Archive for the ‘Kaz Matsui’ Category

KAZ MATSUI IS RELEASED FROM THE ASTROS!!!!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

FINALLY!!!

Well, he was put on waivers, but I promise you no team is picking him up.

Oswaldo Navarro and his .924 OPS has been called up. He has been playing SS there, and I hope he can play second. He’s a switch hitter who we got as a 6 year minor league FA – he’s been in the Seattle system, topping out at AAA. He has a lifetime 666 OPS over 2660 AB. He spent 3 years at AAA and his OPS were .629, .654, .594.

I’m not expecting miracles, mind, but hey – last year Edwin Maysonet greatly exceeded the most generous MLE predictions (he’s hurt now) so let’s hope for the best.

Giants Sweep Astros, Win 4-3 On Another Pitch In The Dirt That Cash Couldn’t Handle

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Good news – Carlos Lee hit a home run to tie the game and singled in the other run. Also, he managed to actually like, hustle in the field. Imagine that!!!!

Berkman hit a single and a long fly ball to left that woulda been in the CBoxes at home.

Kevin Cash got his first hit!!! so now he is 1 fer 15 with no walks, 5 Ks and 2 GIDP. And he has allowed 3 runs to score because he can’t block balls in the dirt. And he hasn’t thrown out even ONE base stealer. Oh yeaaas, this AWESOME improvement over Towles.

I am not getting Mills here:

Down by one in the 7th, tying run on second, 2 outs, he has the pitcher hit for himself instead of bringing in a PH. On the bench he had Bourn, Quintero, Blum, Sullivan and all the pitchers, ALL hitting over .200. And a rested bullpen.

oh

nevermind.

And naturally, he has Kaz Matsui pinch hit against Brian Wilson with men on first and third, 2 down in the bottom of the 9th AGAIN because Kaz has seen all Wilson’s pitches. Well, so have I. Like, so what? Even Quintero has a better chance.

Unfortunately, Sullivan got another single because Bourn smartly decided not to steal with 2 outs. Sullivan “hits” everything to the hole between first and second where the fielders usually are. This will just delay getting rid of him.

Actually, I am seriously hoping that Mills is mis-managing for the purpose of showing Ed Wade that his little pets are teh sukc and trying to pressure him into getting rid of the deadweight and at least TRYING some of the minor leaguers. Bourgeois can’t be worse than Sullivan.

The Astros now have the distinction of holding 4 spots in the top 10 on Lee Sinins’ negative Runs Created Above Average:

#2 – Clank at (-14 over 35 G); #5 – Pedro Feliz (-11 over 33 G); #8 – Tommy Manzella (-9 over 28 G) and #10 – Kaz Matsui (-8 over 25 G). Good news is that Lance has FINALLY tied Michael Bourn’s production, with +2 and Pence is FINALLY out of the top 10. Only Pence and Bourn have a positive RCAA on this gawdawful team. Should I mention that Chris Johnson is tearing the cover offn the ball, just 1 week back in AAA?

And now, it’s off to ell-lay to get our collective butts kicked out there. Wandy faces rookie John Ely, who just turned 24, who doesn’t walk guys (well, with our lineup, that ain’t sayin much) and has a 3.86 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP vs the Mets, Brewers and DBax. Wandy better throw a shutout, he wants to win – is all I can say…

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

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Berkman Returns, Miracles Happen, Astros Beat Marlins With SECOND Comeback Win Of 2010

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Astros FANS didn’t think there was gonna be no miracles, that is fer sher, because the stands were pretty empty – maybe 1/3 full. Maybe.

But the guys sure nuff didn’t care because they looked overjoyed and relieved to see Lance. I know all yall wanna know who was removed for Lance and the answer is that Chris Johnson went on the DL with a muscle strain which happened I don’t know when. Maybe it is a leftover from ST – but he didn’t get sent down. You KNOW Drayton doesn’t want to release Kaz only to see some other team pick him up and he suddenly hits like Barry Lamar (Himself, not Dog…)

Anyway, it sure didn’t look real too good for the motley crew (not crue) in the first when the first 4 Marlins singled and they led 2-0 at the end of their half. But Bourn took the first of his 2 walks and stole second, then stole 3rd, then scored on a Berkman groundout to first (yeah, first AB and Lance already has more RBIs than Clank) to cut the score in half.

