Archive for the ‘Hunter Pence’ Category

10/28/12: Tigers TRY To Win But The Riot Beats Coke In The 10th And Giants Sweep And Win Series

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

I can’t stand the thought of no mo baseball for the rest of the year, so I’m just hoping that the Tigers make a game of it. Even if I can’t actually ROOT for them, if you dig. So in order to kind of encourage them, I headed over to Mama’s, paper catsuit and all. Naturally, Louis The Cat rushes over to miauw all ovah that paper and I tell him that he best not be thinkin of getting petted, let alone sitting with me, unless his team leads. AAAARRRRRROOOOWWWW, MIAOW, he sez, which means, just you wait, sista.

Demi Eff Lovato is in to sing the National Anthem. Naturally, she butchers it. Can someone please PLEASE explain to me why it is now an absolute necessity for female “singers” to refuse to sing the National Anthem as it was written, slowing it was down, changing the key, the phrasing, jazzing it up, dumbing it down? I mean, seriously, WHY is it so important to make fun of the National Anthem? I’m assuming that is the reason behind the butchery. When it first started, with Roseanne Barr, I think, it was supposed to be funny. I had hoped it would end there, but noooooooo…

grrrrrrrrrrrrr

Mama and I decided to listen to KNBR with McCarver and Joe Uck muted out. Trouble is that the feeds are not coordinated, but that’s OK. We were so late we didn’t get started until the second inning. We didn’t miss much of anything.

Ryan Theriot is the Giants’ DH. This tells you all you need to know about the essentiality of the stupid DH.

1st – Scherzer gets 1,2,3. He is NOT getting any low strikes. Cain gets 1,2,3 with a walk to Miggy Cabrera.

2nd – Posey Ks, then Pence hits a GR double over the left-center fence. Then Brandon Belt hammers his first hit of the Series – a triple to the RF corner (that’s a REAL triple), then Blanco and Theriot strand him at third. The wind is blowing in HARD. It looks misty out there.

They are interviewing some female. NOT an athlete, not stick skinny enough to be a celebrity. Of course, they aren’t showing the, you know, like GAME, and the captions say she stayed in the MLB FanCave all season, watching every single game. Which won her tickets to the WS. I can’t imagine living with those creeps in the FanCave all FREAKING YEAR. I’m getting old, I guess.

Jeezus gawd. I just HATE the way they show the WS. Or don’t show it, I should say. I call home, remind kidz to feed the Dogss and let them out in the back yard.

3rd inning – Matt Cain, who has been hommeriffic this postseason, left a changeup down the middle to Miggy Cabrera, who sent it (barely) over the RF wall (thank you wind) for a 2 run homer. Goobah shutout innings, goobah lead. After Mama and I finish yelling, Louis has magically appeared on top of the couch and next thing I know, I feel whiskers rubbing my neck and a paw patting my paper catsuit and I hear MIAORWWWWW. He gets his chin scratched.

4th inning, both pitchers had settled down,1,2,3 – no problem. It’s raining, not that hard. Fans don’t seem to care and neither do the players. I can’t believe that hurricane is causing rain as far west as Detroit. I mean, I’ve heard it’s huge, but geeez.

Call kidz to make sure they’ve let the Dogss back IN the house.

5th inning – Scherzer is cruising, gets easy 1,2,3. Cain back out. Infante singles, but is stranded when Quinton Berry comes up with 2 out and he grounds weakly to Cain – it goes off his glove and Crawford the SS manages to pick it up and throw to first in time to get Berry. Shades of Adam Everett.

Maybe Brandon Crawford should get the MVP for his glove – he’s made at LEAST 7 WebGem plays along with excellent turning of the DP.

6th – Scherzer is at only 67 pitches. You talk about efficiency. Scutaro singles. Panda fouls off a bunch, looks at 3 balls, then swings at a vicious slider. Then it’s Buster Posey, who has uck-sayed all Series, golfs a changeup juuuuuuust inside the LF foul pole.

Giants re-take the lead 3-2. Scherzer is furious. 345 stinking feet and it’s a homer. Could be worse there boy – only 325 to the LF pole at the Box.

Pence Ks looking on 3 pitches – all in the middle of the zone, too. Belt flies out.

New pitcher is LHP Jeremy Affeldt. PH Avasail Garcia walks and Mr. Triple Crown is up.

Matt Cain back out. Can he hold a lead THIS time? And, no. Miggy Cabrera Ks swinging. Prince pops up to Crawford. Cain hangs a slider to Delmon Young and it’s POW, gone opposite field. Tie game.

