Archive for July, 2006

7/30/06:Between Qualls And Lidge, Clemens Is Fluckt Again

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

You see, said my mother the stat geek, players numbers fluctuate.

Chad Qualls’ and drab’s fluctuated upward.

Which is why poor ol Roger was fluckt again.

We’re talking 7 innings of 2 hit, no walk, 9 K ball. We’re talking 90 pitches, 57 strikes. We’re talking 1 Lead-Glove Lamb unearned run. We’re talking 5 of 7 1,2,3 innings.

And I wanna know why on EARTH Phil pulled Roger. Yeah, I know we had a 4 run lead. But he ought to know that the bullpen has been pitching a LOT lately and it doesn’t hurt to have a dominant starter finish up.

But I PROMISE that Chad and drab weren’t the only fluckers in this game –

Adam Everett, you know, Mr. Light Bat, was the spark plug today – went 3 fer 5 (2 doubles) with 2 RBI, a SB and a run scored (plus his usual awesome glove work.)

But there were the downward fluckers – let’s see –
1st inning – Huff, then Scott, left Lamb on first
2nd inning – Ausmus, then Clemens, left Everett on second
3rd inning – Scott, then Burke, left Biggio on third
4th inning – (Gotta talk bout this one – Everett Made Things Happen – bunt single, stole second, to third on GO, score on balk. very cool small ball!!!) No one else made anything happen.
5th inning – Huff, then Scott, left Biggio on third
6th inning – Biggio GO with bases loaded and 2 out
7th inning – Preston Wilson, “RBI man”, Ks with 2 out and men on second and third. Hats off to Brad Ausmus for the nice suicide squeeze.
8th inning – the only inning no one reached base
9th inning – with Everett the tying run on second, Munson FO to end the game. So much for “pop” in his bat…

So big time fluckters – Aubrey Huff was 0 fer 5 and left 3 on.
Chris Burke was 0 fer 3 with a walk and a HBP and left 3 on.

Lesser fluckters – Luke Scott, who left 4 on, although he did score 2 runs
Good thing we have a day off.

I seriously hope we do not trade off what hope for the future we have left for a 2 month rental. We do NOT need another 3rd baseman (Hank Blalock, who has a -RCAA) or Miguel Tejada, who says he does NOT want to leave. (And the Yankees just bought Bobby Abreu for some no-account minor leaguers – call this the Phils throwin Bobby out on his ear). All the folks in the call-in shows want us to get rid of basically every major leaguers we have except Lance, Burke, Roy, Lamb and Willy (don’t ask me why) and trade Roger and Andy to the Yankees for ???? and bring up all the AAA guys. And Hunter Pence.

Here we go
(remember, we’re getting rid of Roger and Andy – not sure why, but, hey…)

closer: Jailen Peguro
Barzilla (LOOGY for Phil)
(not sure if we can keep Borkowski – lots of folks want Miller, Springer, Wheeler and Qualls gone too – but we need to keep 2 or 3 of these guys because there IS no one else in the minors)
Chris Baker
Travis Driskill – he has a 2.94 ERA with 14 saves – has ML experience and could be the set-up guy

C – Munson and JR House (he can’t catch or throw, but he sure can hit)
1B – Lamb
2B – Biggio (sorry guys, he ain’t goin nowheres)
SS – Burke
3B – ?Huff? Bruntlett?
RF – Berkman
CF – Hunter Pence
LF – Luke Scott
utility – Willy Taveras, Brooks Conrad (switch hitting IF), ?25th guy?

WOW! Now we’d REALLY go someplace with THAT team

Ken Rosenthal says the Padres want to trade Scott Linebrink (set up guy) and Geoff Blum for Mo Ensberg (I am NOT kidding.) If Purpura did that, he should be fired on the spot. Geoff Blum ain’t even Eric Bruntlett. Linebrink is nice, but he ain’t worth giving up a great hitting 3B for.
This here game really was the nail in the coffin. I wouldn’t want to give the Yeccchies or RedSux any more ammo wrapped on a silver platter like the Phils did (where’s Bowie Kuhn when you need a commissioner to stop this kind of stuff in the name of “best interest of baseball” – parity, my rear…)

I was about ready to give up on the 04 team, I admit it. But that team was a LOT bettern THIS team, and the weakness was the bullpen and no decent 4th or 5th starter.

I gave up on the 05 team too, back around June 1, but they just had 3 dominant starters, and in spite of getting shut out 20 times, managed to pull off lightning in a bottle.

