Husband was not exactly real too happy with my decision to take #2 Son (and not #1 or 3) to the Box yesterday because he had to hear ALL about how it wasn’t FAIRRRRRRRRRR. So off we went today with all 3 of them – seeing as how it was Michael Bourn Bobblehead Day in honor of him getting his second Gold Glove. Michael, by the way, is teh kewl – when we play baseball in the back yard, they ALL want to be Michael Bourn.
But with one thing and another, we didn’t get there until 12:00 with gates opening at 11:30 and there were still TONS of Bourn bobbleheads left – and there were only enough for the first 10K fans; then after the delighted kids grabbed their Bourns, we headed for the setup in Union Station where they forgot to pretend they are now Too Old and Too Kewl for face painting/jumping on slides/ pitching/playing baseball video games. And it was #1 Son who said about how we’d better get in the Stadium and get to our seats or we’d miss watching Michael get his Gold Glove – and we juuuuust got there in time.
There were maybe – and I mean MAYBE 10K people in the stands at first pitch from J Happ (and maybe MAYBE 15K in the stadium the entire game – not good for figuring that Draytopn won’t tell Fast Eddie to trade off Wandy/the ol WB)…
And it was a lineout, then a double into the LF corner and you best believe that unlike yesterday, THIS time Infante hustled like a cat with his tail on fire out of the batters’ box to beat the throw into second. Morrison promptly drove him in with a single and there we were, down 1-0, 1 out and I heard #2 son say – here we go AGAIN. But Stanton flew out to Michael Bourn, who was a busy busy boy out there today, and Gaby Sanchez popped up.
Anibal Sanchez – yeah, the guy who absolutely KILLZ the Astros – I disremember us even ever scoring so much as 1 run in the like 6 or 7 games we’ve faced him (only exaggerating – looked it up – it’s 4 GS, 25.2 IP, 18 H, 8 BB, 11 K, no HR, 2 ER) – he’s pitching, so I’m expecting to lose, already, and am hoping we don’t get shut out.
But Michael leades off with an opposite field double offn the scoreboard and then for some reason, the trainers trot out to chat with Logan Morrison, then leave. Angel Sanchez singles, then Pence singles Michael home, then Clank GIDP – but he ran like heck all the way to first.
Which reminds me – I’ve watched Carlos play hard EVERY play, EVERY game, and I’m wondering if he’s had an abrupt change in his attitude about getting traded and is now trying to look good for any trade partner who needs a DH – say, the Rays, now that Manny retired and “cheated the hangman”, infuriating/inflaming The Media, who, denied their pound of flesh, are now screaming that Manny MUST have been doing drugs From His First Professional AB at age 18 and he would have been your A-ball type guy without em or something.
Whatever. I wish they’d make up what little they have in (most of them) their minds about if steroids turn a pitcher from some A-baller into Roger Clemens/a hitter from Ozzie Canseco into Jose Canseco or whether it makes them have career ending injuries (like Jeff Bagwell’s career ending shoulder arthritis, but DEFINITELY not Junior Griffey’s ruptured this/torn that)…
Where was I? Oh yeah. Brett Wallace, liking the 5-hole, grounds out. Second inning, 1,2,3 outs. Top of third, Happ walks one but gets 1,2,3 out. Bill Hall makes an excellent play deep in the hole to get out Chris Coughlin, who is fast (but had more than a little trouble adjusting to playing CF here at the Box…)
Bottom of the 3rd, Happ leads off with a single. Bourn and Sanchez get out, Pence singles, Carlos flies out – this isn’t gonna get him trade offers…
Top of the 4th, Stanton HBP on a 2-2 count, then Gaby Sanchez GIDP 5-4-3. Which reminds me, Chris Johnson “got a day off” so that Ed Wade could play his boy Matt Downs – who fielded and hit just fine – wonder if CJ gonna get his job back.
