingy in May. Tonight, he had the awful Angel Hernandez for a HP ump, but gave up only a double, a single and a HBP and no walks. NO runs, 7.1 IP, ERA FINALLY below 5. And this was with Scott Moore in right field and he is NOT an outfielder. I held my breath more than once, but he managed to make all the plays. For once. Fortunately, no balls were hit to left, where Fernando Martinez was ready to stink it up.

First W since May 21, believe it or not. (It was MORE than obvious that he was hurt his next start, and he didn’t get sent to the DL for several more weeks. This pitching through injury stuff is stupid. Period)

Although he did have some REALLY good pitching performances in which he either got a L or a ND – like Lucas Harrell. You get no run support/bullpen, it don’t matter whether or not You Know How To Win.

2 meh (4 R/6 IP) and 1 pulled because of injury (3 R/3.1 IP) starts in June = 3 L

4 VERY good QS, 1 absolutely HORRIBLE start (9 runs/4.1 IP) in July = 3 L, 2 ND

3 QS, 1 meh 4 R/6 IP and 1 horrible (6 R/3.1 IP) starts in August = 3 L, 2 ND

2 QS with NO runs given up (1 W, 1 ND) and 2 yeccch starts with 5 runs/start = 2 L

He’s got one more scheduled start next week – let’s hope he gets a shutout. He didn’t deserve this many losses. Then again, neither did his fellow pitchers, for the most part.

Best part of today’s W was that it was against Chris Carpenter, who has KILLED the Astros for years and years. I’m impressed that he was actually able to come back this year – but that guy is a real fighter, he surely is.

Jose Altuve hit his homer over the 3rd window of the CBoxes. VERY kewl.

Scott Moore then doubled, went to third on a groundout, then foolishly tried to score on a GB to short by Maxwell, and was dead meat at home. Justin stole second and trotted home on a single to right (for once) by Brett Wallace. Let me be kind and say that Brett has, um, struggled a bit (ahem) this month. He’s really increased his strikeout percentage this year – if he played a full season he’d be having a 180 (approx) strikeout year. Which is nothing like Jason Maxwell’s, true.

It was only 2 runs, and the Stros left men on first and 3rd in the 5th, but fortunately Bud was nails and after he gave up a HBP (which is OK – it would have been a walk anyway) and a ROE then a K in the 8th, Wilton Lopez came in for a 5 out save.

Can’t believe Francie-poo is doing something so Old Skool. But hey, it’s working and there is no reason not to, seeing as how we’re not saving Wilton-ie for the postseason.

Oh yeah – and best news – no more Milo. So hopefully, it will be the end of calling every player a cutesy-poo name with an “ie” at the end of his name as if he were a small child. Unless the new manager continues this, I’ll quit calling all the players like that, seeing as how I don’t need to mock either Millsie-poo or Milo-ie no mo. If Crane has any sense, he’ll get rid of the 2 clowns who try to interject football and golf into every sentence and hire some guys who know and like baseball. And don’t have a northeast/midwest/whatever it is, it’s awful – non-Texan accent. But I doubt it – it might could cost money. And as Maury Brown reports, Crane will be spending most of the new money coming in from MLBAM, the new RSN and the net network deals on the debt.

Remember that preposterous 650 mill price tag that Bud Selig liked because it jacked up values of other franchises, that price tag consisting of money Crane ain’t got, that rpice tag that ensured that Crane would allow the Astros to be dragged into the sewer that is the DH league?

Yeah

Will be interesting to see how low he is gonna take the payroll next year. Bet it doesn’t exceed 30 mill, if that and yes, he DOES have to sign SOME free agents or the Players Union will complain. Not that it matters, seeing as how they have lost pretty much every single battle to the Owners over the past 10 years and have become a limp, toothless version of its former self, catering only to the very few high priced free agents who comprise less than 5% of major leaguers.

Stupid and short sighted.

But hey, instead of the old shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in 3 generatioons, it’s in 3 decades. Not even that. More like half a generation.

