Archive for the ‘Michael Bourn’ Category

1/8/13: In Which Michael Bourn Can’t Find A Job And The Hof Won’t Find Visitors In Jluy

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Well, so far, it looks as if teams are simply not interested in Michael Bourn. He turned down a 13.3 mill Qualifying Offer from the Braves, who jumped for joy, went out and immediately signed BJ Upton, forfeiting their first round pick (who is, by the way, another Boras client, so it can’t be simply a refusal to sign any Boras client…)

Thing is, apparently no other team is willing to forfeit theirs.  Any except for the Braves, who already have their brand new CF (and honestly, wasting Bourn in LF???) would forfeit their first or second rounder even if they paid Michael a 1 year minimum wage contract. Pretty much any team that is willing to spend any money found themselves some OTHER center fielder, and Arizona is trying to dump Justin Upton as they have already picked Cody Ross to replace him. Really. I swear it.

Trouble is that Justin Upton is 5 years younger than Michael, hits for more power. Michael fields better, runs better, but is no power hitter. And Justin has 3 more already cost controlled years because of the contract he signed 2 years ago, and would be cheaper than Bourn – and won’t cost a draft pick.

I’m a little surprised about the draft pick thing –  so few prospects develop, and there are very few Alex Rodriguez/Evan Longorias. Unless you are really REALLY sure your pick is a super talent, you would refuse a top notch major leaguer? I guess so. So many fans are so delighted about major leaguers getting paid less and less. I just don’t get why they want the billionaire owners to get more, and yes, I know I’ve said it before. But here you have a really excellent major leaguer who apparently isn’t going to be able to get a job, seeing how ANY salary would be too much.

The only team who can sign Bourn without giving up a pick is the Braves. They can offer him minimum wage, he can take it or leave it, and then the Braves can trade him and get a lot for a top CF who is getting minimum wage. I’ll bet the MLBPA didn’t forsee THAT happening. The union has made blunder after blunder for a good 10 years now, starting with their stupidity over the steroids. I mean, not instituting their own testing program like the superb one run by the NFL where nobody dares to touch an illegal drug.


And the screeching anti-steroid zealots who have glorified 105 ERA+ pitchers from BITGOD will get their wish – no one is going to be elected to the HOF this year in spite of the fact that there are a minimum of 10 guys on the ballot who belong. The merchants of the Cooperstown area eagerly anticipate the enormous crowd coming to see whatshisname dead guy who only SABR people who who he is. I’m sure that the actual Hall Of Famers who are screaming about OMG TEH ROIDS!!! us guys didn’t never take NOTHIN stronger than water!!!  and how they won’t have NOTHING to do with the Hall if Those Terrible Evul People get elected, are going to be sure to stay around Cooperstown all weekend, greeting fans, signing autographs, helping the economy instead of doing what the All-Star electees do, which is to come in late, stay for 2 innings, then take off in their private planes.

Way to support the good people of the Cooperstown area, you sanctimonious blowhards.

Baggy and BGO aren’t going in next year neither – that’s the year of Saints Maddux and Glavine, the guys who lived with the called strike at the knees 4 inches off the plate, who wouldn’t NEVAH touch no NOTHIN that wasn’t pure. Then there are whole lot of Pure Untouched Saints coming after them.

Hopefully, in 20 years, the veterans’ committee will have more sense.


7/31/11: Goodbye Michael Bourn

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Toldja he was gonna be traded and traded before the deadline. He’s off to the Braves – they NEED a good leadoff guy and center fielder and Nate McLouth has stunk up the joint since leaving Pittsburgh.

Ed Wade PAID the Braves to take Bourn AND he did not get Mike Minor (top notch pitcher) or ANY top guys ready for the majors. Braves fans are laughing themselves sick, just like the Phillies fans did.

Ed Wade – well, I just can’t say anything good because I am trying not to use Bad Words. Even Richard Justice can’t find real too much good to say except Ed Wade is trying to save his job. IF Crane and his basketball manager CEO do get the team, no reason to fire Ed Wade – he’s cheap and that’s what they want.

We’re getting Jordan Schafer – a major leaguer who hasn’t hit and has been hurt. He can field, according to Braves fans and my own eyes, but there is nothing else good to say. He was at the top of their prospect list 2 years ago, and they wouldn’t even listen to offers for him or Tommy Hunter (now one of their good starters) and now they got PAID to get rid of him for a much better player. Best I know this isn’t a Colby Rasmus situation with managers. He just isn’t any good at hitting ML pitching.