In the second, Chris Coughlin drove in Wes Helms to make it 3-1 (Chris Coughlin always looks like a MVP with the bat when he faces the Astros) but the Astros got lucky when Pence got a checked swing single on a dribbler just inside the fair line. Then Feliz grounded into what should have been an easy 6-3 with Pence already taking off for second, but Hanley Ramirez made a foolish mistake when he tossed the ball to Uggla, trying to force Pence and Uggla, who wasn’t really expecting the ball, turned and airmailed it over the 1B head, so Pence went to third on the error and Feliz was safe. JR Towles singled home Pence

Miracle #1 – JR Towles gets his BA over his weight

to make it 3-2, Manzella had a 9 pitch AB before Bourn field out to left – Coughlin making an excellent catch to deprive Bourn of a RBI double.

In the 3rd, Berkman made an excellent diving stab of a hard hit ball for a lineout (forget Blum/Feliz making THAT play – gloves DO matter at first base, believe it or not. Well, after watching Feliz for a couple of weeks, all yall believe it more than you used to…) then hit a ball to the RF bullpen for a double – would have been a triple if his legs were 100% as they were in 08.

In the 4th and 5th, both pitchers got 1,2,3 outs. Then, in the 6th

Miracle #2 – Clank hits his FIRST really well hit ball, not a flyout, but a smashed liner to the RF bullpen for his FIRST EXTRA BASE HIT OF THE YEAR!!!!! (no RBIs yet, cain’t be askin for too many miracles at a time)

and then,

MIRACLE # 3 – Pence doesn’t swing at pitches out of the strike zone and TAKES HIS FIRST WALK – and yes, I know that only the 4th ball was anywheres near the strike zone, but hey like I said, patience is a virtue – not just for Pence you know what I’m sayin here…

Feliz flies out, then JR singles home Pence for his second RBI of the day. (JR’s heating up – he tore the cover offn the baseball in AAA last year, and so far, Castro isn’t doing real too much – 8 fer 34 with 7 BB and no XBH, so maybe he’s relaxed a little.)

Then, Mills, and I am NOT kidding you, pinch hits for Manzella with Cory Sullivan – yeah, with his OPS less than MY weight. I understand why you might could want to pinch hit for Manzella – he’s not exactly Hanley Ramirez with the bat, but with a WORSE hitter? Just because the hitter is a lefty? Please. What IS it with these managers who think that a terrible lefty is ALWAYS better than a good righty vs a righty pitcher??? And if you insist on a lefty, why the WORST lefty on the bench?

grrrrrrrrr

So after the 7th inning stretch, Fredi Gonzlez pulls Volstad, who had been pinch hit for by Mike Lamb, who returned to the ML after spending 08 sucking for Minnesota/Milwaukee and last year sucking at AAA (mostly hurt) and Blum, who is NOW pinch hitting for the pitcher, immediately greets Wood, the reliever, with a single. Then Bourn walks again. The boy he has got the right idea – getting on base is always better than getting out (unless it is an out that drives in a run – but I’m getting ahead of myself here.)Kepp has moved to short and Kaz is in at second. Mills has Kepp, at this point, the best hitting guy on the team, sac-bunt???!!! but the strategy works as Berkman is NOT walked with 1B open (???why?????) and he ties up the game with a groundout to first. More RBIs than hits. Clank pops out stranding Bourn on 3rd.

Lyon comes in – I was a little surprised, as Sampson had been warming up, but

Miracle #4 – Lyon managed to get 3 straight outs this time and then

Miracle #5 – Fredi Gonzalez sent his ineffective pitcher back out and

Miracle #6 – Hunter Pence hit his first extra base hit of the year AND on a 2-0 count!!!!! Feliz singles him to 3rd, JR Ks (a leeeetle too eager this time) and then Kaz, 0fer his last 18, squeeze bunts Pence home with a perfect bunt down the 1st base line. I think you can call it a squeeze even if it IS down the 1st base line, and I THINK that Pence was breaking for home, but it’s hard to tell. Then Jason Michaels hits a pinch hit homer over the Crawford Boxes into the Hall and

Miracle #7 – the Astros have their second come from behind hitting in a week!!!!!

to lead 7-4. I thought Bourn was gonna get walk #3, but he flied out to center on a 3-2 pitch that would most definitely have been strike 3.

