Archive for August, 2004

8/30/04: Ya Gotta (dis?)Believe – Can The Astros Keep Hitting And Winning?

Monday, August 30th, 2004

It was Hit City in Chicago. Both batters and balls.

The Cub pitchers, maybe angry about pitching so poorly, maybe “backing” Michael Barrett, threw ?at? or, at least, hit Astros. Derrek Lee hopefully put an end to all this &*@$#!! when Dan Wheeler “retaliated” in the 8th yesterday by quietly taking his base. No tantrums. No swear words (or worse.) Mr. Lee, you is DA MAN. Thank you sir.

On the 10th inning show on 740 KTRH, Carl, the host, is asking callers if they “believe” in this team, since we just won 3 of 4, and we’re “hitting.” Well, the problem is that baseball is not T-ball.

Hitting, are we? Wel, let’s look at Stro hitting during the series:
Thurs- 10 H, 5 BB, 0 SB, 3 R and !!!26!!! LOB ( 7 H, 3BB and 2 R off Prior)
Fri – 17 H, 5 BB, 4 HR, 2 GIDP, 4 SB, 15 R and 15 LOB (8 ER off Wood and 6 off Farnsworth)
Sat – 10 H, 8 BB, 1 SB, 7 R and !!!23!!! LOB (3 ER off Zambrano and 4 R from 3 E)
Sun – 16 H, 5 BB, 1 HR, 2 SB, 10 R and !!!23!!! LOB (5 runs off bullpen)

Fielding – only 2 errors. But errors don’t measure how many balls would have been handled by better fielders. And Everett is still on the DL. And I can’t believe how much better he is than Bruntlett or Vizcaino.

Pitching -Roy gave up 6 ER in 8 innings and won anyway. First time this year he has given up that many runs and still won. Clemens gave up 5 ER in 6 innings and eeked out a W, thanks to Brad Lidge, who came in after Chad Qualls was pulled with 2 RISP. Carlos Hernandez gave up 3 ER in 5 1/3, but even more important, Harville, Wheeler, Qualls and Gallo DID NOT GIVE UP A N Y runs or even walks, earned or unearned!!!!!!! For once!!!!So Brad got a much needed day off. (note that David Weathers was released with a 4.52 ERA, lower than every other reliever not named Lidge.)

Speaking of the bullpen, let’s look at the ERAs:
Bullinger – 5.86
Gallo – 5.14
Harville – 5.56
Qualls – 5.68
need I say more?????

So what is there for me to “believe” in?
1) Timely hitting? With over 20 guys LOB in 3 of 4 games? I don’t THINK so!
2) Good fielding? Puhleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!
3) Good Starting Pitching? Not this past series.
4) A quality bullpen? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
5) Luck?
NOW you’re talking. To win even 90 games (wild card), either we will have to win 3 of 4 of the remaining games or San Fran, San Diego, LA, the Cubs will have to collapse. Or we get lucky and they get unlucky at the same time.

Possible? Sure. Anything is possible except pregnant men. (too bad)

Believe? Do I believe they can overcome pitching, fielding and hitting problems? I seriously doubt it. But I’m gonna root for my guys anyway. Youneverknow…….

8/28/04: Field Day – Roy Oswalt Beats Michael Barrett And The Cubs

Saturday, August 28th, 2004

Well, Roy won yesterday in spite up giving up 6 ER. First time this year!!!!! 99 pitches, 67 strikes, 2HR, only 4 K and 10 fly balls. Of course, the Stro hitters were hittin em out, too.

Michael Barrett was acting like a baby, “accompanying” Roy to first base in the second, yapping the whole time. The Cubs made sure that one of their pitchers hit Roy after the game was lost, just to prove some point. Boy, they showed him up, didn’t they?! Really bothered him, didn’t they. Roy had an expression on his face like the one Barry gets when he gets walked with the game on the line and RISP.