And this is just what we need seeing as how our pitching coach is doing such a great job helping our young hitters adjust to ML pitchers.

Basically, Braves fans don’t think much of Schafer, to be nice about it – which is completely the opposite of what Phillies fans said when we got Bourn – they ALL told me he was gonna be a SERIOUSLY good CF and leadoff guy, although he had no power.

AA LH SP Brett Oberholtzer age 22, drafted 8th round 08 – 3.70 ERA/1.22 WHIP, 8.4 H/9, 2.7 BB/9, 6.6 K/9 (a significant negative change from his stats last year at A ball)

AA RHP Paul Clemens age 23, drafted 7th round 08 –  3.73 ERA/1.35 WHIP; 8.5 H/9, 3.7 BB/9, 7.7 K/9 and these are essentially his same stats from last year at A+ ball

RHP Juan Abreu age 26, crappy AAA reliever: 2.25 ERA (because 6 of his 18 runs allowed over 40 IP were unearned) 6.4 H/9, 5.1 BB/9, 12.8 K/9. 6 year average ERA 4.41/1.47 WHIP.

No top notch AAA guys, you notice. And Ed Wade PAID them to take Bourn.

And Wandy will be going soon too, unless a miracle occurs. The local guys are dead wrong about how “bad” and “inconsistant” Wandy is thought to be by actual baseball front offices…

Ed Wade is so BAD, paying teams, PAYING teams to take Pence and Bourn, when they were certainly worth having the entire salary picked up for the crap we got – he is gonna take a massive pounding on Wandy, too. He’s absolutely – so bad I don’t have enough Bad Words.

Tim Purpura, what little he was allowed to do, did a better job. And that is SAD.

I have not decided at this time whether or not to stop being an Astros fan – and this will be an immediate and permanent split in which I will not watch them or care about them EVER and I mean EVER again and that means no matter WHAT – and this decision will be based on whether or not Bud decides to give Jim Crane – who is gonna make Drayton look like Steinbrenner – this team, him and his BASKETBALL guy who will be in charge. It will be the end of this team for decades and I can’t and won’t support the willful destruction of my baseball team so that some money poor millionaire can make 30 mill a year in welfare and blame Astros “fans.”

I do know that Ed Wade, to put it mildly, got took to the Cleaners on the Oswalt trade, the Pence trade, the Bourn trade. I do know that Ed Wade has managed to draft and develop 2 players – JD Martinez (if he can hit ML pitching) and Jordan Lyles. I don’t count Castro because he’s not a major leaguer, even if he is on the roster. Plenty of guys have taken up space on ML rosters who don’t belong because management happens to like them. (Altuve wasn’t drafted, yeah, technicality – he wasn’t expected to do anything by either this team or those all-knowing scouts and prospect list makers. Sort of like Chris Johnson.)

I hate to think of what he’s gonna get for Wandy – bet he gets a huge pile of nothing and pays 3/4 of his salary. Any other GM would have been able to trade Wandy AND not have to pay some other team to take him.

Angry is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel. It’s not that I don’t know that Wade had done a horrible job this past 4 years with drafting and developing. I know he had to trade the players for whom there is a trade market. Which means Keppinger, Pence, Bourn – and also Wandy – get your head out of 2006, please. But it was supposed to provide top quality guys who could help the major league team NEXT year.

Maybe it is a good thing that for some reason I don’t know, this afternoon’s game is not being broadcast, and I absolutely DETEST the radio guys. Not that I care – Jason Useless Michaels, not Bourgeois, is playing right field.

UPDATE: Listening to Ed Wade right now – he’s expecting those 2 AA pitchers to be in the rotation next year (yeah sure) and that A ball guy to be playing first, middle of the lineup 30 homer hitter. Philly wouldn’t even TALK about trading him for OSWALT last year and now they OFFER him for Pence. Tells me all I need to know.

Also that Wallace is toast – well, I already knew they had given up on him by early May when he was pulled against all the leftys.

I HATE Ed Wade.

Also, in the middle of this “youth” movement, he is going to keep Clint, age 33, the SS of the future.

I absolutely HATE Ed Wade.

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


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.

7/2/11: Pence And Bourn On A Hitting High

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

And Sean Forman (the math professor genius who invented said on record in the NY Times that Michael Bourn is the best baserunner in baseball!!!!! And Michael went 4 fer 5 tonight, scoring 2 of the Astros 3 runs!!!