Lindstrom gives up a run with a single, groundout, wild pitch and a 10 pitch single, then after Mills goes out to the mound and threatens to play “Sugar Plum Fairy” as his entrance music, he gets the last guy on a groundout to preserve the Astros First Home Win of 2010!!!

I can’t call THAT a miracle because it was bound to happen SOMEtime before the end of September.

Interesting thing – Lindstrom is reminding me of Brad Lidge (when he’s not hurt) with his motion and use of fast fastball and wild slider. The hits he has given up so far have been groundball singles that are hit hard through the holes and his slider is, uh, crazy. He’s not as incredible as Brad was at his best, and he sure doesn’t get near the number of swings and misses, but youneverknow…

Tomorrow, it’s Bud Norris vs Josh Johnson, LHP, who hasn’t done very well vs Houston – 0-3 in 2 GS and 1 in relief with a 7.36 ERA over 11 IP with THREE homers.

homers

hmmmmmm

Maybe we can get some MORE miracles tomorrow…

9/13/09: Astros Beat Ohlendort On The One Bad Pitch He Threw

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Ohlendorf has gotten better since we last saw him. He set the Astros down in order 1,2,3 for the first 3 innings and retired Bourn to start the 4th when Matsui, singled on a push bunt down the first base line, deftly avoiding the tag. Lance flied out, then Ohlendorf made his ONLY bad pitch – he hung a slider to Carlos and the ball ended up right about on the tracks.

Moehler, who gave up 7 H, 2 BB, 1 IBB (to face the pitcher) immediately coughed it up, but managed to hold on until the end of the 6th without giving up any more runs, and he owes the Pirates 3rd base coach a refreshing beverage of his choice for his boneheaded decision to wave runners in, then throw up the stop sign well after Doumit had rounded third and milledge was 3 steps behind him – Doumit was tagged out in a rundown.

Fulchino got 3 quick outs on 9 pitches, then Ohlendorf, who had thrown only 72 pitches, came back out for the 7th. Not sure why, but he was very very tentative with his pitches, first with Lance, who he walked on a 3-2 count, then with Carlos, who also walked, except that the ump, who had a varying strike zone, called Ball 4 a strike. Carlos juuuuust missed a FB down the middle and flew out. Then Miggy Tejada was up and it looked like a sure #28, but he golfed an inside FB at the knees into the Crawford Boxes to drive home the winning runs.

Hawkins came in to pitch the 8th – you can’t have Fulchino pitching the 8th, you know. Hawk looks TIRED – gave up 2 singles, 2 groundouts and a popup and it took him 20 pitches. I hope he isn’t hurt and doing the macho shuffle.

Pence got his little self caught stealing AGAIN. And he decided to run on a brand new pitcher before even checking out his timing. Time to give him the stop sign. Running fast does not make a person a good base stealer…

Rubber game tomorrow with Paul Maholm vs Felipe Paulino, who has thrown 2 pretty good starts with 2 losses to show for it since he was re-inserted into the starting rotation. Hopefully, he can get a little run support this time.

 

 

Roy Oswalt Done Gone And Throwed An Ace Game And All He Brung Home Was Another No Decision

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Michael Bourn stole his 50th base of the year in the first, after singling. Kaz, Berkman and Lee left him there. That boy done got his little self stranded on third more times this year than my kids ask me for junk that they KNOW they ain’t gonna get when we go to the ballpark. (But it actually ain’t so bad for me because then it is ME who gets to say – hunh? wha? ida knowwwwww… ida wannaaaaaa and, best of all, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…)

where was I? Oh yeah.

Poor Roy, who threw 6.1 incredible innings. He gave up 4 singles, 2 walks – one of which was actually a K but the HP umpire, who was simply dreadful, called a pitch RIGHT down the middle as ball 4 – and 8 Ks. After giving up 2 singles in the 7th, Roy was pulled with back pain. At that point, he was leading 3-0, thanks to Hitter Pence driving in all 3 runs with a 2 run homer and an RBI single with 2 out.

And for his good work, all he got was a ND, as Byrdak let 1 run score and Fulchino let the other runner score.