Giants 3 Cats 3

AAARRRRRROWWWWWWWRRRR, sez Louis. How that damm cat knows what happens on the TV, I do not know, but he rubs the paper on my ankles and then jumps up on my right side – see, he knows not to bother my scorebook writin hand, settles himself next to me, puts his head on my thigh and purrs. I tell him that I might move or jump, depending on the action. He shrugs. MIAUWRRRRK, RROOOOWWWWRRRR, he sez.

So Dirks singles up the middle (no relievers in sight) then Jhonny Peralto is up. Cain is leaving pitches up and Peralto almost takes one out but Blanco catches it on the warning track.

7th – Scherzer back out, determined he IS gonna win this game if he has to finish the damm thing his own self. We’ll see. Blanco singles to right. DH Theriot grounds out and Blanco is at second. And well, looks like Scherzer AIN’T gonna finish this damm game his own self, because he’s outta there for slugger Brandon Crawford. Really. 90 pitches. I look at Louis – you know, a run scores and you outta here too, I tell him. MIAOWWWW, PPRRRRRRRRKKK, he tells me.

Lefty Drew Smyly in. Crawford lines out to CF. Smyly gone and Dotel is coming in to get Great Hitter Pagan to hit lefty. It’s not like he can’t hit lefty. Reminds me of Phil Garner bringing in John Franco to face Chipper Jones, forgetting that Chipper could hit right. I mean, not that Pagan is any Chipper Jones. And he gets Pagan out.

Matt Cain back out – hey, he outlasted Scherzer. Wouldn’t have guessed that. Infante out, Laird pops out on a FB down the middle, Jackson Ks swinging on 3 pitches.

8th – Dotel back out, and he walks Scutaro on 4 straight pitches. Panda hits into a 3-6-1 DP. Scutaro can’t escape the rundown. Posey fouls off a bunch, but Ks, swinging.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and this game will go 21 innings, set a record and we’ll get the fun of watching position players pitch and pitchers field at short or something.

LHP Jeremy Affeldt in to face PH Avasail Garcia, who walks. He then strikes out Cabrera, Fielder and Young, ALL swinging. Really impressive pitching.

9th – Lefty Phil Coke, Da Closah, in. He strikes out Pence, looking on a FB RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE. He then strikes out Belt and Gregor Blanco.

Affeldt back. Dirks Ks swinging. Peralta up – he has got to be the hardest luck guy – he hit a FB right down the middle at least 420 feet to left CF, but it was into the wind and Pagan got it at the wall.  He’s out, Santiago Casilla, RHP in. It’s 10: 20, so I call home to make sure kidz have gone to bed. They haven’t, naturally. I explain the connection between going to bed and video game privileges, and get grumbling, as expected.

Anyway, Casilla hits Infante on the back of the hand and he leaves, heads straight for the dugout – must have broken it. Danny Worth in to pinch hit. Apparently, Alex Avila is hurt and can’t play today. Whoa. Laird grounds out.

And it’s EXTRA INNINGS!!!!

I call home again, to make SURE those kidz are headed for bed. Husband grumbles as I tell him it’s extra innings. He knows the bad news – I’ll be home when it’s ovah and not a minnit sooner. He knows me all too well and I hear the faint sigh.

10th – Coke back in. Riot singles to right. Crawford sac-bunts. Pagan Ks swinging. Scutaro hits a single to center, Jackson plays it on the bounce and Riot beats the throw into home!!! And sorry Phil Coke, Ball three was NOT strike 2 – it was way up and way out. And the ball that Scutaro hit was also up and out and was ALSO a ball, so no complaining. Panda grounds to third and Scutaro is tagged out trying to advance.

Giants 4 Tigers 3

I tell Louis to get down, his team is losing.

Sergio Romo in. Austin Jackson Ks swinging. That slider is FILTHY. Don Kelly in to hit lefty and he strikes out swinging at a FB outside at the knees. No, it wasn’t a slider – too fast. Mr. Triple Crown up.  Slider for a called strike. Slider for a ball. Slider for a swinging strike. Slider for a ball. FB up away fouls it off. “One strike away.” And he strikes out looking on a FB right down the middle. Miggy gets the sombrero tonight. The Giants get the trophy.

At least the Tigers actually made it a game tonight. All the “experts” who said the Tigers were heavy favorites and would win in 5 – well, I guess they all gonna sniff – Small Sample Size. Not, well, I guess I wuz ronggg.

Baseball is now over for 2012. The Giants win the WS again. MVP should be Lincecum or Brandon Crawford. Or even Romo. But no, it’s Pablo Sandoval – it’s those 3 homers. National League keeps winning All Star games and World Series. So much for DH superiority. Yeah – lemmee guess – Small Sample Size.