Let’s get away from hitting players with a baseball and go to players hitting a baseball. I read that Bagwell says he’s thinking of changing his stance because it requires too much strength (that he no longer has in his arthritic right shoulder) to swing well from his famous crouch. I hope whatever new stance he uses works as well for him as Biggio getting rid of his leg kick worked for him. Because Jeff just isn’t worth the money he’s being paid right now (and he isn’t tradable because there are better DHs available for a lot less $$$) and trying to improve is the least he can do as he’ll be here for 2 more years and I seriously doubt he’d just retire and kiss $39 mill goodbye.

8/26/04: Clubhouse Chemistry – United We Stand Divided We Fall

Thursday, August 26th, 2004

“Clubhouse Chemistry”

We hear this phrase a lot. With approval from sportswriters and sportscasters. With contempt from “stat geeks.” What does the phrase actually mean? Does it mean that the players are buddies? Does it mean that they don’t try to undermine each other? Does it mean that the “frat” mentality takes over and guys with less experience (rookies) are kept in their place and made to like it? Does it mean that guys believe they are on a winning or losing clubhouse and attitudes are catching? Does it mean that somehow that the guys rely on each other and do better because they have confidence in their fellow players’ abilities? All of the above? None of the above?

Or is their play independent of any external factors such as confidence or emotions? Are men simply stratomatic cards out there on the field (except for Jose Lima and Carlos Zambrano?) Do males believe that you should show no emotion on the field because doing so makes you, what? Less good? Mo better? Does lookin like they just don’t care make them play better? Worse? No effect?

Well, I do know that every ex-player I have ever heard talks about how the way that things are in the clubhouse affects how things are on the field. Haven’t we heard from players who go to the Yankees or Braves who say that when they get there the atmosphere is different, that the guys “expect to win?” I do know that some groups of people work better together and do better work than other groups of people. I know that my husband quit his job 2 years ago for one that takes him longer to drive to (and that is VERY important in a city that is 60 miles across) because he didn’t like the new manager who got rid of 2 nice guys and replaced them with 2 guys who were pigs. He said he didn’t like the environment and he didn’t want to work where he was unhappy. Isn’t that “clubhouse chemistry?”

I know my Aunt Mary, who is a nurse, quit her job of 22 years and moved to a different CITY to take a new job because she didn’t like the new administration’s preference for harrassing older, better trained, higher paid nurses in order to replace them with young, underqualified, cheaper nurses or travelers so it would look better on the budget? Isn’t that “clubhouse chemistry?”

Why wouldn’t men perform much better when they work with people they like and trust, both personally and professionally? Baseball players themselves CONSTANTLY talk about confidence. I can’t believe that any man wouldn’t care if his teammates have his back or not. Because if you can’t depend on the men you work with, how can you work your best?

I guess this gets back to my thoughts about Roy-O and losing. If the other guys don’t seem to care if they win or lose, why wouldn’t it be harder for to you to care? If you can’t be sure of your fielders catching balls, why WOULDN”T that affect your pitching? If you think you NEED to have a strikeout every time, why WOULDN’T that affect the way you throw? And your concentration? And your attitude toward the lead gloves who let you down? You just can’t assume that men can perform a certain way independent of their circumstances. Because they’re not robots. Or strat cards

8/24/04: Hit Ball, Catch Ball, Throw Ball, Beat Phillies

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

We won last night. Cory Lidle kept hitting Astro bats with his 86 mph fastballs and sliders and we had 4 runs by the time we finished the 1st. I think this is the first time this year that all 9 hitters hit in the first. Lidle settled down afterwards, but it was too late because Roger settled down, too.

Looking over all my scorecards, I notice that Roger throws a LOT of pitches the first 2 innings and goes to a lot of 3 – 2 counts and ends up with half his pitches thrown in the first few innings. Then he seems to gain command and averages about 10 – 12 pitches an inning.

I was thrilled to see him pitch the seventh. I was surprised because he had had to put on an extra burst of speed to tag out Jason Michaels to end the 6th, and I thought he might could have strained his already strained calf more. He had thrown 104 pitches by then and had a 6 run lead. It wasn’t very comforting, somehow, to see that the Phillie’s bullpen stinks as much as ours.

Did you notice that there were NO errors, lousy fielding or botched plays last night by our guys?