It’s an interesting thing. Pretty much nobody is left from the last strike of 94/95, and remembers what it means to stand up to the owners. You forget how to fight, you don’t bother to remember how to negotiate, next thing you know, all you do is lose more and more until you don’t even have guaranteed contracts.

You need guys with memories. It’s kind of like how my Dogs teach each new Dog in my pack what the Rules are and how to behave. Really.

sigh – back to my team, the Final Days. Day off, then off to Milwaukee, still fighting for that last WC spot, then to Wrigley to end the year. Fitting that we should end up at the field of perpetual losers to end the 50 year existence of the Houston Astros Baseball Club.

Astros don’t even have probable pitchers posted, no surprise, seeing as how everyone is beat up. Edgar Gonzalez and Fernando Abad are apparently too hurt to start and we know that Fernando Rodriguez is most likely going to get a start and I have absolutely NO idea who on earth is going to be able to start. I don’t think they do either.

We’ll face Yo Gallardo (might as well throw someone to the wolves as Yo turns the stros into Little Leaguers anyway) then Marco Estrada and Mike Fiers.

9/25/12: Astros Achieve Loss #105 By Getting Shut Out By The Cardinals

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

So Wandy was handed a 4 run lead by the end of the first inning and although he gave up 3 runs with a single then 2 homers before he recorded an out, he shut it DOWN giving up only 2 more walks and a single over the next 6 innings as the curve really curved and

oops

wrong team.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. The Lastros. Only 2 more games to tie last year’s record!!! WE CAN DO IT!!! 110 here we come!!!!!

Lucas Harrell lost again, poor guy – NO run support thanks to endless double plays. The Astros DID turn 2 very nice DPs, too, especially (I can’t believe it) the 3-2-3 Matt Downs to Chris Snyder on Carlos Beltran – I’d better not say he looks worn OUT or he’s gonna turn into Carlos 2004 before our eyes tomorrow. Saint Looey is ahead for the second WC by 2 games and the Crew must be gritting their teeth.

Lucas has actually pitched very well since the ASB, with only one bad game. He has very little in the way of W to show for it. Check it out:

1 ER/5 IP -ND
1 ER/7 IP – L
1 ER/7 IP – ND
2 ER/5.2 IP – W
2 ER/6 IP – W
2 ER/ 5 IP – L
1 ER/8 IP – W
6 ER = ick and well deserved L
1 ER/7 IP – ND
1 ER/ 7 IP – ND
3 ER/6 IP – ND
4 R/5.2 IP – ND
3 ER/5.2 IP – L
2 ER/5 IP – L

That is NINE games that, if he had had league average run support (and non-suckage bullpen) he should have won. Welcome to the Astros.

He had a tough time with this game, in spite of Snyder catching him again – gave up 7 hits and SIX walks (including an IBB) and only 2 runs, as he left bases loaded 3 times and had only one 1,2,3 inning. He even gave up a double to the PITCHER.

Jose Altuve had his 50th multi-hit game tonight. Our other major leaguer (besides Harrell and Wesley Wright.)

There is not much else to say.  Unfortunately.

Tomorrow is The Last Game. It’s hard not to cry, but after all, there is no crying in baseball…

 

9/21/12: Fernando Rodriguez Pitches 3.1 Shutout Innings Of Relief For A Win

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Froddy really came through – deserved this one all the way. When he’s on, he’s on.

Edgar Gonzalez pitched a 1,2,3 first, then Jed Lowrie hit a 3 run homer in the bottom of the second to give him a lead. Edgar came back out to stat the second – got Garrett Jones on a grounder, and ran over to tag him. I thought he was kind of walking funny afterwards, when he walked back to the mound, but he pitched the next few batters anyway.

He got a K, then gave up a 7 pitch single and a 7 pitch walk and next thing you know, Francie-poo and the trainer were out – saw something they didn’t like, and he got pulled.