Marco Scutaro’s postseason heroics reminds me of Cody Ross in 2010, and although he was DFAd by 2 teams before being picked up by SanFran this year, betcha this gets him a contract for next year.

And now, it’s time for me to wash up (get rid of cat hair) and head back home because I have this feeling I need to kick kid asses, get them into bed….

 

 

10/27/12: Tim Dandy To The Rescue

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Tim Dandy to the rescue!
Tim Dandy to the rescue!
Tim Dandy to the rescue!
Go, Tim Dandy! Go, Tim Dandy!

Voge was droopin  on the pitchin mound
And couldn’t no more strikes be found
Couldn’t get even the simple force
Uh huh, that’s right, of course.
Tim Dandy to the rescue!
Go, Tim Dandy! Go, Tim Dandy!

(Apologies Black Oak Arkansas)

Ay-yep, Timmeh Lincecum, he done it again. Vogelsong had gotten out of a bases loaded jam in the 5th by getting Miggy Cabrera to pop out, and in the 6th, gave up the 4th of his walks after getting 2 outs – yeah, 4 walks, 5 hits, no runs. In c.omes Timmeh, just like in Game 1, strands the runner, pitches 2 shutout innings.

Looks like the MVP to me, especially if he keeps coming in as a high leverage long reliever. Which is very VERY kewl – haven’t seen a pitcher do this as far back as I can remember.

As for the game. Sigh.

OK, we’re in Dee-troit. Motah City. Home of Mo-town. There are plenty of famous singers – Eminem, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent (uck), Aretha Franklin. To name just a few. So why is some drab skinnyass bimbette with a crap voice singing the National Anthem? Oh – she’s some Fox sitcom starlette. Uck.  Yeah, I know. All about the Benjamins.

You know, I’d sure like to know who exactly is this “casual fan” that Fox/MLB pander to who prefer mega closeups of nosehairs, batting gloves, godknowswhat, and all those STUPID megamega slo mo watching the bat swing/ball bounce stuff. Or the interviews with random jerk Foxcom TV starlettes who don’t know a baseball from a golf ball. Or even the mid inning interviews with players/managers, drowning the GAME ON THE FIELD. I know they do stupid crap like this during the regular season, but this is beyond awful.

sigh

I swear I can remember when what most of what they showed during the WS was like, you know, the like, you know GAME. I mean, showing the field, the fielders positioning, guys catching and throwing the ball. Not much nosehair (although there sure nuff was crotch grabbing. I betcha the AAGPBL players didn’t do none of that. I never have understood why do that but it does start early – age 5 months. Trust me on this, I didn’t believe it when I first saw it.)

but I digress…

Really, not real too much interesting in this here game – Hunter Pence was the hitting star. Really. He walked, stole a base (endless stuff about free tacos – and NO, I am not feeding the kidz that stuff), went to 3rd on a WP and came home on a “triple” which was a misplayed ball to center by Austin Jackson. You know how it is – if the fielder doesn’t put a glove on the ball, no matter HOW badly he goes after it, no error. And really, the best it should have been was a double and a 1 base error on the bobble.  Hunter also singled twice.

Tigers have now been shut out 2 straight games. It isn’t just the pitching, they are just not hitting. Prince had a good reason to be furious about that crappy strikeout call in the 4th, but otherwise, no cigar. Actually, Prince didn’t hit that well last year vs Saint Looey, and this year, ohhh, mama. BAD. I mean, seriously, the Astros in the 05 WS, at least we put up a fight, lost by only 1 run every single game – And Brad Lidge lost 3 of those by his lonesome.

Man, here I go, getting all nostalgic again.

I supposed I should make some comment about the Astros new logo getting “accidentally” leaked on a t-shirt in the Academy store. Logo is the old H on the orange star. Lots better than that stupid brick red/pinstripes. Although I was kind of hoping for the old blue/gold – the players really seemed to like that one.

Tim Bogar turned down the position of bench coach after not being chosen manager. Not sure whether or not it had anything to do with the document they wanted him to sign in which he was supposed to agree to turn down any offers to manage that came his way. He’s not going back to the Red Sox neither, apparently, now that they got The One from Toronto, where the players didn’t like him and neither did the fans.  Shrug.

Interesting that this year’s bench coach, Pettini, is being let go – and he was one of Luhnow’s petsy-poos from Saint Looey, too.