Hawkins pitched the 8th and was just AWFUL – gave up 2 singles, a double, a triple, an IBB and 2 runs – and the lead.

sigh

Phillies 4 Astros 3

Valverde pitched a 1,2,3 9th after Chan Ho Park (who the Astros just can NOT hit) and Brett Myers pitched 2 scoreless innings. Brett DID walk Lance on 4 pitches to start of the 8th. After Carlos flied out, Miggy was up and Lance, fearing yet ANOTHER GIDP, tried to steal on a 1-1 count. He might have made it, as Myers wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention to him, except that Lance decided to go in head first and caught his shoe or something, which slowed his slide considerably and he just might could have been out. The ump usually calls the runner out if the ball beats him and I’m not sure that it did. But we booed the ump anyhow.

Then it was our old friend Brad Lidge for Lights Flickering Time. He struck out the first hitter, Hunter Pence, on 3 great sliders. He got strike 1 on Blum on an outside slider, then Blum fouled one off. All Lidge needed was just one more strike. But completely lost every vestige of control and threw 4 straight balls. Then Coste hit the very first FB to left and it was men on first and second, 1 out. Jason Michaels is up, and those 4 pitches outside the strike zone have made an impression on the ump, and he calls the next 4 pitches, 3 of which are definitely on the black, balls. So it’s bases loaded, 1 out and Michael Bourn is up. It would, of course, be teh absolute most kewl thing EVAH if Bourn hit one on the tracks.

But you can’t always get what you want, and Michael doesn’t, and grounds out on the first pitch and the runner is forced at home, bases loaded – they are NOT getting Michael on a GIDP. So it’s Kaz Matsui up. And Kaz goes to 3-1, then Lidge throws him an unmoving FB right down the middle and sometimes, you get what you need, and Kaz hits it to right center for the game-winner.

Walk off single.

Brad blows his 10th save of the year. Valverde wins his 3rd and the Astros have their 5th come from behind win of the year.

If I hadn’ta seen it, I wouldn’ta believed it. And in case all yall curious, Husband DID know better than to suggest we leave after Hawkins blew the save. The Box was seriously loud even with only maybe 25 K people, when Lidge came on. A lot of us still like the boy – too bad he’s having such a lousy year, no idea why he has all his delivery problems, but we’re all glad he did get a Ring. But it sure was good to beat him this time. Lance was on deck when Kaz hit the game winner – I’m still not sure if he was sorry HE didn’t get to do that, seeing as how he made the last out last year when Lidge saved the game – or if he felt for his old friend.

Probably both.

Which reminds me – I keep hearing that Roy has “always” had slow starts and “bad” April/May. So I thought I’d check it out and here goes:

Year: pre ASB……………………post ASB

2001: 6-1/ 2.26 ERA/51 IP ….. 7-2/ 2.85 ERA/ 90 IP

2002: 10-5/3.38 ERA/130 IP… 9-4/ 2.95 ERA/103 IP

2003: 5-5/3.15 ERA/85 IP ….. 5-0/ 2.63 ERA/42 IP

2004: 8-7/3.65 ERA/130 IP .. 12-3/ 3.30 ERA/106 IP

2005: 12-7/2.39 ERA/135 IP… 8-5/ 3.65 ERA/106 IP

2006: 6-6/3.15 ERA/120 IP … 9-2/ 2.77 ERA/100 IP

2007: 8-5/3.53 ERA/135 IP … 6-2/ 2.57 ERA/77 IP

2008: 7-8/4.56 ERA/116 IP … 10-2/2.24 ERA/92 IP

However, the All-Star Break is not really a fair halfway dividing line, as starters usually play 19 or 20 games before the break and 12 or 13 games afterward – and yeah, small sample size.

BUT, here are the career numbers for Roy by month:

April: 19-14 with a 3.46 ERA/1.23 WHIP/.253 BAA over 299 IP

May: 15-17 with a 3.63 ERA/1.28 WHIP/.267 BAA over 305 IP

June: 24-12 with a 3.18 ERA/1.23 WHIP/.264 BAA over 306 IP

July: 23-10 with a 3.51 ERA/1.18 WHIP/.260 BAA over 282 IP

August:28-7 with a 2.80 ERA/1.10 WHIP/.237 BAA over 298 IP

Sept: 26-8 with a 2.50 ERA/1.14 WHIP/.247 BAA over 281 IP

Won-Loss records aside, looks as if his numbers over the first 4 months are roughly the same, but then he kicks it up more than a notch for the last 2 months. Who knows, maybe he has to get the kinks worked out. And his great August-Sept runs have coincided with the Astros 04, 05, 06 and 08 Aug/Sept runs for the pennant.

hmmmmmmmmm

Maybe not such a coincidence after all…

And tomorrow, Bud Norris gets to face lefty Cole Hamels. Coop had better NOT pull Michael Bourn for Jason Freaking Michaels again. Bud needs all the help he can get. Let’s hope that the rest has done him some good. If he gets slammed all over the place again, I say it is time to shut the guy down for the rest of the year.