And Pence drove in 2 of em – 1 with a solo homer high off the wall above the CBoxes and another with a bases loaded walk!!!

Isn’t this exciting!!! They Are Our Astros!!!!!

Unfortunately, the rest of em are too. JA is making Us Fans Un-HAPP-y with his continued suckage. He’s like you know like the LAST guy who should evah face Bahstin – that team won’t swing at crap and that is what JA throws. It’s not like Bud, whose pitches have some serious movement goin on – Happ is just a nibbler who either bites off more than he can chew or misses the sandwach altogether.

He started off by spotting them 3 runs in the first. 6 pitch walk, 2 pitch single, 2-1 RBI single, 2-1 single to load the bases (you notice there are no outs), 7 pitch walk to lefty David Ortiz, (reminding JA how icky it is to ride buses instead of charter jets with hot stewardesses), then a 1-2 run scoring GIDP, 3-1 flyout. The ump missed only 1 pitch (called a strike1 a ball) and they didn’t swing at pitches out of the zone – except once and that was borderline and went for a hit.

It’s not like their pitcher was ace – it’s that Clank and Jason Michaels went back to being Clank and Jason Michaels. Clank did nothing with MOB – including grounding out with bases loaded and Michaels GIDP with 2 on 2 out.

As for the bullpen – well, the game was already lost when Millsie-poopoo threw Abad to the wolves in the 8th. I guesss he told him he was gonna finiah that inning no matter what. He came in to face lefty A-GON-Y (who is killing the baseball in Bahstin, just like he did in San Diego) and had nothing – gave up a solid single on a 2-1 curveball in the zone, gave up a single to righty Youk on a 2-1 FB pretty much mid-plane, then threw lefty Reddick a couple of crappy curves – got one as a gift strike from ther ump, then 2 meh FB outside the zone which were fouled off, then another single on a cruveball that diudn’t curve much – bases loaded, no outs. He got NO stuff – this is not bad luck bloop hits or stuff that dribbles in the infield or one of those off the end of the bat/bad swing thingys. No. These are sold hits off crappy stuff.

But Millsie-poopoo just sits on hands. No Brocail neither.

Next hitter is switch hitter Saltalamacchia, who hits better lefty than right, and he hits a nice solid deep sac-fly to left.

What, no righty pitcher to dace the righty Darnell McDonald? Hitting .115 in 52 AB over 31 games? Abad throws a change in the dirt, another crappy inside curve, then a nice meaty belt high FB on the inner third which aforementioned crappy hitter sends over the train tracks. Scutaro somehow gets himself out on a FB down the middle and JD Drew grounds out on an outside curveball – the same crappy pitch Abad has been throwing all night.

Sometimes I wonder if managers do stuff like this so GMs will be forced to get rid of guys with high ERAs.

Tomorrow, it’s Jordan Lyles vs Josh Beckett, who had a terrible year last year, but has come back this year with a vengeance – a 2.20 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and a .178 BAA over 98 IP. NOT a good omen for the worst team in the majors.

6/21/11: Escalona Blows Jordan Lyles First Win

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

This is the first time that I’ve seen Lyles pitch where I thought – this kid looks like he just might could be a ML pitcher. The Rangers are a good hitting club and Jordan more than held his own tonight – threw LOTS of strikes before he tired in the 7th. Yes, he struck out the side in the 7th – and he’s not really a strikeout pitcher, but he really struggled, throwing 25 pitches.

The line says 7 IP, 7 H (2 HR, 1 triple, 4 singles) 2 BB and 6 K. However, it doesn’t say that he came out throwing strikes, threw 17 first pitch strikes to the first 23 hitters. He threw a first pitch FB down the middle to Michael Young, who sent it over the RF fence and later Nelson Cruz hit a mid-calf high curveball over the LF fence. He didn’t go to a 3 ball count until the 5th inning, when he gave up a 3-1 walk to Kinsler.

It helped that the HP ump did an excellent job calling balls and strikes, and Jordan himself, hit the glove more times than not.

Real trouble tonight was that the Astros are playing short 2 players – Pence’s elbow is hurting too much for him to swing and Towles has a pulled hamstring. Not sure exactly why they aren’t on the DL, but I guess that Drayton doesn’t want to pay anything to call up anybody who is actually hitting – meaning someone not on the 40 man.