Bottom of the 4th, Brett Wallace leads off with a single, Hall Ks (I wonder if he’s leading the league in K/PA), Downs flies out to deep right, then Quintero doubles to right and Wallace, slow as Molina, is held at 3rd. I know we need runs, but as the boys grouse, I explain that Wallace runs too slow and wouldn’t make it to home before the throw. Then WHY doesn’t he run faster, demands #1 Son. He just can’t, he’s already doing his best. He’s slowern Clank, grumbles Husby-do. Can’t argue there.
Then the PITCHER doubles down the LF line – NL ball ROOLZ!!!!!111!!! – and Wallace trots home and Quintero lumbers past the catcher and we’re up 3-1. Well, that’s good, but as all yall know only too well, with THIS bullpen, a 2 run lead is as good as being shutout. Bourn grounds out.
This game is going slowly, too – it’s fast approaching the 2 hour mark. Yes, really. Because when the team is teh uck-say, I actually DO care “if I ever get back…”
Top of the 5th, Wes Helms singles on a 3-2, Donnie Murphy walks on a 3-2 (ump had a tight TIGHT zone – and yes I know that J Happ gives up lots of walks, but this walk was ridiculous – 3 of those 4 pitches were right on the black.) So there we are, men on first and second, nobody out, only a 2 run lead. Anibal is up there to bunt em over, and with a 2-2 count and Helms leaning off second, Q picks him off. He likes doing that. Kids are impressed. Nice easy out, then Ani bunt pops out – another nice easy out, and Happ, relaxed, gets Coughlin to groundout.
Bottom of the 5th, Angel, then Hunter single, then Carlos singles Angel home, then Brett Wallace GIDP to short – wasn’t the easiest DP to turn, but as I said, Brett runs slow. Hunter scores. Bill Hall triples to the bullpen in right, then Matt Downs doubles to the bullpen in right – Coughlin had a very rough night reading balls hit to the RF bullpen – he played left the last 2 years.
Astros lead 6-1 and Anibal is out and Brian Sanches comes in to IBB Quintero and pitch to Happ. Kisd want to know why Anibal wasn’t left in to IBB Quintero so Brian Sanches wouldn’t have to have the walk on his record and I tell them – I don’t know, but it happens all the time. I hate the way stats are kept for relievers – they don’t usually give really helpful information. But Happ, 2 fer 2, grounds out stranding 2.
Not sure if 6 runs are gonna be enough, but Happ is still going strong and maybe we can tack on a few more runs… And sure enough, top of the 6th, Happ gets 1,2,3 out. Bourn leads off with another opposite field double, but Angel, Pence and Clank all get out. No stolen bases neither, darn it.
Top of the 7th, Happ gives up a double to the LF corner to Buck, but gets 1,2,3 out. Bottom of the 7th, LOOGY Randy Choate is brought in to get Wallace out, which he does, Then Edward Mujica is brought in to pitch AT Bill Hall – first pitch FB in the back and the ump IMMEDIATELY tosses Mujica as Bill calmly trots down to first. Marlins manager trots out to scream, cry, yell, plead, but apparently did not say The Magic Words and gets to trot back to the dugout as Ryan Webb comes in – already warmed up, you notice, although he fakes being surprised and gets a few extra warm up tosses. Kids ask why the ump thinks Hall was hit on purpose and I told him, because he was and that’s exactly how it is done – you are losing by a lot, you bring in a guy who is ONLY there to hit the guy with a fastball on the hip/thigh and get tossed. WHY??? ask the kids. Are they mad about the triple? No, I said – it is because of a couple of days ago he slid in to break up the DP at second and their SS, who is the best player on the team, didn’t get out of the way fast enough and gots hisself an owie on his leg.
Kids look at me. I look back. No, I’m serious, I said – and you’ll see that when they’re up, we’ll bring in some crappy pitcher who is going to hit the first batter he sees with the first pitch and then get tossed too. Kids look at me. #3 son says – WHY? #2 son says – that’s stupid. I say – because it is a penis thing – ask your daddy. Who says – hunh, whaaaa?
So Downs flies out, then Quintero doubles to the RF bullpen – yeah, there again, and decides to try to stretch a double into a triple as Hall scores, but is thrown out. He’s waaaay too slow to pull that off. Stros up 7-1. No, I don’t think it’s enough unless Happ can finish this game.