Along with Roy.

 

 

8/4/09: Mike Hampton Thanks Blum And Matsui For The Chicken Sandwiches – And The Win

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

I spent over an hour writing this entry, but accidentally deleted it and am too tired to re-write the entire thing.

I’m still in shock that Mike freaking Hampton outpitched Matt Cain.

Tomorrow, it’s Felipe Paulino vs Jonathan Sanchez.

Not that I am expecting miracles for 2 days straight…

Evaluating Astros Players At The 2009 ASB

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Apologise for this taking so long (kidssss!!!!!!!!) Also, this particular software won’t make nice neat charts and it takes me like forever to get the columns lined up even a little bit, so sorry that they don’t look real too good.

(Stats from ESPN, Hardball Times, baseball-reference.com)

B/R is BA with RISP (and you notice it isn’t RBIs/PA – IBB with MOB – an extremely useful stat which, if it existed, I can’t find…)

Player                PA  R H  2B/3B/HR RBI SB/CS BB SO GDP ——- B/R OPS+ RCAA

C I Rodriguez — 260 26 60 - 11/2/7 — 30 – 0/2 – 11 54- 11 .183 245/.278/.392/.670 – 77 (-)12
1B Berkman —- 362 49 79 – 18/1/18 – 55 - 6/2 — 66 59 — 9 .260 271/.403/.526/.929 -147  23  2B K Matsui —  252 28 56 —  8/1/3 — 21 – 9/3 — 19 43 – 2 .262  252/.313/.338/.651 – 75 (-)8
SS M Tejada — 375 48 116– 30/0/7 - 49 – 2/2 — 10 26 - 14 .318 329/.357/.473/.830 – 120  9
3B Blum ——— 226 19 56 —- 8/1/2 – 27–  0/1 — 19 27 – 4 .263  281/.350/.362/.711 – 91 (-)1
LF C Lee ——– 357 35 101 –17/1/13- 49 — 2/2 — 24 28 – 10 .257 308/.353/.485/.838 – 122 10
CF Bourn ——– 376 57 95 — 15/8/3– 25 –32/8 — 38 72 –1  .391 286/.360/.407/.767 -105  11  RF Pence ——- 358 45 95 —-15/4/11- 37 - 9/6 — 36 50 - 12  .274 298/.366/.473/.839 -123   9

3B Keppinger —189 20 44 –10/2/3 — 15  0/2 —- 19 16 – 6 .189  273/.353/.416/.769 -106 (-)1
UT Erstad ——– 95 10 14 — 3/2/1 —  5  0/2 —–  8 17—  2 .143  165/.234/.282/.516 - 38  (-)9
OF J Michaels — 82  6 13 — 8/0/1 —  6  1/1 —–  7 21—- 2 .158  176/.256/.324/.580 – 54 (-)5
C Quintero ——– 79  3 19 – 3/1/0 –  9  0/0 —–  1 15 —  3 .162  247/.266/.312/.578 — 54 (-)6
IF Maysonet —— 61  7 17–  2/0/1 –  7  0/0 —–  4 13 —- 0  .300  315/.356/.407/.763 -104… 1 UT Matt Kata —- 35  1  6 — 1/0/0 —  4  0/0 —–  0  3 —- 1 .300 182/.200/.212/.412 – 11 (-)4
IF Jason Smith —27  1  0 –  0/0/0 –  1  0/0 ——  0 9 —– 1 -0- – 0  -  0 -   0  -  0  (-)100  (-)5
C J R Towles —- 13  2  2 — 0/0/0 —  1  0/0 ——  0 4 —-  0 .333 182/.250/182/432  46      (-1)
C Chris Coste —–2  0  0                                   0                  0

You will notice that the SB/CS for all players not named Bourn is 28/23. This is bad. This is called giving away outs. Bourn is the only guy who steals at a success rate of at least 75% and this means Erstad, Pence, Keppinger and Carlos better cut it out. And Lance had best be darn careful.