Did you see that the home plate umpire tossed Jimmy Rollins for throwing his bat toward his own dugout? I’m getting tired of the umpires chickens*** calls. Larry Bowa came out and tried to throw a fit, but you could see he didn’t put his best effort into it. I guess he ran out of swear words long ago…. According to the know-it-alls, we were supposed to play the Phils in the NLCS. Remember? Ed Wade should have done the decent thing and fired Bowa, who isn’t a particularly good manager, a long time ago. Guess he needs a fall guy. Like Steve Phillips and Bobby V a few years ago with the Mets….

Bagwell Says Oswalt Deserved To Get Tossed For Hitting Michael Barrett

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

Follow-up on the Roy Oswalt/Bagwell incident from yesterday: according to the local print and radio media, Bagwell was just “honest” about saying Roy deserved to get tossed. And Roy was just “honest” about being ticked that Bags said that on the record, unlike the other guys who just gossip behind his back off the record.

Apparently, the hitters are ticked at Roy because when they were in Montreal, in the game that Roy threw his complete game shutout, 4 Astro hitters were hit by Montreal and Roy didn’t retaliate. Unmanly, no? Maybe he didn’t want to get tossed so he could win that one and not miss the next start to keep us in what’s left of the wild card “race.” Could that be possible?

Of COURSE not. MUCH more important to display, uh, um, male stuff than just ignore the other team trying to get your ace out of the game and get into your dreadful pen.

Anyway, so now that Bagwell has decided that since Roy hit Michael Barrett on purpose the inning after Kerry Wood hit Jason Lane (right after Mike Lamb hit a HR, if you remember) he needs to knock Roy by saying that we needed the win and Roy just got himself thrown out because he was losing?! Well, if Bags and gang made a habit of coming back more than 2 out of 56 times, then he might could have a point.

But the whole comment is silly, because Roy had only given up 1 ER and since he was gonna lose anyway, why leave on purpose at that point? Maybe as a silent protest to the lead gloves on his very own team???? And lack of support? Both clutch and otherwise?

And DOES team unity promote victory? Sounds like a good topic for tomorrow.

8/23/04: Oh Roy-O Boy: Loses His Cool Because of Lousy Fielding And His Command Against The Cubs

Monday, August 23rd, 2004

Maybe I should’ve called this “HORRORS, foiled again.”

A couple of weeks ago, I was saying that Roy gets frazzled and loses focus, and often loses games when the fielders make errors or don’t make easy plays. This sure happened last night.

In the third, after a perfect 1,2,3 second, Jeff Kent (Mr. Lead Glove – I don’t care what UZR says) drops the ball on a sure double play and Corey Patterson is safe at second. So Roy grits his teeth and strikes out Derrek Lee on a beautiful slow curve. But then Todd Walker hits a 3 – 0 fastball to RF, which Berkman doesn’t get to, for a ground rule double, Moises Alou runs the count to 3 – 2 then walks, then Sammy Sosa, who has not been seeing the ball well hits a ball right to Lamb, Mr. Lead Glove, Jr., who doesn’t catch it and the ball rockets past into LF, scoring Walker. 2 runs scored from 3 lousy fielding plays, but of course, no error on Kent. So Roy is determined to strike out the next batter. #%@$!! the fielders. So Aramis Ramirez hits the 0 – 2 96 mph fastball deep to left center for a 3 run homer.

Then next.

Ah, what happened next.

Roy throws an inside fastball, Michael Barrett turns into the pitch and it hits him on the back. Barrett stands there for a minute, takes a few half-hearted steps toward the mound, then Bill Hohn, the home plate ump tosses Roy. Without “warning.” (Note: I don’t know exactly where to stand on the tossing. I disagree that hitting batters on purpose should EVER be a part of baseball. Like ever. (see Chapman, Ray) But pitchers MUST be able to pitch inside without fear of ejection. I am not really sure HOW the umps should deal with this. But I am VERY suspicious that a pitch that hits a batsman after a HR is most usually a purpose pitch unless it is a knuckleball or a very slow breaker, and I think that the pitcher should be tossed and suspended. Without warning. And that if the opposition tries to “get even” their pitcher and manager should be tossed immediately and suspended, too.)