But, not this year. Sometimes, you just gotta admit defeat, and do the best you can to get ready for the next year – just like we did after 2000. And trading away all our ML players, PLUS Hirsh or any other excellent young pitcher, just ain’t the way.

UPDATE – Monday 9:30 AM
Yall not gonna believe THIS one –
Purpura offered – get this
ROY OSWALT!!!!! Adam Everett and Mo Ensberg to the Orioles for Miguel Tejada
AND THEY REFUSED!!! (there’s the Richie Sexson trade all over again)

Read it for your own selves – (of course, everyone now denying everything – except for the fact that Roy WAS offered to the Orioles for Tejada)

I do NOT understand why people keep talking about “3 years of Tejada” – and “people” includes Richard Justice, who has a HOF vote as a BBWAA and should damn well know that Miguel Tejada can LEAVE AFTER THE SEASON IS OVER.

I got 3 things to say about this trade that (fortunately) failed
1 – The Orioles will never win anything as long as they have that ownership
2 – If Purpura HAD sent off our best pitcher and Ensberg AND Everett for a 2 month rental of a hitter who is a TERRIBLE fielder, he should be tarred and feathered (nice language which really mean something a LOT worse.)
3 – one of these days, I want to find out WHY this organization has been so down on Mo Ensberg since, just about forever.

FORTUNATELY, either McLane or Purpura has decided NOT to trade Roy. Gee, might could it be that you need more than ONE good pitcher (and that, friends, is Roger) on a baseball team?

7/30/06: Taylor Buchholz Sent Down, Nieve Called Up

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

OK, team updates –

No surprise, Taylor got sent down – hopefully Burt Hooten can straighten him out.

I expected Fernando Nieve to be recalled, not Chris Sampson, even though he’s been pitching VERY well in AAA as a starter, going 11-3 with a 2.62 ERA. But Phil says Sampson is gonna work out of the bullpen, so I guess this means that Matt Albers will be starting in Taylor’s place, which DOES surprise me. Ah well, as us Stros fans know VERY well, sometimes these AA guys kick heck outta the ML hitters who haven’t seen them before…

At this particular second (6 AM), far as I know, no Soriano, Tejada or any other bat. Has anyone seen Tejada field (shudder)? The pitchers are in for a VERY unpleasant surprise if he replaces Adam.

Mo Ensberg, off the DL, was sent to Round Rock for rehab. I got this BAD feeling the Organization wants to get rid of him – newsflash – Aubrey Huff is NOT better in ANY way. Assuming he even re-signs here. We don’t have another third baseman ready and waiting in the minors.

We are NOT going to any playoffs, let’s be real here. So let’s not go all Kazmir for Zambrano just to show the fans that we’ll do SOMEthing… Or play Arizona and give up 6 ML guys for 1 Richie Sexson – Milwaukee STILL laughing bout THAT one.

I am still uncomfortable about signing a guy in the middle of a FA contract because he can just leave this winter. I’d rather get a rental, but after losing both RJ (at least he was honest about refusing to stay and it not being about money) and that (*$%@! Carlos the Jackal, I think McLane is wary about signing another rental, ESPECIALLY if he thinks he wants to keep him, and he always thinks that these guys will want to stay instead of going for the big bucks and big media. He could, of course, just look at “the bat” like, um, an escort – do the business, then the escort goes his way and you go yours…

So today is the rubber game. We gave Roy four whole runs of support – wonder if we can do the same for Roger – this would mean hitting 4 days in a row, guys, and Lance is still out with his bad groin pull (although he can pinch hit, like he did on Friday.)

Roger Clemens, RHP vs Miguel Batista, RHP

this year: 2-4 in 7 GS: 2 HR, 11 BB, 31 K over 40.1 IP with a 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and a .238 BAA
– as usual, Roger is pitching great and his teammates are waving foam bats at the other pitchers.
Or should I say – guess Roger just don’t know how to win (like too many of the mainstream sportswriters say…)
vs Ari: 2-1 in 3 GS: 1 HR, 6 BB, 19 K over 20 IP with a 1.80 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and a .164 BAA