You will also notice that the Astros have 81 GIDP. This leads the majors. You will also notice that the 2 young players who Coop doesn’t want on the team both have a higher BA/RCAA than the 2 veterans Coop DID want – Kata and Smith. You will also notice they both have higher BA than either Michaels or Erstad (seing as how BA is to be worshipped.) I will also remark that Mike Hampton has better hitting stats than either Erstad or Michaels. Yes, I know – small sample size…

You will also notice that Berkman is the only guy on the team with more walks than Ks. He also is the only guy with over 40 walks at all. Tejada has the highest BA, but Berkman has a higher OPS+ and higher RCAA and higher WS. He is also leading the team in RBIs because Carlos hasn’t been doing his share, not at all.

Checking fielding:

Pudge: 3 Errors/570 innings and 2 PB. FPT .994 and 25% CS. (He’s worse than that, as this doesn’t count all the bad throws that were not called errors)
Quintero: 5 errors/186 innings (highest in the majors) and 2 PB, FPT .971 is worst in the NL – also has 10% CS. (As I’ve been saying, he is NOT good. And why Coop prefers him to Towles I do NOT get)

Berkman: 6 errors/735 innings – and just like last year, he’s second to Uncle in fielding – 27 out of zone plays (but Uncle has 45) and 117 plays on balls in zone (but Uncle has 138) and he’s turned only 5 DPs – but that is NOT his fault as he’s had to deal with Miggy and his, uh, lousy fielding.

Matsui is 5th in the NL in RZR at .822. He doesn’t make many plays on balls out of the zone (only 11) and yeah, it is a little harder to compare him to some of the other second basemen who have around 150 more innings played. He is doing quite well with DP started – tied for the lead with 22, and is in the middle of the pack with DP turned, with 27 (Freddy Sanchez leads, with 42.) He only has 2 errors, which is hard to believe.

Maysonet, with only 102 innings, had a MUCH higher RZR at .854 and Keppinger, no surprise, has a much lower RZR at .733

Third base is a little tough – only 8 guys in the NL have played over 450 innings, and Wright, the leader, has played 758, so direct comparisons are a bit tough.
- Blum’s RZR is .745, which is surprisingly good, behind leaders Pedro Feliz, Casey Blake and leader Andy LaRoche at .781. However, his OOZ plays are quite low – only 12, compared to Ryan Zimmerman with 48 plays in 735 innings. I was also surprised to see that Pedro Feliz, who has an outstanding rep with the glove, has only 13 OOZ plAYS OVER 711 innings. Blum has only 2 errors and a .983 FPCT. In fact, I think he hasn’t made as many errors as he did last year. He’s just fine if balls go near him, but has like zero range to either right of left.
- Keppinger, playing in half the innings Blum has (275) has more OOZ plays, 13, but a lower RZR, .730, and more DPs started, 12 to 9. He also made 4 errors. I’m not surprised about the OOZ plays because, unlike Blum, at least he tries.

Miggy Tejada – well, he looks like the 07 version. He’s only been tagged for 12 errors and really, there should be at LEAST 10 more – or at least 10 DPs not turned that I can think of offhand. His RZR is second lowest among SS at .775 (The Riot is best at .855) and Miggy has been about average with the others at fielding plays on balls OOZ – 25. Fileding % is .968, 3rd lowest among SS. Ah well, no one cares (except the pitchers) because he is hitting .320)

Carlos Lee. sigh. Clank. Let’s say that he doesn’t drop balls hit right to him, but about any ball not hit right to him is going to go for a double. And he has a very weak and inaccurate arm. He’s been hit with only 2 errors, but at the end of the year, he’s gonna lead the majors (LF) with plays not made. RZR is .843 and he has 27 OOZ plays – Nyjer Morgan, naturally, leads with 51. He has 6 assists (how did THAT happen) which leads the league..

And, by the way, here we are at the break at .500, which I personally thought was a miracle. Matthew Carruth, however, prefers to call it “luck” and mathematically “proves” that the Astros are THE luckiest team in the majors AND by 13 games. We are 22-18 in close games, but we have allowed 30 more runs than we have scored. Hardball Times says that by RA/RS, we should be 41 – 47, which is not exactly the 31 – 57 record that Matthew calculates.