Naturally, no other news. Will check out the winter leagues after the Series ends. And it sure nuff looks like it’s gonna end tomorrow. This is like THE most boring Series in, like forever. Tigers might could win tomorrow – it’s Scherzer vs Cain, but no WS team has ever come back from 3-0 to win it all.

But it IS baseball and youneverknow…

10/25/12: Hunter Pence Wins Game 2 For The Giants

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

So I’m a fangrrrl. I admit it. Hunter has a lower OPS than all the pitchers on his team in the postseason COMBINED. But today, Doug Fister and Madison Bumgardner had themselves an EXCELLENT pitchers duel going for 6 innings – each guy had given up 2 hits and 1 walk. And the game was moving right along – as fast as a modern WS game can go with all the ceremonies and interruptions.

So anyway, Fister, who had thrown 108 pitches, came out to pitch to Pence, still hitting in the 5-hole, don’t ask me why. Well, maybe it’s like Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof – TRADITION!!!!

So it’s a scoreless game. Pence had had 2 ABs already – flied out to shallow center and to the arning track in center – a LOT better than what he HAD been doing, which was flailing wildly or grounding out. He took a breaker in the dirt for ball 1, fouled off a perfect FB on the inside, started at a FB that was RIGHT down the middle, took a slider outside that he usually flails at, fouls a curve, then hits a slider that doesn’t slide quiiite enough into LF for a hit. It’s goo-bah Fister, and in comes his relief.

Smyly, RHP, gives up a walk, then Gregor Blanco, who tried and failed to bunt his previous 2 ABs, chops one down the 3rd base line, the catcher and 3rd baseman stare at it, willing it to go foul, but it doesn’t, and ever one is safe, bases loaded. So Brandon Crawford hits into a 4-6-3, Hunter scores the go ahead run!!!

Fister is informed that strangling relievers who give up a run on the only inherited runner, which loses him a hard fought and well pitched ballgame is not allowed in MLB. He checked with Astros starters who confirmed the news. They told him about all their favorite blood pressure medications and stress-reducing yoga positions.

Very next inning, same reliever back out. He walks Angel Pagan on 4 straight pitches, gets Scutaro staring at strike 3 RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE, then Angel Pagan takes off on the first pitch and barely makes it. Smyly then decides to IBB Sandoval to pitch to Posey. Small sample size decisions ROOL, do they not? at least here, they do. Posey takes a walk, mostly because Strike 1 and Strike 2 are called Ball 1 and Ball 2. First time all night that the ump didn’t call the rule book zone.

Hunter then drives in the security run with a sac-fly the very next inning. He ain’t hittin the ball much, but today it counted.

Not real too much that was kewl, except for the second inning, in which Da Prince was HBP, then Delmon Young hits a double into the LF corner. Blanco gets it, throws a PERFECT beebee to Scutaro, the cutoff man, who makes a PERFECT throw to Posey, who nails Prince on his ass – nice target, by the way. And Prince was trying to slide in, not annihilate Posey. And Prince was barely out, too – just a slightly weak or offline throw and he scores.

So much for the Tigers win it in 5, so much for the – ohhhh this is SOOOOOO lopsided in the Tigers’ favor. At least so far.

Yes, I AM still rooting for Hunter to suddenly start hitting and get the MVP.

 

10/24/12: Barry Zito Hands Verlander His Lunch And Giants Win Game 1

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

All Pablo and no Pence.

Hunter still has that scraggly ass hideous face hair and is swinging away at crap – not just sliders away, and looking seriously BAD. He took the sombrero tonight. Unlike Pablo, who hit 3 straight homers. Hope he keeps it up – unlike Uncle Albert last year, who sucked the entire Series, except for his 3 homer game. SOMEbody has gotta hit for that team, and Buster Posey looks almost as lost as Hunter.

At least this game isn’t being held in a downpour, like game 7 NCLS, in which the umps, after like 7 innings, got together and decided than any pitch within 1 foot of the strike zone would be a strike so they could all get the heck outta there as the Giants had already killt the Cards 9-0 and I have no doubt that they weren’t permitted to have any sort of rain delay in spite of the deluge. I’m just glad didn’t nobody get hurt out there.

Next question – what the EFF has happened to Jose Valverde?  He was sent in to mopup tonight in the 7th – got Lincecum (in relief) swinging and did his sillyass fist clenching little dance, then proceded to give up a double, 3 singles and 2 runs. his last 3 appearances have been, well, disasters. Maybe he’s injured, or maybe it is one of those – he has been having a run of suck – type thingys. youneverknow.

And Lincecum has been an absolute master this postseason, at long relief – AND at coming in a getting outs with MOB without allowing any inherited runs. His velocity is way WAAAYYY down from where it was a few years back, but he still got 5 Ks over 2.1 IP, which is far FAR better than anything he did as a starter this year.