Miguel Batista, RHP, age 35
– another travelin man we’ve known for years. Has had a long career as both a starter, closer, and reliever.
– He was signed as a 17 year old out of the DR by the Expos.
– Picked up by the Pirates from the in the 1991 rule V draft, pitched 2 innings, then was returned in April 92 and released at the end of 94.
– 12/94, signed as a minor league FA with the Florida Marlins. Pitched in 96 – 11.1 IP over 9 G – 5.56 ERA
– 12/96: picked off waivers by the Cubs. um, sucked – went 0-5 in 6 GS and 5 in relief with a 5.70 ERA
-12/97: Cubs traded him to the Expos for Henry Rodriguez. (remember ooooooooo-henry?) He works as both a reliever and a spot starter, pitching 135 innings both years – a 3.80 ERA in 98 and a 4.88 ERA in 99
– 4/2000: Traded to the Royals after a terrible 9 innings for a minor leaguer. he, um sucked, like just about everybody does with the Royals – threw 57 innings with a 7.74 ERA
– 11/2000: the Diamondbacks, for some reason, signed him to a 3 year FA contract. He started and relieved, won a Ring in the 01 WS – pitched VERY well, and gave the D-bax a good return on their 6 mill over 3 years.
– 12/03: Signed a 3 year FA contract with the Blue Jays. In 04, he mostly started, threw almost 200 innings with a 4.80 ERA (and this IS the YAnkees and Red Sox he pitching against, mind…) and then last year, he was almost exclusively a reliever, saved 31, lost 8, blew 5 over 74 IP.
– 12/05: Traded with Orlando Hudson to the Diamondbacks for Troy Glaus (so Aaron Hill could play second – my, that worked out REAL good, didn’t it…)
career: 66-76 in 173 GS and 211 in relief with 37 saves, 10 CG and 4 SO: 129 HR, 553 BB, 834 K over 1307 IP with a 4.46 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and a .269 BAA
this year: 9-4 in 20 GS; 3 CG, 1 SO: 13 HR, 43 BB, 74 K over 126.2 IP – 4.41 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and a .288 BAA
@ the Box: 1-0 in 1 GS and 2 in relief: 9 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 7 K, 3 ER over 9 IP
vs Hou: 2-3 in 5 GS and 4 in relief: 3HR, 13 BB, 33 K over 35 IP with a 3.60 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and a .270 BAA

7/29/06: Roy Oswalt De-Hisses Snakes And Brad Lidge Slams The Door

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

Roy Fangrrrrrl here.

Roy was his usual incredible incredibly incredibleness. Sorry, running out of words to say how much he just flat out ROOLZ. He’s now got 5 wins in 5 starts against the Snakes. Guess since the Reds FINALLY beat him after, what, 21 games, he’s starting a new streak with a new team.
Anyhow, I’m talking, 5 hits – 1 HR, 1 double, 2 infield dribblers and 1 piddly single that dropped in front of Preston, 8 Ks, no walks and 1 ER over 8 IP. 98 pitches, 71 strikes, 27 balls. He had ONE, exactly ONE 3-2 count of the 30 batters he faced. This is the absolute BEST game I’ve seen him pitch since he shut down Toronto last year. You know, the one where like 5 guys said something like – well, I heard he was good, but he was just plain FILTHY – whoa…
I was real surprised that Roy didn’t finish the game.

When Brad Lidge came out, well, let’s say that these days, us fans get this, um, feeling. Hart Brachen of Soxaholix explains that, uh, feeling, as only a man can (WARNING – NOT G-RATED).

But tonight, no feelings, just BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD just like in the old days. 3 up, 3 down, only 3 balls, 1 limp groundout, 2 swinging strikeouts. I sure do hope he got his self all straightened out.

Oh yeah, way to go hitters actually giving Roy run support and not Clemensing him for the 7th time this year. Now it’s true that we only got 5 hits, 3 BB, a HBP and a GIDP against Cruz, who ain’t exactly no Liriano, but THIS time, we didn’t leave all those guys on base!!!!! Biggio hit a first inning homer, but since he was hitting behind Willy, it wasn’t a leadoff one. I think he’s hit like 9 homers hitting second – but what the heck, he won’t never catch Rickey anyhow.

Best part – seeing Luke Scott get IBB twice. Guess they got a lil healthy respect for Mr. Cycle now…

7/29/06: Number Five – Good N Lousy Against The Diamondbacks

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

Good, duh, was Luke Scott, who hit for the cycle and drove in FIVE runs.