This year, the only really GOOD team in the NL is the Dodgers, but we all know that means exactly zero after the playoffs start. I seriously disbelieve that Roy, Wandy and whoever could go head to head vs Cain/Lincecum and whoever and come out on top. But then again, they could get hurt, Pujols could get hurt and when it comes to baseball, younverknow…

5/21/09: Wandy Gets First Hit/RBI Of Year To Beat Yovani Gallardo

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

OK

I know. Wandy didn’t have the game winning hit, just an insurance run. He was great. 5 hits, 1 walk, 5 Ks (including striking out the side in the 5th on 5 swinging Ks!!!)

He did give up his first homer of the year to Mike Cameron – just barely fair of the LF foul pole, but 1 ER/7 IP is still awesome. I PARTICULARLY liked the way that he hung in there in the 7th – he was tired, going to 3-2 on Casey McGehee (ex-Cub) before giving up a single, then walking Kendall on 5 pitches. He managed to get Rivera out – he threw a change midthigh, mid-plate and Rivera was juuuuuust a touch late and the ball only went to the RF track. He then got 2 more flyouts to strand the runners.

Ace stuff – and, mind, this is a GOOD team, not the Rox or the Pads who simply SUCK these days.

Makes me think that teams just give up on too many pitchers too quickly. Most fans wanted him OFF the team after he struggled in his sophomore year, 2006, but for some reason, they stuck with him. One of the VERY few smart moves they have made with their home grown pitchers over the past 6 years.

As for Cooper and the bullpen, well, for once, I agree with him having left Arias in to finish up the 9th, when the Astros were leading 6-1, as he had blown through the 4,5,6 hitters in the 8th, getting 2 Ks. Too bad Sampson wasn’t able to prevent all 3 of his runners from scoring before he got the last out (and his second save of the year.)

And speaking of Cooper, any manager can screw up the lineup – I like how the Crew carefully waited until Bourn led off with a single before telling the ump that Matsui was supposed to be batting leadoff. I guess it is Matsui who gets “credited” with the out. Or is it debited. But Bourn walked anyway, then scored on Lance’s double to deep right center, which SHOULD have been a triple if he hadn’t fallen rounding second.

But it was NOT OK for Coop not to have explained to Bourn why he was called back to the dugout after the Crew pointed out Coop’s mistake. It is NOT cool for Coop to just sit there, not say a thing to Bourn or Matsui who were both OBVIOUSLY very upset and about to get into screaming with the umps, and just leave it to a player to explain. He owes Bourn and Matsui TWO apologies each, that is fer SHER. When you hear about the players’ unhappiness with Coop, you know what is going on. Especially with all his lame crap about how someone else should have caught HIS screwup.

sigh

On the good side, Lance hit an RBI double and Miggy drove in 2 and Pence hit an RBI triple that even Cameron couldn’t get to. I have to smirk when I say that I would bet that Bourn would have had it.

Let’s hope that tonight, Roy starts looking more ace-like. It’s getting to be about that time.

4/29/09: Wandy Beats Cincy With A Lil Help From Darnell McD And Ramon Hernandez

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Husband is sitting comfortably on the couch, watching Astros Live with Alyson Footer and Patti Smith. Husband would watch every game without moving if he got to watch them announce the entire game, instead of Brownie and JD – unlike a lot of men, he LIKEY females who are knowledgeable about the sport they are discussing. And, to be accurate,what Husband likes the VERY most about the Astros is Alyson Footer, who he thinks is teh HOTTT as well as teh SMARTTT. He isn’t real too impressed with Ms Smith, whose main job is to talk to people in the crowd and ask a few ballplayers some dumb questions at the end of the game, but he sure LUUUUVVVVS Alyson.

I don’t mind. Not only does she know baseball, but she hasn’t blonded herself out and expanded upon her mammaries. Besides, if I objected, I would probably have to throw out my poster and bobbleheads of Bradley Awesomeness.

And speaking of awesomeness, Mr. Wand-erful has now thrown 5 consecutive QS and boasts a 1.69 ERA. Might could I remind folks that 2 of those QS have come on the road. Might could I also mention that 4 out of 5 times he has pitched, he has been featured on BBTN’s “That’s Nasty.” AND might could I remind folks that I am proud to have been a Wandy fangrrrrrl since 2005. I say it LOUD, I say it PROUD.