Froddy came in, got an easy grounder to short, but Altuve wasn’t anywhere nears second, and by the time Lowrie’s throw got to first, it was late. Stuff like this has been going on all year. Bases loaded. But Froddy gets the pitcher to K, and so Lowrie’s late throw, fortunately didn’t matter.

Problem with me is that I watched Adam Everett for too many years and my expectations are kind of unrealistic, although I have gotten to the point where I say that they just have to be better than Mark Loretta/Miggy Tejada. Barmes was pretty good last year.

Saint Biggio was up in the booth and did his usual magnificent job of managing to say lots of Bull Durham stuff about The Process. He made it VERy clear that he had NO interest in being manager, was liking “helping” out Jeff Luhnow, who is this great and smart guy who just made this incredible draft this year, which was, of course, responsible for the success of all the minor league clubs, including the draftees/tradees of Ed Wade. I like it. Sounds just like Biggio.

Also, he made it clear that Brad Ausmus was not in the running for manager. Toldja so. Brad is a lot of things but stupid isn’t one of them.

I also liked how Biggio explained that the team now has “money to spend” and they are gonna spend on the draft (like they have a choice – the CBA dictates that) and they are looking for just the “right” free agent at the “right” time. And until then, we are gonna not block blahblahblah. Translation – we are gonna get some on his last legs Veteran Presence like Darin Erstad/Jason Michaels to take ABs away from young players.

Back to the game: Froddy pitched 3 more scoreless innings, giving up only 1 single, which was erased on a caught stealing – they pitched out and got Sterling Marte, supposed to be the fastest guy in the league, now that Dee Gordon is out for the year. He struck out 3, including a staring strike 3 to Andrew McCutchenon the lower inside corner – a real beauty.

Didn’t get to see any great glove work from Brandon Barnes, starting in center again – YAYYYY, but Altuve made 2 really excellent plays – a stop on what looked like a sure single up the middle – threw a dribbler over his head to Lowrie at second to force a runner. He also made a great glove n throw.

It sure was nice to get to see Froddy pitch so well. Francie-poo did the lefty/righty thingy in the 6th, but since the Astros were ahead 6-0 by the 7th, let Mickey Storey pitch the entire 7th, Rhiner Cruz the entire 8th and Wilton-ie the 9th in a non-save.

Astros left bases loaded in the 6th – as usual, but fortunately, it didn’t matter as Maxwell hit a cheapo solo homer into the Crawford Boxes – barely populated, Lowrie was HBP – on  his injured knee – hit his brace, fortunately, then Brettsie-poo tripled him home. Tripled???? you ask? Yes, he hit a ball to the RF corner and the ball kind of hit the padding and didn’t move and by the time Garrett Jones chased it down, Lowrie had managed to get home and Wallace to third – and without a throw. Then Bogu, pinch hitting, walked and stole second – without a throw. He really is a GOOD baserunner. Then PH Scott Moore walked and Altuve was HBP, driving in a run. But the next 2 hitters left bases loaded. Can’t understand why on earth the Astros can’t seem to hit for spit with bases loaded.

Brett Wallace also hit a solo homer in the 7th offn a LEFTY!!!! into the RF bullpen.

So the Astros remain stuck at 102 losses, but that’s OK since the Cubs also managed to pull off a W and the Astros continue to lead the ML by 10 games. In losses, that is.

Tomorrow, it’s Kevin Correia, who kicks Astro butt vs Dallas Keuchel, who had better get his sinker ready to sink and not throw so darn many pitches out of the strike zone.

Sunday afternoon, rubber game – AJ Burnett, suffering from Bud Norris Syndrome since Aug 21 – his past 7 games – can’t buy a W no matter how well he pitches, and he’s had 3 QS with no cigar. Jorday Lyles hasn’t had a really BAD start since Aug 1 at Milwaukee, and the Astros appear to be limiting him to 5 innings/90 pitches thereabouts, which makes good sense. He’s pitched VERY badly vs the Bucs in the past, has a 7.71 ERA.

9/14/12: Phils Got Teed Off So Tonight They Teed Off

Friday, September 14th, 2012

It’s like this folks: the Astros have a bunch of crappy relief pitchers. The Phils got an eyeful last night, and tonight, well, they went to town.