It should be noted in fairness that Kerry Wood hit Jason Lane with a pitch right after Lamb hit his HR in the second. And he did not get tossed and the benches were not warned. So was Wood wild? Well, let’s see…

- Lamb hit a 3 – 2 pitch in the second for a HR, the first time that Wood had thrown more than 2 balls. Lane gets hit the next pitch.

- 3rd inning, Jose Vizcaino singles on a 1 -0 pitch, Carlos Beltran hit on the very next pitch. The next pitch, an inside fastball, Bagwell hits into a FC. Berkman then draws a 3 and 2 walk, then Kent strikes out. 4th inning, Bullinger draws a 3 -2 walk, but Wood only throws 3 balls to the 5 other batters. Not too wild, huh?

- 5th inning, 3 -1 walk to Bagwell, first pitch FC by Berkman, then Kent hit on a 1 – 1 slider. So, I doubt Kent was really hit on purpose, but I can’t say the same for Lane or maybe Beltran. And I won’t agree that Wood is wild or should be compared to a knuckleballer.

Well, did Roy lose his cool, his command or both? I hate it when the pitcher hits the next batter on purpose after he gives up a HR. Makes him look like a sore loser. (And Gibson and Drysdale would have cut that #%@$! out all those years ago if the batter had picked up the ball and thrown it back at them as Torii Hunter did to some pitcher who hit him a few years ago…) But the one real defect in Roy’s game seems to be his emotions, or at least his inablilty to control them when he gives up runners because of factors ($@#!@**!! fielding or umpiring) beyond his control. Until he gains the same command over his feelings that he has over his pitches, he’ll lose more than he should.

Come-Backe Victory Over The Cubs 8/21/04

Sunday, August 22nd, 2004

Back again!!! Or should I say, Backe again.

What a game!! After the embarrassment of last night’s batting practice thrown by Munro and Harville, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the at least 5000 *#@%$@%#*!! Cub fans seated in the upper decks, I sure did appreciate this one.

Brandon Backe, local boy (alright, Galveston BOI, close enough) had never done particularly well last year for the Devil Rays, who drafted him, or for the Stros earlier this year, who used him mainly as a mop-up guy. He was sent back to the minors in June with a 5.32 ERA and put into the starting rotation there. He did very well in New Orleans, with an ERA in the low 2s and was called back up because we needed someone to replace Tim Redding in the rotation, Carlos Hernandez having already been brought up to replace Andy Pettitte.

Well, Backe was The Man tonight. Fastball in the mid 90s, a good slider and a lot of first pitch strikes. 4 singles scattered over 7 innings, 3 walks, 2 DP, and 1 batter made it to second. He also drove in 2 runs with his first major league hit. He finished with 93 pitches and 56 strikes. ERA now down to 4.03

Mark Prior sure didn’t look like the next coming of Tom Seaver/ Cy Young/ Walter Johnson/ Mary Poppins….. He walked 6 batters, couldn’t get a single breaking ball of any sort over the plate, and the ONLY reason that he got away with giving up so few runs is that the lousy Astro hitters kept swinging at ball 4. He threw 104 pitches, 61 for strikes.

But then Dan Miceli, who has had an eye infection, (can he see??!!) started the 8th, went 2/3, got 2 outs and left 2 on. Time for closer/ace reliever Brad Lidge. Who, to put it mildly, was having trouble finding the strike zone. One hit, one of Miceli’s runs scores, the the 3rd out. Score now 2 -1. Remlinger gets a 1,2,3 inning.

Brad Lidge is back out. He has 14 saves in a row now. Cmon boy, throw that evil slider, get a 1,2,3 inning and let Brandon get the W he deserves. But noooooooooooooooooooooo. Lidge can’t get the ball over the plate and gives up 2 more runs and now we’re down 3 – 2. All the %$^&&^$#** Cub fans (WHERE did they all come from???) are screaming and cheering. Why is there never a rotten tomato concession when you need one? (But the beer guys have had a field day with the Cub fans up here – usually they appear around the 3rd inning, look hopefully around, sell a couple beers, give up, then vanish for the rest of the game.)

Well, I figure I’ll stick it out even though we have exactly ONE comeback win after the 8th inning ALL YEAR! Something like 1 for 54. No kidding.