Reason the Astros lost, in spite of outpitching the Rangers, is that the hitting and scoring was done by Bourn and Bourgeois, who looks as if he got hurt again tonight – he could hardly run his last AB. Bourn hit 2 doubles and a single and ROE – it really SHOULD have been a hit because it was a ball that went to Kinsler and Bourn was already on first by the time Kinsler gloved and dropped it. He stole 2 bases. Bourgeois hit the ball hard twice – the first fly ball would have been off the scoreboard at home and the second was off the wall at the Ballpark. Keppinger drove Bourn in the first and Bourgeois in the 3rd.

I don’t know whether he was instructed to steal second base in the 3rd with 1 out (seriously, really, what the HECK – the guy doesn’t steal bases and can’t run fast) but Clank then hit a single, which would have driven him to 3rd – and yeah Michaels Kd (had another ofer game), but youneverjknow, maybe he would have had a different approach. And this was early in the ballgame before CJ Wilson found his control (yes I watched the game to stare at CJ – he’s SEXY) and shut the Stros down.

Dumb stuff like that.

Also, the fact that Kepp GIDP and grounded out weakly with men on second and third. Also that Clank didn’t drive in any, and basically, no one in the lineup is hitting for power. When Bourn and Bourgeois are your power threats, it’s not good. Wallace has been slumping badly for about a week now – lots of bad swings and strikeouts – needs to get his stance re-adjusted, I think.

Sergio Escalona, who had pitched pretty well, came in to start the 8th to face Josh Hamilton with the Astros leading 4-3 (too many opportunities to drive in runners squandered) and threw him a fastball up and in and it rocketed into the upper decks, tying the score.

Del Rosario pitched 2.1 innings but threw a FB down the middle to Mitch Moreland who hit it out. The Rangers hit 4 homers just tonight. I don’t remember when the Astros last hit a homer or who hit it. And unless you string a bunch of singles together, the small ball approach so dearly loved by announcers/writers who miss The Good Old Days has a tough time beating the slugging approach. Usually, the team that hits the most homers wins and yes I DO remember the game when the Astros hit 5 solo homers off Ted Lilly and the Cubs and still lost.

Tomorrow, we face Colby Lewis, who is licking his chops, hoping to lower his ERA and pick up a W as his team is facing our most homeriffic starter.

Not that I care about the Silver Boot, but it would be nice to not get swept. We get Thursday off – I’m going to review our “prospects” in the minors, see who is doing anything worth noting.

And speaking of worth noting, JD and Brownie noted that 8 years ago, a pitcher named Rodrigo Rosario got his first (and only) ML win against the Rangers in 2003. He spent most of the year at AAA, threw 87 innings over 15 games. He never pitched after 03 – wonder why. I don’t remember him at all. UNlike, say, Wilfredo Rodriguez, who was sent down/punished for pitching to Barry Lamar back in 01 when Larry Dierker didn’t want him to hit his McGwire record breaking homer in Houston. He disappeared from baseball until 04, when he pitched 46 innings for 4 Organizations. I wonder if something happened to him, or if everyone blackballed him for throwing a hittable FB to one of the 3 best hitters ever.


6/1/11: Bourn Drives In Winning Runs As Astros Sweep Cubs

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Second day in a row that Michael Bourn, renowned for his glove and feet, has driven in the winning runs. Clank should be taking notes.

I feel sorry for Doug Davis. Seems like for years, game after game, he’d lose to Clemens, Roy or Pettitte 1-0 or 2-1. And today he got Francoed by Sean Marshall, too.

Ah well.

I was surprised there was so few hits as the wind was blowing out something fierce. Only 2 homers, a leadoff by Fukudome and a 4th inning shot by Michaels to tie the game. And Michaels, in case yall curious, which you are, is 6 fer 39 with 3 walks, 2 doubles, a homer and 2 RBI. In comparison, J Happ is 7 fer 18 with 2 walks, a double, a homer and 4 RBI. Maybe we should send Happ up to PH, as the Cubs do with Zambrano and send Michaels packing…

As usual, Brett Wallace was benched. Clank played first – singled twice, got picked off first and struck out in his only chance to drive in runs, leaving 2 on. His slash line, in case you’re curious, is .251/.284/.384/.668. Fast Eddie is kiddding himself if he thinks that playing Clank every day will increase his trade value. He doesn’t have anything to offer ANY team.

Clint Barmes, signed for his hitting prowess, struck out with men on second and third, 2 out, twice – in the 7th and in the 9th. And his OPS is .674 – higher than 19 mill a year Carlos Lee.