And Barry Zito – the guy who was completely off the postseason roster 2 years ago, is now starting game ONE of the World Freaking Series. And through the end of 5, looked as if he was gonna get a complete game shutout – or at least a shutout. He suddenly lost control and was getting hit HARD when Bochy pulled him and sent in Timmeh, who shut it DOWN.

Barry

Freaking

Zito.

Well, if he wins 2 WS games and the Giants win another Ring, that giant (hahahaha) contract he got won’t look so bad, will it?

We’ll see if Madison Bumgardner can pitch better than he has the last few times and avoid Kyle Lohse-hood. If not, guess Timmeh will be ready and waiting.

The Giants are still thinking about who is gonna DH in Dee-troit. Hint – it shouldn’t be Aubrey Huff, who is making Pence look like Barry Lamar 2002. At least so far, the Gaints aren’t making it as easy for the Tigers to get their first Ring since 84 as Joe Uck opined. Yes, the sound got turned off then. No, I didn’t turn it back on. Yes, I was at my Mama’s. Yes, she’s still all Up Set about the Cards choking away the last 2 games. Yes, I had to get back home right quick to make sure that kids were actually IN bed because getting up time comes right quick.

Yes, it IS difficult getting in WS games without interruptions on school nights.

10/22/12: In Which Hunter Pence Leads Giants To The World Series

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This entry is short because I’m having endless computer trouble and want at least to post that when it counter, Hunter came through.

He hit the game breaking open double in the 3rd with bases loaded (you can see he really HAS left the Astros) with 2 RBIs and another run scoring on yet another effup by Kozma. And then Hunter scored a run.

Let’s say that Cain wasn’t exactly good, and the ump called the rule book strike zone, but Lohse was really lousy – lots of line drives instead of walks, this time. Let’s say that yesterday, Matheny really should have started Shelby Miller because Carpenter looked as lousy as he did in Game 2.

At least all the folks screaming that the Cards had no right to be here because they were the #5 ranked team in the NL will get SOME comfort, even though the Nats went home.

 

10/19/12: Barry Zito Makes Cardinals Look Like Yankees – Well, Maybe Not THAT Bad

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Or, in which Hunter Pence is the key to victory. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Yankees basically didn’t hit all ALCS, which is 100% attributable to Alex Rodriguez earning 28 or 35 or whatever it is million dollars, so he must be gotten rid of immediately, which will cure the team’s chemistry problem, especially after they get rid of Joe Girardi and hire Tito Francona. Oh – scratch that. And hire Buck Showalter. Oh – scratch that. And hire Billy Martin. Oh yeah, forgot – make that Jack Morris, because He Knows How To Win, ignoring postseasons not Game 7 1991.

No one to play 3rd base – like so what, that is what money is for. They can sign (giggle) Kevin Youkilis – he’s old enough by now.

Actually, I’m wrong. The Yankees lost because His Captaincy broke his 38 year old ankle and breaking his ankle broke the spirit of the team, which can’t win without His Clutchinesshood. Or something like that.

where was I? Oh yeah.

Cardinals thought they had this here series wrapped up last night, when they thrashed Tim Lincecum, who, as a reliever, had looked like the old Timmeh minus about 8 MPH on his FB. After all, Barry had pitched BP his last game and you’re only as good as your last start, right Adam Wainwright?

um,

I guess not.

This happens. I remember Game 5 NLCS 2005, when it looked like we were Gonna Go All The Way and it was Lidge on the mound, 2 outs, bottom of the 9th – and dead silence. At least it won’t mess up the Cards’ rotation as it did ours back when Houston used to have a baseball team…

Anyway, Lance Lynn got the start tonight, and he did ace for the first 3 innings. Then came the 4th inning. He gave up a single to Scutaro, then Pablo Sandoval, then got Posey swinging on 3 pitches out of the zone, then Hunter Pence hit a GB right back to him for an easy 1-6-3 inning ender, only Lanceie-poo threw the ball at the second base BAG instead of the SS, and you had the beginning of the end. Scutaro scored, Lance couldn’t pull himself together and before you could blink, it was a walk, a 2 run single and Barry Zito hammered the nail in the coffin by hitting a perfect, unfieldable bunt to 3rd, scoring a run and it was 4-0 and the completely discombobulated Cards did nothing useful.

They got FOUR runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. Panda hit a solo job in the 8th offn Mitchell Boggs, like, so what.