Edgar Gonzalez looked like a Mexican League pitcher tonight – lasted 4 innings, gave up 5 runs. You don’t wanna hear what the relievers looked like because what they looked like starts with the letters horse and ends with the letters poopoo. And it wasn’t just because CB Bucknor doesn’t know a ball from a strike neither. Looked like batting practice out there. 6 walks, 15 hits, 12 runs, and all this with no homers.

Stros managed 6 runs, 4 offn Hamels, who must be mortified at giving up that many runs to THIS bunch. Downsie-doo, playing RF (shudder) hit a 2 run job into the Crawford Boxes and Jason Maxwell connected and hit a ball offn the railroad tracks high over the Boxes. Tonight, there were actually some people in the upper decks – yesterday, the outfield stands  looked completely empty as did the upper deck seats on the first and third base sides. Of course, the field level seats were pretty much empty, too.

Altuve had a 3 hit game. Dominguez had a 2 hit game. Paredes sucks. And that is about it.

Read that Luhnow is talking to Larry Bowa about “baseball stuff” – which Astros fans better hope isn’t the newest euphemism for interviewing for manager. I remember this clown with Philly, and I’ve seen more than enough of him on BBTN. I thought we were done with Philly rejects. Theo Epstein has explained that the Cubs are gonna be rebuilding with young players the next few years (translation – losing a lot and having a low payroll so the owners can keep more money) so they hired a “teaching” kind of manager.

Maybe the Astros could think of hiring a manager who can teach AND win? Not that next year’s Astros look real too much better than this year’s.

sigh

There’s a reason that “Major League” is just a movie and that stuff doesn’t happen in real life.

9/1/12: Wilson Valdez Pulls A Buckner To Gift Astros With A Walk-off Win

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Missed the Friday game – forgot to record it and haven’t had time to mlb.tv it yet but I see that Fernando Abad kept to the fine Astros tradition of suckage by giving up a 3 run homer to Jay Bruce on a fat one down the middle after the Astros had managed to hit 2 solo homere back to back to tie the game. After the Bruce homer, as usual, the boyz packed it in. Not that I blame them.

In the news – Luhnow has hired Kevin Goldstein, who is a BLOGGER. Yes friends and neighbors and 2 dozen remaining Astros fans, you read that right. He first worked for Baseball America talkin bout prospects, then moved to Baseball Prospectus, doing the same thing. He has been given the job as head of pro scouting – meaning, I guess, that the Astros want the same dishy stuff on other teams prospects that he’s been writing up for BPro. All my statty friends are all agog. We’re like Billy Beane 10 years later, I guess, only without Hudson, Mulder and Zito.

I still can’t figure how this here team is gonna be competitive for years. The new CBA basically doesn’t allow spending for prospects, foreign or domestic and got rid of all the compensation picks – well, practically all of them. Unless a team gets lucky, REALLY lucky 3 or 4 years in a row, I don’t see how any team could get itself out of the basement. Then again, I DO know that spending on, and apparently getting, good prospects sure nuff doesn’t guarantee success. See Royals, KC.

Also, I keep reading that next year’s payroll is supposed to be 50 mill. Not sure where on earth THAT figure comes from. The only arb eligible players are Crystal Lowrie and Bud Norris. And won’t neither one of em make more than 1 or 2 million. Everyone else is minimum wage. I don’t even see 20 mill. I supposed they’ll have to do something about getting a bullpen whose members can do these things called getting outs and not giving up runs. I supposed they’ll have to hire a bunch of el cheapo FA because good players aren’t gonna come to a last place team. And also because teams have begun doing the John Hart thing of giving long contracts under market value to young players and there aren’t really any top FA any more.

Which reminds me – I keep hearing about how wonderful it is for the Astros to have shed all that salary and all I can say is, like why? It’s not like they’re spending it on DIFFERENT or BETTER players. And they certainly aren’t acquiring more major leaguers and they have already shed the 2 fringe guys they DID get, Ben Francisco (traded for the PTBNL to the Rays) and Steve Pearce. And it’s hard to win facing ML teams without ML players.