Good (or at least pretty good) was the bullpen, who pitched FIVE innings, gave up 4 hits and 1 2-run homer

Good was Huff, who had 2 hits + 3 walks = FIVE times reached base (plus 3 runs scored, too)

Lousy was Brandon Backe, who gave up FIVE runs in FIVE innings on 12 hits and 2 walks (yecccccchhhh)

Lousy was Craig Biggio, who left FIVE on base – grounded out with bases loaded, with 2 on, and hit into a GIDP

Lousy was Ausmus, who went o fer FIVE, but at least he knocked in a run with a groundout.
Preston Wilson left 7 on, guess that’s horrid, not lousy, but at least he scored a run after he walked.

– note – I was VERY happy to see Jason Lane single in his pinch hit appearance. I LIKE Jason, I want him to work out of his trouble and be a productive Astro for years.

Also, I like the idea of starters coming in to pitch an inning of relief on their bullpen day – it’s old fashioned, but I think it’s great. It’s too bad Andy lost, but hey, he shouldn’t have given up that double to Luis Gonzalez…

But at least the guys are starting to hit – 13 hits today, it’s improving.GOOD!!!!! And yeah, I DO know we left 12 MOB – LOUSY!!!!
What can I say?

The D-bax young team is lookin pretty good. Their relievers aren’t, except for Tony Pena – he had some great stuff…

Roy Oswalt, RHP vs Juan Cruz, RHP

Roy this year: 7-7 in 20 GS and 1 in relief: 2 CG: 13 HR, 27 BB, 91 K over 137 IP – 3.35 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .282 BAA
– well, he’d have to win all 13 of his next starts to get 20 wins again, but he’s pitched a LOT bettern his record shows.
– you notice that unusually high BAA – you ALSO notice the terrible outfielders???!!!
Roy has lowered his BB/9 this year, but his K/9 have also fallen. It’s odd to not see him in the top 10 in the NL in strikeouts…
@ the Box: 49-17 in 79 GS and 5 in relief: 10 CG and 4 SO: 48 HR, 107 BB, 489 K over 571.2 IP with a 2.69 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a .236 BAA
vs Ari: 4-0 in 4 GS: 1 HR, 6 BB, 28 K over 30 IP with a 0.90 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and a .181 BAA

Juan Cruz, RHP
who we know from his years with the Cubs (01 – 03) and Atlanta (04) We missed him last year when he was with Oakland – he had an ERA over 7 – guess he didn’t like it there real too much…
career: 174 34 17 – 29 in 34 GS and 140 in relief with 1 save: 38 HR, 188 BB, 348 K over 371.1 IP with a 4.46 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and a .248 BAA
this year: 3-5 in 11 GS and 7 in relief: 4HR, 32 BB, 59 K over 63.2 IP – 4.95 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and a .240 BAA
@ the Box: 1-2 in 2 GS and 3 in relief:1 HR, 4 BB, 11 K over 13.1 IP with a 6.08 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and a .278 BAA
vs Hou: 1-2 in 2 GS and 8 in relief: 2 HR11 BB, 28 K over 23.2 IP with a 4.18 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and a .222 BAA


Friday, July 28th, 2006

He drove in FIVE runs, including a 3 run opposite field homer, his first of the year (up here, that is – he had plenty in the minors…).

And his glove was excellent too.

The first cycle for the Astros since Biggio did it – um, um, I’m too lazy to look it up.
No game recap tonight – Luke deserves his OWN entry. He makin Preston look obsolete…

7/28/06: Hello, D-Bax! Backe vs Enrique Gonzalez

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Well, The Snakes had a REALLY bad time of it after all the stuff about Grimsley came out, but they seem to have recovered a bit since the ASB.

They have a great farm system, and a lot of the young guys are up and playing decently. They really only have 2 vets left – fan fave Luis Gonzalez and Shawn Green, and I hear tell they trying to trade Green. Good luck…
The guys have just GOT to start hitting with RISP. Or we gonna trade too many players for Carlos Lee, or something, then we’ll have nothing left for next year…

Brandon Backe, RHP vs Enrique Gonzalez, RHP

this year: 1-1 in 3 GS: 3 HR, 6 BB, 6 K over 12 IP with a 4.50 ERA, 1.17WHIP and a .200 BAA
In his first start after coming off the DL, Brandon looked really sloppy – had a hard time locating his pitches, and walked too many guys. I hope he’s tuned it up, because he’s lookin a LOT worse than Wandy or Fernando.
@ the Box: 11-3 in 15 GS and 14 in relief with 1 SO: 14 HR, 36 BB, 82 K over 110 IP with a 3.03 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a .239 BAA
has never faced Arizona:

Enrique Gonzalez, RHP
24 year old from Venezuela, signed as a 16 year old with the Diamondbacks.
Started the year in AAA, went 4-3 in 10 GS with a 2.24 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP – 2 HR, 14 BB and 35 K over 60.1 IP
called up May 27 to replace Casey Daigle, who was sent down
this year: 3-2 in 9 GS and 1 in relief: 7 HR, 16 BB, 37 K over 55.2 IP with a 4.85 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a .224 BAA
has never faced the Astros

7/27/06: When He (Taylor Buchholz) Was Bad He Was Horrid

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Taylor didn’t look real too good, did he? (being nice here…) giving up an RBI double to the pitcher and 2 two run homers? In TWO innings? Um, horrid!!!

This is the same guy who pitched a 5 hit shut out, came within 1 out of a 2 hit shutout, came within another inning of a 5 hit shutout. Well, it’s rookies, I guess. (Reminds me of Tom Boswell’s piece about Erik Bedard and Daniel Cabrera in the Washington Post.) Wonder if he’ll be going back down and Fernando Nieve will be coming back up…

So Matt Albers, you remember, the AA starter who has been sitting on the bench, basically, for a few weeks, had a chance to show his stuff, to see if the Astros hitters could come back again from a 5 run deficit (fat chance…) Well, he surely done himself proud. Here he is, an AA guy, had basically missed 2 starts, was rusty as heck, and he came in and threw 5 innings. Gave up 2 hits, 3 walks and 4 K, pitched himself out of trouble twice with 2 on, and got a GIDP. I guess you could say he was very very good…

Springer struck out the side. I was REAL pleased to see Brad Lidge out there in the 9th – he NEEDS some work. I’ve been noticing – he has this pattern – 2 quick outs, then trouble. Also, he HATES facing Ken Griffey a LOT moren Uncle. 1 triple, 2 little bloops to right. Dan Wheeler had to come in to bail him out. And Jason Lane looked just fine at first, hunh.

The hitters didn’t look real too good against Gonzalez. I think “horrid” is the right word here. Gonzalez struck out 7 in a row – although I sure did enjoy watching him throw 16 pitches to Biggio to finally get the job done – 12 fouled off pitches – that’s pretty awesome. The guys didn’t get going until the 8th (they’d already left 7 MOB and RISP 3 times) against Majewski and Bray, the two middle relievers they traded Austin Kearns for, remember? Luke Scott AND Munson, both leftys, got 2 out RBIs against a lefty pitcher. What shocked me the most is that Phil didn’t pull ether one of em for Eric Bruntlett. AND Lance hurt his groin again. Just great. But Adam Everett Kd on ball 3 with 2 on to end the rally.

And speaking of hitting, let’s talk about all those trade rumors.
First, all yall need to remember that BOTH Bobby Abreu and Miguel Tejada are in the middle of multi year contracts, so they DO have the right to demand a trade/ to be a free agent again at the end of the year – they do NOT have to stay. Carlos Lee, like Aubrey Huff, is a FA at the end of the year.

Second, please, let’s remember that Brad Ausmus is NOT leaving – he WILL be pitching to the big 3. Period. Get real. He has NEVER been no Mike Piazza with the bat and he never will be.
So forget that one.

Phil is in LUUUVVV with Munson, so forget replacing him too.
For whatever reason, Phil is madly in LUUUVVVV with Preston’s horrible defense and, um, below NL average bat. So Preston ain’t goin nowhere (I wish…)

Biggio ain’t goin nowhere until he gets 3000 hits.

Roger and Andy are NOT leaving, I don’t care what all them crazy NY columnists say.

Third, we do NOT need some lousy middle reliever, m-kay???!!!
If we rented Tejada, Everett would go, of course.
If we rented Carlos Lee (oh GAWD, I hope we wouldn’t re-sign him – he wants 15 mill a year for 6 or 7 years and he’s almost 31 AND his glove already sucks…) or Abreu, then they would go in right and Luke Scott, a better player than Preston, would sit. AND remember that Lance would be at first and Lamb would be pinch hitting again – please, he can NOT play third – get real. He’s Olerud at first compared to third, and he’s negative in runs saved at first.