The bullpen threw 3 hitless innings and Melancon finished up again, getting the S tonight. So far, Escalona is doing OK, although it’s hardly fair to judge a pitcher on 6.1 innings over 12 games.

We’ve now won 22 games on the year and are beginning to catch up with the other horrid ML clubs: the Cubs have won 23, the Pads (who we play tomorrow) and Nats 24, the Pirates and Rockies 25. The Twins are still leading the ML in losses (no Mauer, no Morneau, no pitching) and the Orioles and Royals have settled back down to their accustomed perch at the bottom of the AL with 25 wins each. Our death grip on the #2 pick in next year’s draft is weakening.

Not that it will matter, as the Astros won’t go for anyone who is actually GOOD because they’d have to deal with Boras (translation: PAY).

Last I heard, speaking of the draft, this year, the Astros have decided on some guy who has a firm committment to play football at some big football college and wants megabux to get bought out. So we’re gonna pick this guy, offer him slot, he’s gonna laugh, we won’t get a #1 pick and Drayton will save a couple mill.

In case you’re curious as to how our last couple of #1 picks are doing, Jiovanni Mier, the 2009 pick, is age 20, gonna be 21 on Aug 26 – he’s repeating A ball, hitting .259/.373/.412/.784. Big deal. He’s not first round quality.

Delino DeShields, Jr, age 18, going to turn 19 on Aug 6, is at A-ball, hitting .225/.303/.365/.669. He’s playing mostly second base, has made 8 errors/35 games (same as Mier). I know, he’s young. We’ll see…

Astros Get Shut Out For The First Time In 2011

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Shaun Marcum gave up a leadoff walk to Michael Bourn. Who steals second. And is stranded by Pence and Clank.

And after that, Marcum REALLY shut it down – except for Brett Wallace, of course, who singled up the middle, reached on catcher interference and hit a long single offn the scoreboard. He was the ONLY hitter who saw the ball – or at least could hit what he saw. Marcum threw some kind of cutter and curve after lethal curve after lethal curve and couldn’t nobody hit it. Or lay off it. Well, Bourn did beat out an infield grounder, but speed kills.

Marcum threw 7 innings of 3 hit 2 walk shutout ball. He was pulled after 95 pitches and if the Astros were hoping to FINALLY be able to get to that bullpen, well, no cigar.

As for the Crew, well, it started off well enough when Weeks struck out and Gomez gounded out on a 3-2, the 10th pitch of the inning. But then Braun took a hanging slider over the CF fence, about halfway between the 404 and the 435. And Da Prince hit a changeup right smack dab down the middle 486′ to the upper deck in right – like only 3 rows below the sign. You know where the bullpen starts in RF? well, go up like 100′ and there’s that there ball. MrGehee flew out to deep center.

Crew 2 Stros ick

There was another homer – this one in the 4th by Yuni Betancourt. And a RBI double by Da Prince to the RF bullpen wall that Hunter got a bad read on and misplayed – that is like the 4th or 5th fly ball he hasn’t read well or taken a good route to. Not that it mattered.

And speaking of Yuni – he has 5 walks this year and the Astros have given him 4 of em.

Clint Barmes started his first game and like everyone not named Wallace, looked lousy with the bat. Not sure that he did anything that Angel Sanchez couldn’t have done – and Barmes and Hall couldn’t manage to turn a 6-4-3 GIDP on Carlos Gomez TWICE. Melancon gave up a run because of one of those DPs not turned – well, his fault for giving up the RBI single to Braun.

Clank came up with MOB twice and the first time, popped up on the first pitch and the second time, grounded out weakly (and this was the reliever, Kintzler, not Marcum.)

Quintero had a lousy game, too – allowing 2 stolen bases and an error – dropped the ball on a pitchout. He did throw out Yuni Betancourt trying to steal on a strikemout-throwemout to end the 6th.

Anything kewl? Well, Michael Bourn reached base twice and stole second, twice. Brett Wallace stole second base in the second – no, I am NOT kidding. Yes, he’s slow as molasses and  this is why he was able to get the jump that he did – guess he doesn’t want to eventually break Chris Snyder’s record of PA without a SB.

Michael Bourn made a great catch of Corey Hart’s drive onto the Hill – poor Hart – you hit a ball 420′ you SHOULD be trotting around the bases before heading for the dugout.

Brett Wallace has a sore hip after colliding with Prince Fielder, who was coming down the line. Good thing Wallace is that big – any guy smaller than Wallace would prolly be broke in pieces Da Prince runs into you full speed.