Which reminds me – the game. Lucas Harrell gave up 1 run in the first on 2 singles and a sac-fly. He started off the second with the giving up 2 singles again, but got a nice GIDP from the pitcher to end the inning and from there, he just sailed through 5 more innings without much of any trouble – a double here and there and a walk. Trouble was that he didn’t get run support as Astros hitters managed just 3 hits and a walk off Homer Bailey (man he luuuuvs seeing the Stros – almost got his ERA under 4). Justin Maxwell hit a ball off the end of the bat which just made it over the RF fence 340′ is still a homer, to tie the game.

They didn’t get anything going until the 8th – got men on first and second with 1 out, but Paredes, then Greene stranded em.

Hector Ambriz pitched 1,2,3 – got Brandon Phillips on a checked swing K and MAN was Brandon ANGRY – not that I blame him, it was a horsestuff call and he HAD checked his swing, but for once, it went the Astros’ way.

In the 9th, Francie-poo reverted to the ol LOOGY thingy using Xavier Cedeno to get Jay Bruce, then bringing in Wilton-ie to get the rightys. Yes, The Closah in a tie game in the 9th, but this is at home, which makes it OK for some reason.

So then, because it’s a tie game in the 9th and an away game, Dusty Baker sends in Sean Marshall instead of Aroldis Chapman – not a bad idea as he’s suppsoed to face 2 leftys and a crappy righty. So Wallace grounds out and Maxwell Ks, then pinch hitter Matt Downs (yes, Downsie-doo is back, along with Mary Jane Schafer) doubles. So Marshall IBBs Dominguez (seriously, the setup man and his 2.98 ERA can’t get out Matt eff Dominguez? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) to face Jordan Schafer. Who can’t hit leftys. Or rightys, for that matter. So Brandon Barnes and his sub Mendoza bat bravely comes up to pinch hit, 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, winning run on second. And is promptly hit by pitch.

So it’s bases loaded, and Jose Altuve, who is supposed to have had the night off, but was brought in to pinch hit in the 8th after all the pinch running substitutions, is up and it’s hero/goat time. And Jose has failed to drive in the winning run without fail (a True Astro) and sure enough, he hits a dead easy grounder at the second baseman, who lets the ball go RIGHT through his legs like Bill Buckner, and there goes the ball game.

Astros win game 41. Which means they can’t win even ONE more game in September if they Want That Sacred All Time Loss Record. At this point, The Media is convinced that we have the #1 pick in the 2013 draft locked up, even though the Cubs are only 10 games behind us and a whole lot of things can happen in September – remember 2004, when we won all but 4 games to get the WC on the last day? Remember last year when the Red Sox and Braves both collapsed like a popped balloon?

It’s baseball and youneverknow.

Oh yeah – Jose Valdez, the pitcher (and his 4.90 ERA at AAA) has been called up – Juan Abreu, one of the guys we got in the Bourn deal last year and his 6+ ERA have been let go.

Tomorrow afternoon, it’s Bud Norris – hope his blister is healed, vs Bronson Arroyo, who we beat back in June. Yes, beat. We won some games in June – before we decided that losing was teh kewl and went 3 fer July and 5 fer August. That’s an amazing suckage, 8 fer 56. Almost unprecedented.

Anyway, AAA should be over soon – the OKC team is 1.5 games behind Albuquerque and has been decimated by the Astros calling up most of their AAAA guys, so their chances of actually winning anything in the postseason isn’t good. But youneverknow. I hope they call up JB Shuck – I like the guy and I’d rather watch him PLAY than watch Fernando Martinez miss easy catches and strike out a lot. But that’s me.

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.

 

7/31/12: Jose Altuve Has His 37th Multi Hit Game And The Astros Go 3 Fer July

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

All Yovani Gallardo needs to do to regain his stride is face the Astr0s.