So who might could go?
Ensberg? He’s hurt, and besides, he’s great when he’s healthy – that would be dumb.
Everett? If we get Tejada, sure. But if he goes for one of the other guys, I can hear everyone saying put Burke at short and Willy (shudder) back in center. I’m tired of hearing – Willy makes things happen. Not very often, he don’t and his bat is just horrible, especially now that he doesn’t bunt or get infield hits any more and he still won’t walk. Abreu has a bad rep as a fielder, Gold Glove or not, Preston is terrible and Willy is mediocre. Abreu’s bat/baserunning skills had better be enough to outweigh the glove-ugliness of that OF.
Lane – Phil hates him, wouldn’t be surprised.
Lidge – he’s washed up??? after tonight, he didn’t make himself look real too good to any trade partner.

AAA – I bet everyone wants Hirsh. Wish they’d take Astacio… Sampson looks pretty good, but he’s a GB pitcher, not a power guy and right now, everyone convinced that the Greg Maddux type of pitcher is, uh, second rate. Or something…

AA – Hunter Pence

A-ball – now you talk about crapshoot – they can have any A-ball guy they want – because you REALLY never know about guys in the low minors (remember back when we faced the Tigers and I posted Liriano’s minor league stats from before he was traded? He didn’t LOOK like a sure thing…) And remember Mitch Einertson?

And remember yall, we DO have to think about next year. We just CAN’T give away the entire farm for a 2 month rental. We don’t have very many good prospects, especially guys who can hit and remember that Benny Zobrist is already gone…

Oh, here’s a “good idea” trade from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan
4) Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ Julio Lugo and Elijah Dukes to the Houston Astros for Adam Everett, Fernando Nieve and Chris Sampson: While Lugo’s name hasn’t been attached to the Astros, this deal works on a few levels. The Astros could use a bat, and Lugo is among the best hitting shortstops in the game. With Roger Clemens’ salary coming off the books, they could keep Lugo off the free-agent market, too. Dukes, meanwhile, needs a change of scenery, if not a few hundred anger-management sessions. The Devil Rays’ defensive efficiency is second-worst in the big leagues, and with B.J. Upton’s imminent promotion, it won’t get any better. Everett is a perennial Gold Glove candidate, and the hard-throwing Nieve and groundball-inducing Sampson – a convert from shortstop – would both be rotation candidates.

I think that this trade will happen right about the time that George Bush endorses Hillary Clinton for President.

Lugo was released from the Astros because he beat up his wife. We’re not the Phillies – you can’t do that here. McLane would take a SERIOUS P.R. hit – and you best believe I would be one of the people complaining BIG time. And he wants 8 mill a year for 6 years? What, to buy makeup to hide his wife’s bruises? And the Organization got a thing about “makeup” – the other kind – and they don’t take guys with “anger management” problems (Carl Everett was NO trouble when he was here – don’t go there.) And for a wife beater and a troublemaker who disrespects his manager, who is STILL in the minor leagues we supposed to give up 2 ML ready starters and a GG shortstop?

I don’t THINK so…

Biggio Hits Leadoff Homer # 50 And Berkman Beats Arroyo

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Craig Biggio led off with his NL record 50th career leadoff homer.
So we start off 1-0.

But Bad Andy showed up.

5 runs (4 earned) in 5 IP, 11 hits, 1 HR, 1 BB and 3 K. Yecccch. Phil pulled him for a pinch hitter with 2 on and no out in the 6th, deciding to have NL OPS leader Willy Taveras bat instead of having Andy sac bunt, and it paid off because Royce Clayton bobbled and misthrew an easy DP GB and there were bases loaded. But, if Royce had handled that ball cleanly, it woulda been 1 or 2 outs, and the runners don’t advance. Just because something happened to work out don’t mean it was a good idea in the first place.

Anyhow, Bronson had been cruising – but then, it’s an RBI single for Bidge. Then it’s a 2 RBI single for Burke. Then it’s a 480′ HR practically into the Three Amigos Bar for Lance – guess he had enough rest. Cuz he added another homer – this one opposite field, just below the Conoco Pump, to make the score 8-5.

You know, this was the worst ass-whippin he got ALL year? Yep, you read that right. 8 runs in 6.2 IP???!!! His ERA went all the way from 2.92 to 3.20…

SO, then
Springer ROCKS the 6th!!!

Chad Qualls ROCKS the 7th and 8th!!!
(do I dare to say that suddenly, the bullpen is lookin good and I hope we ain’t tradin our farm for some crappy middle reliever…)

Then it’s Brad Lidge in to save a 3 run game. Who we gonna get?