Fulchino and Lyon threw scoreless innings. Not that it mattered.

And last but not least – turned on the 10th inning show for a few minutes. First caller asks Matt (the host) why they insist on batting Clank instead of Wallace in the cleanup spot and also, why can’t Bogusevic play left and Clank sit? Because, sez Matt, Clank is making 19 mill and anyhow, Bogusevic won’t hit .250. Yeah, sez the caller, but at least he can run well and play good defense and besides, Clank isn’t hitting .250 neither. Well, sez Matt, the Astros are trying to get some of their money’s worth.

Matt doesn’t appear to know what a sunk cost is. It’s getting to the point where fans would rather see a Bogusevic/Bourgeois platoon in left with Clank on the bench. No, they aren’t “prospects” but Clank – well, it is NOT making fans happy to see him getting paid 19 mill to uck-say. It doesn’t bug fans to see younger guys getting paid minimum wage even IF they aren’t Mike Stanton.

Clank is getting louder and louder booooos with each failure at the plate. I wonder how long Ed Wade/Tal/Drayton is going to insist that Clank stay put at cleanup. One of these days I am going to do a comparison – Luke Scott in left from April 2006 – now vs the 6 months of Preston Wilson + 4 years of Clank – and I would bet that Luke comes out on top in bang for the buck.

Tomorrow night, it’s the re-match between Randy Wolf and Wandy. And Randy Wolf shut the Stros DOWN last week. Wanna bet it’s an all-righty lineup with our best hitter on the bench?

4/12/11: Bourn, Angel Sanchez, Quintero And Pence Overpower Cubs

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Michael Bourn didn’t start the game off with a bang, he started it off with a bunt, which the pitcher didn’t handle quiiite right, missing the tag, then Angel Sanchez laid down a bunt to almost the exact same spot – they weren’t expecting that neither and Hunter came up and singled and, well, the Astros never looked back. Poor James Russell, the Cubs reliever making an unexpected start, almost never knew what hit him. And of course, after that, he got 2 outs, then Bill Hall drove in 2 with a single to right that I unfortunately missed seeing as it was a comedy of (2) errors in which Bill overran the bag, Soriano threw to second to try to get him and somehow, the Cubs screwed up the rundown and Bill ended up on second when CJ flew out. Astros up 3-0, Cubs all flustered.

Brett Wallace was benched in favor of Carlos Lee, right at the Mendoza line, so that Jason Michaels could get a start in LF. Lemme guess, in spite of his hitting better, it’s the leftylefty thingy – grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I will say that Carlos looked better with the glove at first today then he did last year, in spite of the fact that he hasn’t really been practicing fielding there.

Carlos and CJ are both slumping badly, although CJ made 2 really outstanding plays. H got charged with an error when he and Q raced to the LF stands to catch a foul ball – CJ thought that Q was going to get it and Q thought CJ was going to get it and it fell; the batter was out on the next pitch without the runner advancing, so I don’t think the error will stand – or at least it shouldn’t, as JD said.

Angel Sanchez is hitting the the heck out of the ball and hitting for power – he’s leading the club in RBIs. He went 4 fer 5 with a double to the gap, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. He’s improved his fielding and if he keeps this up, I think that Clint Barmes will find himself out of a job. As he should, 3.5 mill or no 3.5 mill.

Michael had himself a great night – bunt single in the first, run scored, FC with RBI in the second, followed by a steal of second, then a steal of third on the very next pitch – the boy was over halfway to third by the time the pitch left James Russell’s hand. Soto barely bothered to turn. Angel popped out, his only out of the night, then Hunter beat out an IF single up the middle and Michael scored. Next AB in the 4th, he doubled to the LF bullpen, then Angel singled him in. He Kd in the 6th, reached on E6 (bobbled ball – guys rush) in the 8th then scored when Pence doubled him home – and that was a smash to the top of the RF fence. Only negative was him not getting to Reed Johnson’s double in the 5th – not an error, just I expect Michael to never miss catching any fly ball.

Pence had himself a great night – going 3 fer 5 with 4 RBIs and a run scored.

Quintero swung the bat very well, going 3 fer 3, a walk and a run scored – he tripled to the RF bullpen – thought he was gonna get a double, but turned on the, uh, jets, when he saw that Johnson hadn’t played the ball right – and if the throw hadn’t been errant, would have been out at third, just like yesterday. He also smashed a double to left and was just a homer short of the cycle.