Latroy Hawkins comes on to pitch. I’m hoping for the pre-Guardado Twins version… And there’s a single by Kent, who is pinch run for by Eric Bruntlett. Followed by a bunt by Ensberg (WHY is this good hitter bunting???!!! the ghost of Jimy?) which is overthrown by Macias, their 3rd baseman. Sammy Sosa has to run after the ball, which has rolled into the right hand corner. Bruntlett is on his horse and is rounding 3rd at full steam when Lamont, the 3rd base coach throws up the stop sign! WHAT???!!!!! Bruntlett takes more time to pull to a stop than he would have taken to cross home. Ensberg, who is pretty fast himself is at least halfway to 3rd and has to get back in a hurry. I’ve heard of Wavin Wendell, but Stopem Lamont is ridiculous! Like, this team is not exactly very good at scoring runs.

But then Vizcaino (who by the way is NOT Everett with the glove) singles and Bruntlett scores. And we’re tied!!!!! Lamb comes in to pinch hit and receives an IBB. Then Jason Lane, who, with any luck, will be out starting RF next year, has his big chance – hero vs goat. And he singles to right and Ensberg trots home. Can you believe it?! The $@*#&%&$#!! Cub fans sure can’t.

Well, 2 big comebacks tonight – the Stros AND MY BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!! So be it and shall it remain…..

All About the Pitcher: Maddux vs Oswalt 8/3/04

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004

Greg Maddux.

Living proof that you don’t have to be tall or throw over 90 to be simply GREAT. Career ERA of 2.89 in a hitters’ time. 145 ERA+ from 1987 to 2003. Over those 17 seasons, he averaged 17 wins/yr and since 88, never had fewer than 15 wins/year. He averaged 231 IP/yr, 49 BB/yr, 3.29K/BB, 161 SO/yr, and 13 HR/yr (1 HR/ 17.8 IP) He also needed significantly fewer pitches than most pitchers to complete those innings – he said he believed that outs are more important than strikeouts.

Clemens (who pitched well tonight) is considered a far better pitcher and I don’t really understand why. He sure nuff has more strikeouts, has an average of 224 IP/yr (starting in 1986, his first injury-free year (to give him the benefir of the doubt) to 2003, 73 BB/yr, 216 K/yr, 2.96 K/BB, 17 HR/yr, 1 HR/13.2 IP, a 141 ERA+ and an average of 15 wins/yr, even tho he had losing records in 2 of those years.

So why is Clemens “better?” Well, they’re both born in Texas, so that’s a draw. But Clemens is MUCH taller and heavier and that’s BIG (hahaha), has played for prominent east-coast teams (muy macho) and throws faster (like, so?????) I thought it is ever so much harder to win with location and control without “blazing” speed. I guess it is just a lot less glamorous……

I must say that I also like Maddux because he is the same size as Roy-O, even though Roy throws faster. I wonder if, in these days of the worship of the largeness of the player and the radar gun if someone like Maddux would even get a chance to play…..

Over the past 3 years, Roy has a 4:1 K/BB ratio and 1 HR/21.4 IP and an ERA+ of 150. And only 15 HR/yr. With half of those games in the juicebox. W O W !!! He has had some very bad luck this year because the bullpen has lost him a few games. He did OK Sunday, 8K, 2BB, 1 HR and 4 ER in 7 IP.

I want to throw in my 2 cents about DIPS (defense independent pitching statistice), a stat invented by a lawyer named Voros McCracken who now works for the stat loving Red Sox. This number looks ONLY at the pitcher’s walks, K and HR, ignores hits, bunts and errors. The claim is that since those numbers are not consistent or predictable from year to year, only the first three are completely independent of the rest of the fielders, as well as the manager, coach and time of day or temperature….

I don’t believe it for one minute. What a pitcher throws depends on who is calling the pitches, who is at bat, who is on base, who is on deck, who is fielding, how the pitcher happens to FEEL at any given time (yes, men have emotions too and they affect their judgement, too) among other things… Of course I know that there are some hits, even HR, that wouldn’t get caught by a team of the best fielders in the game, BUT, fielders are positioned by coaches and/or other fielders and they may have been poorly positioned.