So, yall tell me –
Hatteberg singles on a 2-2
Freel HBP on a 1-2
WP advances each runner
Valentin Ks on 4 pitches.
– total 9 strikes, 5 balls, 1 hit, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 out…

Trever Miller comes in to face Griffey. Because Griffey is a lefty. And Phil thinks that righty closers can’t get leftys out. And indeed, Griffey pops out.

But then, it’s righty Richie Aurilia. GAAAAKKK!! A RIGHTY!!!!
WHATEVER should Phil do?
I know, I know!!!!
WHY, we can’t have a lefty reliever facing a righty – they can’t get rightys out – you disbelieve me, ask Billy Wags. Or Brian Fuentes.

So in comes Dan Wheeler!!! Can he get his second save of the year?
Richie strikes out swinging on a slider in the dirt!!!

How VERY fortunate, because Adam Dunn was coming up next and we just don’t got no leftys left, so whatEVER could Phil possibly do??????????????????? Leave Dan In?????

He is even worse about this lefty lefty thing than TLR. And I didn’t think that was possible…
– oh, by the way

I had a few, uh, discussions last year with a few readers about should we try to sign Adam Dunn. I got 2 comments – is it REALLY possible that he scores better on fielding stats than Preston Wilson? Does he even TRY?
– and last, yeah, I DID see that Jason Lane was back up – for a few days, at least, while slugger Orlando Palmeiro is on the bereavement list. Jase had been playing center in AAA (oh yeah he IS bettern Jimerson) and hitting 300. Unfortunately, he struck out in his pinch hit AB, keeping him right on top of Phil’s poopoo list…

Rubber Game today –
Taylor Buchholz, RHP vs Elizardo Ramirez, RHP

Hey Taylor – I hear tell all them Reds talkin some smack, sayin how HAPPY they are it’s icky ol you instead of Roy the Ace. You better be makin em pay for that disrespect…
this year: 6-8 in 17 GS and 2 in relief with 1 SO: 19 HR, 30 BB, 75 K over 106.2 IP – 5.57 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, .241BAA
– last start against the Mets, well, let me be nice and say he did very bad. We sent both Fernando and Wandy down in favor of this guy, and he better start showin that Purpura didn’t send the wrong guys down. As you can see, Taylor is killed by homers in a big inning. WHIP is STILL pretty low…
@ the Box: 4-3 in 8 GS and 1 in relief with 1 SO: 9 HR, 10 BB, 35 K over 54 IP – 4.33 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, .208 BAA
vs Cincy: won his only game 3 H, 1 HR, 4 BB and 2 K over 6.1 IP

Elizardo Ramirez, RHP
this year: 3-6 in 15 GS and 1 in relief: 10 HR, 19 BB, 56 K over 89.1 IP – 4.43 ERA, 1.32 WHIPand a .280 BAA
@ the Box: a ND in his only game – 3 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 ER over 6 IP
vs Hou: 0-1 in 2 GS: 3 HR, 4 BB, 9 K over 12 IP with a 3.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and a .209 BAA

7/26/06 – Pettitte vs Arroyo

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

First things first –
Harold Reynolds has been fired from ESPN – not sure why – Deadspin has all sorts of rumors. The one sounds the most likely to me is that he had a fit about all the horsestuff about A-Rod the ESPN brass wanted to talktalktalk about ad barfium in the Texas-Yanks series. It’s total horsestuff. Harold was the absolute best thing that BBTN had going for it – now that Peter Gammons is out in rehab for his anyuerism. So because they are gonna shove massive doses of Ravech, Kruk, Steve Phillips, Tino Martinez and god knows who at us viewers, I quit.
Next things next –
Roger pitches very well – 7 innings, 7 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 ER. As usual, Astro bats disrespect his efforts.
4 freaking hits, a GIDP by Preston (what else is new), Mike Lamb stranding Adam Everett on third…
And the second run wouldn’t have scored if Biggio had had a decent arm, or if Mike Lamb had thrown home FIRST…
Trever Miller pitches the 8th, and is allowed to pitch to a righty (SHOCK!!!)
Matt Albers, the kid called up from AA a week ago, is sent in to start the 9th – gives up a long double off the bullpen to Scott Hatteberg, who gets pinch run for, then Barndon Phillips hits into a FC to the mound, and Wise gets picked off in a rundown. They Royce Clayton is up, and for some reason, Albers gets pulled for Dan Wheeler. For Royce freaking Clayton?
And for this Fernando gets sent down and a good starting pitcher (even if he still was in AA) sits on the bench for a week?