Should I mention that Lance Lynn also hit into an inning ending 6-4-3? He could have stood there with bat on shoulder, hoping for a walk (not that Zito was giving any) and let lefty Jon Jay try to be a HEro. But no.

The Giants also fielded like they had a team of 9 Adam Everetts out there, too, which wasn’t real too much help for the Cardinals.

This is giving much happiness to the Nats fans and purists, who feel cheated because the Cards are the 5th WC team. The purists are all Up Set because Togers, AL pennant winners, had the worst record of the 5 teams, and they will be even MORE Up Set if their opponent is the Cards, also the worst of the 5 teams. At least the Giants had 94 wins in the regular season. The days of The Best AL Team vs The Best NL team GUARANTEED, are loonnnnnng gone.

And things are gonna be interesting Sunday afternoon – competing with football for ratings. And Ryan Vogelsong, basically unhittable in the playoffs this year, is gonna face Chris Carpenter, prima donna ultimo, who looked lousy last time out, and is dying for revenge. Not that it means he’ll get it, you know.

Hunter Pence had his worst year EVER, by FAR. He’s hitting .105 in the playoffs, and unless he KILLS the ball Sunday, will be hitting worse than The Hated Arod. Yet, you KNOW he’s gonna get a nice fat contract at the end of the season. Could it be with the MFY, to replace Nick Swisher? The Yanks NEED a RH bat – and you KNOW if Hunter doesn’t hit, he’s gonna get serious hell. He could go the the Red Sox, who need basically everything except a second baseman. I’d say he could go to the Cubs, but they are in serious el-cheapo mode, AKA “rebuilding.” He could stay in San Fran – youneverknow. ESPECIALLY if he is a playoff hero (see Cody Ross, who is now the #1 offseason priority signing of the RedSox.)

They sure look like the 2010 Astros, don’t they?

No baseball tomorrow. How will I live?

10/7/11: Berkman And Wolf Go To The NLCS: Pence And Blum Go Home

Friday, October 7th, 2011

What absolutely AWESOME game 5s for the NL!!! And no interference from the pretend baseball league today neither!!! I thought it was very interesting that BEFORE the games started today, that MLB had a pic of Ryan Braun vs Uncle – who were NOT opposing each other today – to represent the NL.

And indeed, the Brewers game was a real nailbiter. Yovanni Gallardo most certainly did NOT look like any sort of ace, but somehow, he managed to get through 6 innings giving up only 1 run, even though he had reached 68 pitches by the end of the 3rd. He was NOT exactly helped by the HP ump, Jeff Kellogg, who has a strike zone the size of his clenched fist – he called strike 3 to Justin Upton Ball 3, although it was absolutely unquestionably in the strike zone – and naturally, Upton hit the next one out. Naturally, Yuni Betancourt – who is Neifi Perez, only fatter and without the glove, drove in the go ahead run in the 6th after grounding out with 2 on 2 out int he 4th.

K-Rod looked terrible in the 8th – walk, K, single, K, walk, groundout – took him 26 pitches and it felt like 46. But he managed to get that hold.

Axford blew the save – gave up a leadoff double, a single and a run on a squeeze – although I must say that on that thre play, he and the infield defense looked like the 3 stooges. But he got a nice 1,2,3 10th and the Diamondbacks closer, JJ Putz, who got a 1,2,3 9th, gave up a double to pinch hitter Carlos Gomez, who SHOULD have been able to take 3rd on a WP, but scored anyway when Nyjer Morgan, AKA Tony Plush, singled up the middle for the walkoff.

He was All Excited for the post game show, said HECK YEAH!!! (well, not exactly “heck” but close enough for this here G-rated blog) a couple of times, said – gotta tip your cap to the Dbax, then said – I just gotta go!!! And this was all live, too and TBS didn’t really have time to, uh, bleep/censor. It was Morgan’s game – he doubled and scored the first run in the 4th. Even though Ryan Braun unquestionably had a great series. Da Prince, by the way, did not.

But you know, it was a short series and when a team only has to have 3 SP instead of 4, anything can happen.

See Cards – Phils. Halliday vs Carpenter – lots of hype and the game lived up to it. Halliday had a roughish first inning – gave up a leadoff triple to the gap to Furcal, then an RBI double to Schumaker. Uncle hit a grounder to second and Schu was thrown out easily at third – BAD baserunning. Berkman reached on catchers’ interference on what would have been a swinging strikeout – Berkman looked really sorry against Halliday all night (then again, pretty much so did everyone else) but Halliday got the next 2 outs without another run scoring. 33 pitches.