Chris Snyder provided the only run with a solo homer.

This team is just sorry.

Dallas Keuchel had a lot of trouble finding the strike zone – 7 walks in 4+ innings, no K. And he was pulled with 2 on no out in the 5th, Fick came in and promptly gave up a 3 run homer. Earl Weaver’s kind of game.

Should I mention another wild pitch and another stolen base against Snyder?

sigh

Cordero really stinks (he’s officially been removed from the closer’s role) Fick stinks and Rhiner Cruz, who gave up 2 runs in the 9th, stinks. And the Brewers are complaining about THEIR pen?

Tomorrow it’s Jordan Lyles vs Mike Fiers, RHP, age 27, who was drafted in the 22nd round in 09. You don’t wanna see this guy’s numbers because he makes Yo Gallardo look like a minor leaguer. He’s a rookie at age 27, and if he had been called up before the Super 2 deadline, more people whold be hearing about this guy – but it wouldn’t make no nevah mind with all the attention on Bryce Harper.

Oh what the heck, I’ll post his numbers: 10 GS over 65 IP with 54 H, 2 HR (his first start, none since) 16 BB and 65 K.

Husby has even stopped teasing me about the team being so bad – we just have bets about how many hits we we get vs give up. How many SB allowed. How many homers allowed. How many plays not made/errors. Fun stuff like that.

Forbes is estimating that the Astros will have a 39 mill payroll next year. I can’t figure out where the extra 10 mill is coming from.

 

7/25/12: Lucas Harrell Is Excellent, Coco Cordero Sucks And Astros Lose

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Just found out that the Astros are paying the Pirates 12 mill to take Wandy. Jeezus – that’s next year’s salary. For the Pirates’ 8th ranked prospect – the AA OF, not center fielder. And the 2 A ball leftys. 12 effing million.

Well, they’ll have a payroll made up of pre-arb guys next year.

Yeah, I know – ooooooh, all the A ball prospects who are gonna be on the team in September. We already GOT a team full of A ballers. Yeah, I know – these are YOUNGER A ballers.

Jose Altuve had his 38th multi hit game. We should get tons of A ball guys when we trade him and then we can have Jimmy Paredes. Yeah, I keep hearing that Altuve is high up on the trade list. Right next to, believe it or not, Chris Johnson. Of course, Altuve also got CS and failed to turn a 5-4-3 DP, which led to a run scoring. But he’s the best player we got left on the team. Jeez.

Marwin Gonzalez didn’t have a good night neither – getting thrown out at third on CJ’s bloop popup to CF, hitting into a 3-6-3 DP.

CJ had 2 lucky singles – that bloop pop into center and an infield squibber off Aroldis Chapman that wasn’t fielded well. Sometimes you’re good, sometimes you’re lucky.

Justin Maxwell hit a 2 run homer into the Crawford Boxes and reached on error – but he’s certainly better than Jordan Schafer, whose time really REALLY has gone. Couldn’t even lay down the bunt. He’s hitting his ML averages in BA/OBP/SLG, his SB% is 74 and he’s not a particularly good fielder. He’s striking out 95/325 PA. Cmon – at least Bogu can field really well. And run bases better. And don’t bring up Michael Bourn (who, by the way, is 11th in the entire NL in offensive WAR) and his first year and low BA because Michael stole more bases and was a Gold Glove out there – he NEVER dogged plays the way that Mary Jane does.

sigh

As for Coco Cordero – please. He can’t close his eyes. We faced him for like 3 YEARS before we ever beat him. I know who he WAS. And who he IS is cooked. 1 run lead – long flyout, single, 2 run homer = BS/L, groundout??!!, walk, WP (and yeah, it really was and not another passed ball the umps blame the pitcher for), another walk, RBI single. Crappy stuff, crappy location – and it wasn’t the ump (except for one ball 1 that shoulda been strike 1). Call up one of those million dollar A ball pitchers we just traded for.

Bud Norris goes tomorrow. He better pray that he gets a 15 run lead.