There is a HUGE difference between 70 and 75% of balls in play being turned into outs. So the performance of the pitcher cannot POSSIBLY be independent of defense or anything else, like his thoughts about how the current batter may have done against him in the past, or if the catcher will call for only fastballs to throw out basestealers, or if the curve/breaker is working (and if the catcher can catch it) or wondering if he should pitch differently with men on base if his fielders can’t catch or throw and NEEDS to get a K instead of an out. (So I guess I won’t be getting my Stat Geeks Unite Membership Card any real too soon.)

The reason I brought up DIPS is that I have seen that Roy tends to give up most of his runs right after one of the fielders has made an error or at least not made a good play. Like Sunday. After Biggio made that error in the 3rd, Roy gave up all his runs that inning and the next before he settled down. I think he tends to overthrow to get Ks and that’s when he gets lit up. I can’t get good numbers on this because no one I know of makes a note of hits/runs given up after errors/missed outs and I’m going to try to do this myself for the rest of the year to see if observation matches reality.

Hmmmmmmmmmm. What shall I call my new stat?
HORRORS (Hits Or Runs Rost Over Realbad Screwups)
OOOOOOOOOOOH I luv stats… specially when I get to make em up.

Greg Maddux.

Living proof that you don’t have to be tall or throw over 90 to be simply GREAT. Career ERA of 2.89 in a hitters’ time. 145 ERA+ from 1987 to 2003. Over those 17 seasons, he averaged 17 wins/yr and since 88, never had fewer than 15 wins/year. He averaged 231 IP/yr, 49 BB/yr, 3.29K/BB, 161 SO/yr, and 13 HR/yr (1 HR/ 17.8 IP) He also needed significantly fewer pitches than most pitchers to complete those innings – he said he believed that outs are more important than strikeouts.

Clemens (who pitched well tonight) is considered a far better pitcher and I don’t really understand why. He sure nuff has more strikeouts, has an average of 224 IP/yr (starting in 1986, his first injury-free year (to give him the benefir of the doubt) to 2003, 73 BB/yr, 216 K/yr, 2.96 K/BB, 17 HR/yr, 1 HR/13.2 IP, a 141 ERA+ and an average of 15 wins/yr, even tho he had losing records in 2 of those years.

So why is Clemens “better?” Well, they’re both born in Texas, so that’s a draw. But Clemens is MUCH taller and heavier and that’s BIG (hahaha), has played for prominent east-coast teams (muy macho) and throws faster (like, so?????) I thought it is ever so much harder to win with location and control without “blazing” speed. I guess it is just a lot less glamorous……

I must say that I also like Maddux because he is the same size as Roy-O, even though Roy throws faster. I wonder if, in these days of the worship of the largeness of the player and the radar gun if someone like Maddux would even get a chance to play…..

Over the past 3 years, Roy has a 4:1 K/BB ratio and 1 HR/21.4 IP and an ERA+ of 150. And only 15 HR/yr. With half of those games in the juicebox. W O W !!! He has had some very bad luck this year because the bullpen has lost him a few games. He did OK Sunday, 8K, 2BB, 1 HR and 4 ER in 7 IP.

I want to throw in my 2 cents about DIPS (defense independent pitching statistice), a stat invented by a lawyer named Voros McCracken who now works for the stat loving Red Sox. This number looks ONLY at the pitcher’s walks, K and HR, ignores hits, bunts and errors. The claim is that since those numbers are not consistent or predictable from year to year, only the first three are completely independent of the rest of the fielders, as well as the manager, coach and time of day or temperature….

I don’t believe it for one minute. What a pitcher throws depends on who is calling the pitches, who is at bat, who is on base, who is on deck, who is fielding, how the pitcher happens to FEEL at any given time (yes, men have emotions too and they affect their judgement, too) among other things… Of course I know that there are some hits, even HR, that wouldn’t get caught by a team of the best fielders in the game, BUT, fielders are positioned by coaches and/or other fielders and they may have been poorly positioned.