And unfortunately for the Phils, that was all the Cards needed because Carpenter was even better – 3 hits, no walk, 3 K shutout. Pence hit 4 weakass groundouts. Ryan Howard’s series reminded me of Barry Lamar in the postseason prior to 2002.

For the entire series, Pence hit .211 and Berkman hit .167 – not real too much to strut about.

So it’s 2 teams from the NL Central in the finals and didn’t none of the “experts” think THAT. Pretty much everyone expected a repeat of the 09 series between the biggest AL mopney team and the biggest NL money team and they both went byby in the first round. NO East Coast teams made it past the first round!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

Me, I’m rooting for the Brewers and hoping for a Brewers/Rangers WS but I keep thinking about that Red Siamese cat – wondering if it is an omen meaning Cards vs Tigres repeat of the 06 series.

Nah – that’s silly. There’s no superstition in baseball. Just the hard, cold stats, right?

Texas is the only team without an ex-stro, so I guess I’ll have to back the Tigers.

7/29/11: Goodbye Hunter Pence

Friday, July 29th, 2011

He was pulled after 5 innings for Jason Michaels – he’s going to the Phillies – I’m shocked, SHOCKED.

So far, it’s 3 A ball guys and a PTBNL. “TOP” prospects (cheap) including Zack Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Josh Zeid. I was kind of surprised that Domonic Brown wasn’t included – but he makes Clank look like Michael Bourn out there. Wonder if these A ball “top prospects” are any better than Astros “top” prospects Mier, Villar and DeShields – who, by the way, are awful.

I like how the Chron guys are saying stuff like how they think those A ball guys will be in the majors next year. Putting a baseball players on a major league field doesn’t make them major league quality players (see Jason Smith). Promoting guys who don’t deserve promotions and can’t hit low A pitching doesn’t prove that your minor league system is getting better.

Not sure who will go next, Bourn, Barmes, Wandy or Myers, but hey we lost with em and we can lose without em as the old saying goes.

I wish Hunter the best in Philly – hopefully, he’ll win a Ring there – goodness knows Ed Wade’s done his best to keep Philly at the top of the NL since he’s come to Houston. And they didn’t even have to pay him.

Poor Jordan Lyles pitched 6 good innings, giving up only 2 runs – was pulled after 6 innings/78 pitches – not sure why.

Bet he wished it was him going to Philly. And Sanchez is an awful defensive third baseman.

7/30/11: The National Media Knows About Crane Wanting To Cut Payroll

Friday, July 29th, 2011

but yet, the local media is tighter-lipped about Crane’s intentions and finances than a dead person.

Tim Brown, at yahoo.com discusses whether or not Hunter Pence will be traded – he doesn’t know, but we ALL know that other teams DO want Pence. (by the way, Jon Heyman says that apparently Pance was told last night that he was traded, but then he wasn’t – Drayton???)

But check THIS lil tidbit out:

“What we know is new Astros owner Jim Crane apparently hopes to machete some $15 million from the payroll for 2012.”

You know how bad it’s gonna be next year and the year after and the year after and the year after when even the national media wonders who will bother to come to the ballpark when every actual major league baseball player is gone from the team and we are left with the Brett Wallaces and Chris Johnsons.

I wish that MLB wasn’t set up so it simply doesn’t matter whether or not a team has actual FANS or even people at the ballpark. But Fox wants Yankees/Red Sox every year and so Bud will change the playoffs to make Fox happy. And those self same Yankees Red Sox will finance the Cranes of the baseball world who will make money on a major league baseball team that only cost him 75 mill – and will make sure he gets his 30 mill profit a year (well, minus whatever debt payments he can get away with paying).

There will be SOME people who go to the park to watch a terrible team (see Marlins, Pirates, Royals, Brewers owned by Bud n Wendy) with corporate writeoffs and group sales and groups of little kids who are actually really interested in junk food and junk-shun jack, that stupid mascot, not the game.

I have said a lot of times that the baseball players THEMSELVES are always talking about “confidence” and they talk about how there is a different vibe when they are traded from a listless lifeless team to one in real contention for the pennant. Miz Teeke and O. Rah show up.

It will be interesting to see if Bud Selig is going to finally realize his dream of a nice low paying iron clad slotting system in which a prospect’s only choice will be sign for amount X with team Y or go to college/back to college/indy league. I wonder if we’ll get more of the JD Drew stuff where top TOP prospects will refuse to sign with a welfare team and take their chances on the next year’s draft. Especially if Bud gets his way and has significantly lower bonuses.

I would guess that there will still be plenty of guys who will choose baseball over football and if not, Latin America and Mexico are filled with guys who would LOVE to play even for significantly less money that they earn now – if Bud manages to get all payrolls down.