Bill Hall got a hit, drove in a run, just missed having a double to the RF bullpen, just missed having a double to deep left, and made 2 outstanding plays – he somehow managed to get a ball deep in the hole to get Starlin Castro, but the ump ruled him safe – replay showed him to be out. But he didn’t score, so it didn’t matter.

Jason Michaels got his first hit of the year, a single to right. Jason Bourgeois singled and scored.

All in all, the Hit Parade continued – the Astros have at least 10 hits/game over the past 5 games, something I can’t remember since that winning streak back in August 08, and then before that, maybe back to 04.

As for the bullpen: Fulchino pitched the 8th, giving up a double to Tyler Colvin – that man has a beautiful swing – and getting 2 Ks.

Eneury Rodriguez mopped up in the 9th, giving up a single, a walk, a double and 1 run with 1 K.

Just think – if Figgy had pitched today, he would have won. Well, he would have had to finish the 5th inning without giving up 6 more runs, but he just might could have, youneverknow…

Tomorrow, rubber game – the Wand Man vs Big Z, who LIKEY pitching here. Should be a good game.

4/10/11: In Which Every Astro In The Lineup Gets A Hit On Bourn Bobblehead Day And Astros Manage To Not Lose

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

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.

Tie game.

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…

Opening Day 2011: Michael Is Bourn To Run

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Opening Day at noon and it was just me and Jana Brattain Dog and Dog Pappas to watch. Seemed strange to be watching Opening Day like this, but the good news was that we got to watch it on FSN with Brownie and Deshaies instead of The Other network’s crappy announcers who don’t know any Astros and don’t want to (heck, they didn’t want to during the WS neither, but I digress…)

The Guys came out swinging. And missing. Halladay looked unhittable for 2.2 innings, until the pitcher smacked him around. Well, hit a single up the middle, that is.

Let me take a minute to say that pitchers hitting is TEH AWESOMENESS and that the NL simply ROOOOOOLZ and the DH is to real baseball as softball is to real baseball!!!!!

Let’s talk about Astros hitters going down the Opening Day lineup:

Michael Bourn: hit the ball HARD every single AB – flew out twice to deep center/RF, lined out hard to first, tripled into the RF gap, scoring 2 runs, then he scored himself when Sanchez hit a sac-fly to shallow center – and yes, Ben Francisco, the new Phillies RF DOES have a good arm. And he drew the Astros first intentional walk of the year in the top of the 9th so that the pitcher could face Angel Sanchez. That’s da POWAH!!!! I should also mention that he didn’t swing and miss at any balls out of the strike zone. No spectacular catches and yes the final fly ball did go over his head, but it didn’t matter because it would have been the game winning sac-fly, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

Angel Sanchez: the starting shortstop as Clint “Power-Aid” Barmes is on the DL with a broken hand. He is a slow runner and a mediocre fielder at short. Anyway, he struck out staring in the first, singled up the middle in the 4th but was out at second when Hunter Pence hit into what would have been a sure thing DP, only it was a hit-n-run, so Sanchez was able to break it up. He singled in the 6th (yeah, he sure owns Da Doc, don’t he?) but was not able to score on Pences deep double off the wall in deep right center as Manzella or Bourgeois or Bourn would have. And yeah he scored after Clank popped up and Bill Hall grounded out to second, but still, it might have made some difference in how both Clank or Bill Hall approached their ABs.

Well, OK, that’s fantasy – I mean the putting pressure on the pitcher/defense stuff when you have 2 lousy hitters coming up. Anyway, he fielded lousy – dropped a ball that Doc Halliday hit to him and barely got the ball to first base with a PITCHER running and the ump gave the call to the SS because the pitcher was running. Life ain’t fair – Doc was safe and it wasn’t THAT close. Bob Davidson has a nasty habit of blowing calls at 1B – this time, it went in the Astros favor. And it mattered because the guy on 3rd would have scored on Victorino’s fly ball.

Good was his sac-fly to score Michael Bourn and bad was his weak groundout to leave 2 on in the top of the 9th.

Hunter Pence: Struck out swinging first AB when Da Doc looked unhittable – no criticism here because that stuff was FILTHY; groundout FC woulda been easy GIDP ball; smashed a double off Da Doc in the 6th that SHOULD have given him his first RBI if the runner on 1B had had any sort of speed; popped up in the 7th; handled the 3 fly balls that came his way just fine.