There is a HUGE difference between 70 and 75% of balls in play being turned into outs. So the performance of the pitcher cannot POSSIBLY be independent of defense or anything else, like his thoughts about how the current batter may have done against him in the past, or if the catcher will call for only fastballs to throw out basestealers, or if the curve/breaker is working (and if the catcher can catch it) or wondering if he should pitch differently with men on base if his fielders can’t catch or throw and NEEDS to get a K instead of an out. (So I guess I won’t be getting my Stat Geeks Unite Membership Card any real too soon.)

The reason I brought up DIPS is that I have seen that Roy tends to give up most of his runs right after one of the fielders has made an error or at least not made a good play. Like Sunday. After Biggio made that error in the 3rd, Roy gave up all his runs that inning and the next before he settled down. I think he tends to overthrow to get Ks and that’s when he gets lit up. I can’t get good numbers on this because no one I know of makes a note of hits/runs given up after errors/missed outs and I’m going to try to do this myself for the rest of the year to see if observation matches reality.

Hmmmmmmmmmm. What shall I call my new stat?
HORRORS (Hits Or Runs Rost Over Realbad Screwups)
OOOOOOOOOOOH I luv stats… specially when I get to make em up.

Astros Odds and Ends – Finishing A Tie Game 8/1/04

Sunday, August 1st, 2004

Yesterday, we had to finish the end of a game that was suspended after 6 innings because of a tie. (How often does THAT happen?) The Reds finally won on a bloop hit off Chad Harville 7 innings later. This sort of thing sorts out those who really mean it when we sing “I don’t care if we never come back…..” from those who were just kidding.

But I guess we tired out the Reds, who only managed 1 hit off Darren Oliver (for goodness sakes) in 5 innings. Mike Gallo, David Weathers and Kirk Bullinger pitched 4 scoreless (not hitless or walkless, however) innings for the shutout. Nice to see them lower their ERAs. Andy Pettitte was supposed to pitch, but thought it best to rest that sore elbow. No one has said anything yet if he might could need surgery in the off season. I would bet $$$ he does because I don’t see how you can heal a tendon.

Has anyone noticed that Adam Everett has a 14 (if I counted right) game hitting streak? He hasn’t raised his average that much, from 260 to 270, but he’s still doing better than last year. Now that all those silly sac bunts have stopped, he’s hitting better. He’s already matched last year’s HRs, but not increased his BB/K ratio. He’s a decent base stealer, 12 steals with 1 caught. I sure would like to see him (and Ensberg and Carlos Beltran) steal a little more. I personally like the running game (if you have good runners, of course) and I know that Bags and Biggio can’t steal the way they used to. And I like the fact that every now and then, Jeff Kent shocks the heck out of the opposing catcher/pitcher (and fans) by stealing a base.

Trading deadline was yestersday. What is important is that us fans didn’t get lied to (can you believe it) and it looks like Drayton meant what he said on the record about not trading Kent or Beltran. I knew all those reports about Clemens “wanting” to go back to the Yankees was bullstuff from the getgo.
So our most important trade was the one that didn’t happen.

Not that I expect we’ll suddenly be frontrunners to win the Series. But the Cubs got Nomar Garciaparra without losing Matt Clement, even tho they got rid of the REAL goat of the playoffs – Alex Gonzalez, not poor ol Steve Bartman. Who REALLY knows if Nomar wanted out of Boston – fer sher, management wanted him gone. Money talks, Nomah walks. Anyway, the point is that if he really is still having serious problems with his foot, he may not play much, so it won’t matter. If he hits well, the wild card race just got tougher. Of course, his fielding has been absolutely horrible since he came back from the DL, so the Cubs may give up more unearned runs…. The Cards didn’t need to do anything and since wasn’t nothin broke, they weren’t dumb enough to fix it….

One last thing – I watched some innings of those SO important Yanks/Sox games last week. Too bad for those guys that there aren’t 9 DH spots in the lineup cuz their fielding “abilities” make Jeff Kent look like Roberto Alomar (pre-Mets) and Biggio/Berkman in the outfield look like Mike Cameron (awright, a little exaggeration.) But I guess I see why Theo Epstein felt he had to exchange a big bat for a few gloves. Good stats on paper don’t mean *@!$ if you don’t win the games in real life.