Top of the 8th, Bonifacio walks on 4 straight (uhoh) then Coughlin flies out, then Infante pops up. Bonifacio steals a base with Morrison batting, and Morrison then walks on a 3-2 and with almost 120 pitches, Happ looks tired and is pulled for Melancon to face Stanton, who promptly grounds out.
Kids say that I’m wrong, see, the pitcher didn’t just hit the batter and I said, of course not, there were 2 guys on, 2 out – he had to get em out. NEXT batter NEXT inning gonna get it – he better wear extra padding. I know I’m right – I’ve seen this stupid macho idiocy all my life. And yeah, I know that the major leaguers THEMSELVES want to keep this stuff going, so, like all I can say is mennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. I got a LOT of practice saying just that…
Bottom of the 8th – Ryan Webb is still in and PH Joe Inglett stays ofer. Bourn walks, Angel singles, Pence and Clank leave em.
Top of the 9th, Aneury “Suckage” Rodriguez trots in to face Gaby Sanchez. Sure enough, first pitch is a ball, but it’s low and outside. Next pitch is a ball inside that Gaby quickly backs away from. Ump isn’t stupid and his body language speaks loud and clear, so Aneury throws a couple strikes, then gets the job done, plunking Gaby on the self same spot that Bill Hall got it. Gaby knows the drill – so to speak – hahahaha, and trots down to first. HP ump INSTANTLY tosses Aneury, who doesn’t so much as shrug or argue, but just goes to grab some bench, while Mills runs right in – argue, fuss argue – fuss – YER OUTTA HERE!!!!
Kids want to know why the manager comes in to argue seeing as how the ump and everyone else in the Ballpark knows what’s up. Kids wanna know why the manager WANTS to get tossed and I tell them – it’s a penis thing – ask your daddy, who says, well, um, the manager is, uh, standing up for the pitcher. Well, isn’t it true that the pitcher DID hit him on purpose and everybody knows it? Yes, but it’s part of what they do. But it never works, says #2 son, so why do they do it? Husby shrugs – says – ask your Mama, she the baseball expert around here.
Anyway, it’s Jeff Fulchino who, of course, was ready although everyone pretends he had nooooooo idea what was goin down, so he gets a few extra warmup pitches, then gets 2 Ks and a flyout to Carlos.
And the Astros get 16 hits!!! 2 walks, only 4 K, and 7 runs. And, of course, a W.
Kids are happy we get to see lots of hitting and a Win. They inform me they are told old to run the bases now, but not too old to think they can talk me into getting some kind of junk food on the way home. I tell them – you know how that ump KNEW what everyone was up to? Well, he ain’t got nothin on me and we got food waiting at home.
So, all in all a good day for kids, a decent day for Husby with the roof closed, although it wasn’t NEAR as cold as it was last night. And tomorrow, the C*bs are coming to town. I guess Drayton is expecting a huge gate, but these days, even the C*b fans are disgusted with all the losing and are not showing up in droves the way they used to. Poor beer men.
Anyway, 2 of their SP are on the DL, so here are the probable pitchers:
Monday, Nelson Figueroa vs Ryan Dempster, who is 4-11 vs Houston with a 4.36 ERA and has started off the year lousy, losing 2 games with a 6+ ERA
Tuesday will be the ol WB against lefty James Russell, making his first ML start. Russell is a reliever and is not expected to last a long time, so it will be a bullpen game for them unless the Astros do what we usually do against rookies – make them look like Pedro 99
Wednesday is Wandy vs Carlos Zambrano, who had an um, INteresting year last year, what with him being the ace and being asked to go to the bullpen after a couple of bad starts, then doing great after returning a month or so later. He’s 14-8 with a 2.63 ERA against the Astros. AND he LUUUUUVVVS to hit homers into the RF bullpen.
Will be interesting to see if CJ gets his job back. Best I know, Towles will be catching Figgy, Wandy and Bud and as long as he hits and stays away from the ol WB, he’ll keep his job…