I don’t get it…

Well, we DO have 3 of the 10 worst hitters in the NL on our roster – Ausmus, Everett and Taveras. But the other guys have NOT been picking up the slack, and Huff hasn’t been hitting much in the past 12 games neither. I hope losing Zobrist was worth this.
7 guys left on base. Again.
Only Luke Scott is hitting like he is ABSOLUTELY determined to NEVER see the minors again. Good for him.
Wish the other guys would get the same attitude.
This pathetic offense had better pick up the pace. We’re lookin as bad as the Cubs. Seriously, that bad. Yes.

Andy Pettitte, LHP vs Bronson Arroyo, RHP

this year: 8-10 in 22 GS with 1 SO: 20 HR, 49 BB, 108 K over 133 IP – 5.08 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and a .303 BAA
– Andy this year is either very good, or terrible – problem is you never know who you gonna get – last start was Bad Andy – let’s hope this start is Good Andy. Arroyo has been very good this year, so Andy’s gonna have to be on top of his game for us to not look like AAA out there.
@ the Box: 17-12 in 37 GS with 1 SO: 23 HR, 62 BB, 195 K over 237.2 IP – 3.48 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a .249 BAA
vs Cincy: 2-3 in 7 GS: 2 HR, 16 BB, 38 K over 43 IP with a 4.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP and a .295 BAA

Bronson Arroyo, RHP
– yall think the Red Sox REALLY regret getting rid of him in favor of David Wells/Matt Clement/Jason Johnson/Kyle Snyder??? Especially for that stud hitter/fielder Wily Mo Pena? Unless Wily Mo suddenly turn into Uncle Albert, I think that Theo the Genius screwed up here BIG time…

this year: 2 CG: 17 HR, 33 BB, 111 K over 145 IP – 2.92 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and a .247 BAA
@ the Box: 2-0 in 3 GS and 4 in relief: 4 HR, 8 BB, 19 K over 21.1 IP with a 4.57 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and a .310 BAA
vs Hou: 3-0 in 4 GS and 6 in relief: 6 HR, 10 BB, 25 K over 32.2 IP with a 4.13 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and a .278 BAA
beat us in his start earlier this year – 8 H, 1 BB, 2 UER in 6 IP

7/25/06 – Clemens vs Harang

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Home Again.
We went 4-6 on that road trip. Coulda been worse, shoulda been better.
The NY papers made a BIG deal out of Chris Burke’s hustle on his grounder in the 8th and I’m hoping that, well, that particular play will be kinda like Roy getting in a fight with Michael Barrett back in 04, and this team will pull together and do fun things like hit, catch balls, etc.

Not sure if Lance will be in the lineup tonight with that groin strain, but if he is, he’ll be at first, so Luke will be back in right. Since Willy got 2 RBIs yesterday, it will be interesting to see if Phil will bench Burke to play Willy…

The guys gave Roger a few runs last start – let’s try to continue that happy tradition…

Roger Clemens, RHP vs Aaron Harang, RHP

this year: 2-3 in 6 GS: 2 HR, 9 BB, 27 K over 3.1 IP with a 2.43 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and a .230 BAA
@ the Box: 20-8 in 40 GS: 15 HR, 75 BB, 250 K over 264 IP with a 2.58 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and a .209 BAA
vs Cincy: 4-1 in 6 GS: 2 HR, 12 BB, 40 K over 40 IP with a 2.48 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and a .215 BAA

Aaron Harang, RHP
career: 41- 38 in 111 GS and 2 in relief with 6 CG and 3 SO 79 HR, 204 BB, 523 K over 662.2 IP woth a 4.35 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and a .274 BAA
this year: 10-6 (11 QS) in 21 GS with 4 CG and 2 SO: 135.1 139 65 56 13 36 129 3.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and a .270 BAA
– I hadn’t realized he’d done this well last year, too – almost exactly the same numbers – it’s just that the team was so lousy that he had a losing record. Roy understands…
@ the Box: 2-3 in 5 GS: 6 HR, 8 BB, 23 K over 28.1 IP with a 5.08 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and a .306 BAA
vs Hou: 4-5 in 12 GS: 14 HR, 25 BB, 56 K over 71 IP with a 4.56 ERA, 1.41WHIP and a .275 BAA
won both of his games against us this year.