Carlos Lee: El Perezoso (the sloth) got on his Caballo today – couldn’t get to a ball hit to left, but he ran as fast as he could and he threw to second as hard as he could. I know he wasn’r physically capable of either getting to the ball or throwing a bullet, but he gave it 100% and that was a pleasant surprise. He did zero with the bat and stranded Pence in the 4th and 6th, had a popup and a weak grounder. I hate it when teams insist on batting washed up hitters in the 3 or 4th hole because of the size of their contract instead of the size of their bat. I hope CJ and Wallace really REALLY heat it up to push Clank further down in the order. Because fat Old Guys don’t usually get better after they have started to stink and their bat speed declines…

Bill Hall: yes, he is in the 5 hole because of his Home Run Powah, not that we’ve seen it. Also, the contract. And he’s gonna stay there unless CJ/Wallace/Towles really heat up. Lessee – 2 weak grounders (one scored a man from 3rd), a swinging K and a fly ball to left. Handled grounders cleanly, had a NICE catch with a difficult, wind-blown popup in at the foul line in RF.

Chris Johnson: 3 swinging Ks (but at least they weren’t pitches out of the strike zone) and a fly ball to left. Did fine with the glove – caught a screaming liner and handled 2 tough grounders very well.

Brett Wallace: couldn’t hit Halliday, just grounded out weakly, but he did single off the lefty reliever. He has always hit leftys better than rightys, strangely enough. Anyway, he scored a run. He flew out in the 9th. Handled the glove just fine, caught everything thrown near him, caught a screaming liner and juuuuuust missed a wind-blown foup popup.

Quintero: struck out in the 3rd (Halliday was still DEALING), reached on a 2 base error when the RF let the fly ball clank off his glove. He couldn’t score from second when the pitcher singled – single too shallow, and Q not a fast runner and Michael Bourn’s long fly ball was caught at the wall. He singled in the 7th and scored on Bourn’s triple, but then he grounded out in the 9th. He threw out Victorino trying to steal second to end the 6th inning, which was a good thing because his pitcher had suddenly lost control of the strike zone and had thrown yet another ball. He had a passed ball clank off his glove with men on first and second in the 7th – which allowed them to go to second and third – and this mattered because although Polanco would have gone from second to third on Howard’s fly ball to center, Rollins would have stayed at first; Polanco would most likely have scored on Ibanez’ goundout, but not Rollins. And letting those 2 runs score turned out to be a bad thing because if we had been leading 4-0, it wouldn’t have been a closer’s job and

But I’m gettng ahead.

The guys knocked out Halliday after 6 innings/103 pitches, even though the only guys who had hit him were the pitcher and Sanchez, both with 2 singles. After they scored 3 runs off relievers Romero and Herndon, Jason Bourgeois came in to play LF, and beat out a single to short in the 9th, then promptly stole second. I like having 2 Michael Bourns on a team. But unfortunately, he and Bourn were stranded by Sanchez, which turned out to be a big deal…

Wilton Lopez is indeed the setup man, gave up a single and got 3 groundball outs.

The reason that it is really too bad that we weren’t leading by more than 3 runs is because then Brandon Lyon wouldn’t have come in. Let me tell you his ST stats: 8 IP over 8 games: 11 hits, no walks, 1 K, 6 R/5 ER. Now I know Brandon is not a strikeout pitcher, but I would expect him to have been able to strike out even a few of the minor leaguers he faved.

This afternoon, he didn’t have anything good and his pitches were up in the zone. Yes he DID have 3 broken bat singles, but NONE of them were exactly tough pitches to hit and the first single and last 2 hits were good, clean hits – in fact, the game-winning hit (with bases loaded, 1 out) was a drive to deep center. And yes, the Dogss DID go hide under the kitchen table when I started yelling Very Bad Words at the TV, how did you know? And no, the kidz were not home from skool neither, you guessed that too, hunh?

Before someone asks me – why didn’t Mills pull Lyon when it was obvious to anyone with eyeballs that Lyon had nothing? Answer – because it is not a Brad Lidge 06/07 thing where the manager has permission to pull the closer, who earns more money than someone who might actually, you know, be able to pitch. So no one warms up. Remember the problems with Valverde at the beginning of 08? So for a good while, we are just going to have to live with Lyon until Mills gets permission from Fast Eddie to put in Lopez or someone else who can get outs.

Tomorrow, it’s the Wand-Man vs Cliff Lee. And no, I’m not gonna jinx us by talkin bout Cliff Lee, just saying that I hope Wandy’s shoulder is feeling fine and the curveball is deadly.