MLB and the owners have been getting smarter and smarter at “hiding” income – although they aren’t smart enough to outsmart Scott Boras, and so much of the MLB income has gone on-line and is split evenly 30 ways that as long as there is mlb.tv, there will be plenty of income, regardless of the numbers of people who actually GO to see the games. And this is why Bud and Crane don’t care or HAVE to care about the actual numbers of people who actually Go through the gate.

The Astros have gone from being THE sports team here to being as interesting as the WNBA and yeah, they’re gone. I never see Astros caps/gear and the Astros chatboards are occcupied by the same 10 people – unlike 5-7 years ago. And people aren’t wearing Rangers gear (there IS no rivalry, Bud – don’t bother to tell your pal Richard Justice to try to pimp it because it don’t exist) instead, oh no. It’s the (many swear words) Yankees and Red Sox – and these people are Texans, not from Up There.

And I just made Fox’ day happier…

Oh yeah, guess how many prospects the Astros have on mlb.com’s new Top 50 prospect list?

Yeah, you are right. Zero.

7/27/11: Altuve Drives In His First Winning Run

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

I like how the Media is screaming on and on and on about Jerry Meals’ botched call at home in the kabillionth inning of the Braves-Pirates game last night bout how we NEED replay, They Have To Get It Right

but

are completely ignoring the fact that Uncle Albert’s “homer” off the top of the wall was reviewed and though it was OBVIOUSLY not over the wall or off any concrete, was “reviewed” and the incorrect call let to stand.

TLR just made sure that Colby Rasmus left Saint Looey – what a surprise – seeing as how TLR made it MORE than obvious he didn’t like Colby real too good – couldn’t get rid of him last year because he was doing too well, but this year, he had to adjust to pitchers adjusting and that was all the excuse ol Tony needed. They got the much traded Edwin Jackson, RHP and 2 1/2 years of Mark Teahen, utility infielder and Toronto got Rasmus.

Carlos The Jackal just left for San Fran to join up with Kepp. This leaves Pence and Bourn ripe for plucking. I hear tell that the Rays were willing to trade Wade Davis for Colby Rasmus – and yeah, I know he’s younger and cheaper than Pence, but youneverknow. Kind of surprised me, tell you the truth, unless they had some place to move Upton because Desmond Jennings is ready. Would be very nice to have Wade Davis because he’s actually a good pitcher.

I hear tell that both Atlanta and Philly want Pence. Not surprised. I’m not real too particularly thrilled with Domonic Brown, tell you the truth. Not sure who else they have to offer, except Vance Worley, RHP – who might be better than Happ, LHP – then again, pretty much anyone would be better than Happ.

Anyway, I hear tell that there are more than a few teams who want Wandy – his salary is not a problem, but Fast Eddie getting anything better than he did for Keppinger is. At least that is what I suspect.

Lessee what good stuff can I talk about?

Jose Altuve is hitting major league pitching. He wasn’t even on anyone’s Astros top 10 prospect list this year. He’s hit in every game so far, and tonight, with 2 out, Corporan on second and Bourn on first, he drove a ball to center, driving them both in and breaking the 2-2 tie for the first Astros win in 6 games.

Last night, Carlos Lee, yes, Carlos Lee made an excellent catch in left and threw to double Albert Pujols off first base. Which was teh kewl. And he drove in the only run of the game. I was thinkin he WANTS to get traded, but tonight, he went back to his old habit of popping out with men on base – left SEVEN guys on.

Should I mention that today, the Cards’ second run scored because Corporan couldn’t catch the ball – was in more than enough time to tag Pujols by 20′ at least. Or that the Astros failed to score twice with bases loaded 1 out?

But I should mention that Froddy pitched 2 scoreless after Bud left with the score tied in the 6th. I should also mention that in the 6th, Bud had his usual inning in which he COMPLETELY lost control and command and began throwing pitches all OVAH the place and managed to only give up 1 run – impressive. The run was unearned because Pujols hit a ball to CJ, who bobbled it – he had learned, I thought, to just hold the ball if he couldn’t make a good throw, but he didn’t and threw the ball into the stands. 2 errors, 1 play – and THIS time, it wasn’t because the utility IF at first had no idea how to catch any ball not thrown right to him.

Tonight, it’s the Wand Man vs Jaime Garcia, LHP, who, in spite of being a really good pitcher, hasn’t pitched well against the Astros. Let’s hope he stays the same. Wandy could use a W. He’s actually thrown well at Busch: 7 GS, 40 IP: 3.83 ERA/1.20 WHIP and a .235 BAA.