The Magic Wandy had a shaky 1st inning – walked Willy T on 5 pitches (yeh, Willy T), then gave up a single (reached out and hit a good pitch on the outside corner), then a run on a GIDP on that exact same pitch on the low and outside corner, then a double, then a steal of 3rd, then a GO. 18 pitches, 8 balls. But the curve was already nasty.

He pitched 1,2,3 out efficient innings in the 2nd and 3rd, Votto led off the 4th with a 7 pitch walk, but Wandy quickly got the next 3 outs with 10 pitches. He got 3 outs on 1 pitches in the 5th, too, ending up with a 3 swinging strikes K of Astro Killah Micah Owings. Hehhehheh.

He needed 14 pitches for the 6th – got an out, then a double, then an out, then an advance to 3rd on a WP, then an inning ending grounder.

Out he went for the 7th, got an easy popup, then gave up a single to Ramon Hernandez, then another single off the LF wall to Darnell McDonald (who had already gifted the Astros with 2 UER) and Ramon Hernandez, one of the 3 slowest runners in the majors, decided, for some unknown reason, to try to go from first to third (and this is like me trying out to play defensive tackle in the NFL in terms of pure suicide/stupidity) and even Carlos Lee and his soggy arm had him thrown out by 15 feet at the VERY least.

Ramon he need to go on the video for that country song “What was I thinkin? I musta been drinkin.”

So with 2 out and a man on second instead of 1 out, men on first and second, Wandy easily got the last out. And actually, I would bet that at 98 pitches, if the Reds had gotten 3 outs in the top of the 8th, the Wand Man would have been right back out on the mound.

As it was, the Astros were up 8-1 bottom of the 8th and with Wandy having been pinch hit for, Geary went out, left a meatball over the heart of the plate and Laynce Nix promptly deposited it over the LF wall. He then got 3 quick outs. Wesley Wright went in to mopup the 9th and had a bit of trouble – gave up a leadoff homer to the slumping Brandon Phillips, walked the next hitter, gave up a screaming liner to second, then a long flyout to deep center, then a game ending flyout to the LF wall.

Bad news is that Lance is still having very bad ABs and appears to be looking for the walk. He is having weak grounders and a lot of limp flyouts to opposite field.

Good news is that Ivan Rodriguez hit 2 balls with authority – a homer that went around 410′ to straightaway center (and would have been out at home) and a double high off the LF wall. And, might could I add, he got Willy T out on one of his patented bunt for a hit in front of the moung – threw him out by a half step.

Michael Bourn is still appearing to have been Bourn again – he reached on error, stole a base, then walked and scored, then walked and stole another base. Unfortunately, he ended his night by striking out on a 3-2 count with 2 on. He went to a 3-2 count on 3 of his 5 PA and took 26 pitches in all – over 5 pitches/PA. This is most definitely heading into leadoff man territory and he has improved greatly since last year. He’s lucky that he’s Ed Wade’s pet, or he never would have had the chance. At least with THIS team.

Kaz went 3 fer 5 with 2 RBI, 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. AND he made a fine leaping catch and turned an excellent DP.

Carlos only had 1 hit, but it was a double over Willy’s head to deep center and it scored 2 runs – and of course, he threw out the incredibly dumb Ramon Hernandez.

Miggy hit the hardest hit ball I’ve seen him hit all year – went for a double to right center, and he scored a run. And didn’t GIDP.

Pence was ofer, didn’t hit any balls very well.

Geoff Blum went 2 fer 4 and scored a run. He’s hitting .328 overall, but only .183 with RISP and only .143 with RISP, 2 out. Over 70 PA, he’s only driven in 4 runs and he’s GIDP twice.

Tomorrow, it’s Edinson Volquez vs Felipe Paulino, the re-match.

Moehler and Backe are still rehabbing, still needing to throw longer and longer starts, and if Paulino pitches as he did in his first start and not his second, it will be MUY interesting to see what happens when either Moehler or Backe is ready to pitch in the bigs. Also, right now, Valverde has FINALLY been put on the DL so that his leg can heal and Fulchino has been recalled. It might could be that Paulino would take that spot if Valverde is still out when either starter is ready.

Youneverknow…