Archive for September, 2006

9/30/06: Let Errors Open The Door: Pettite Gets Clemensed AND Francoed

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

I turned on the game and there was Andy Pettitte – and on short rest, I was pretty surprised, I mean, is it gonna be Roy on short rest tomorrow?

I gotta give TLR his props for outmanaging Ned Yost this afternoon. In the 8th, with the Brewers winning 2-0, men on second and third, 2 out, a righty pitching and Edmonds coming up, Yost called in Shouse, a lefty against who rightys have a BAA over .300 and TLR sent in Encarnacion, a righty who is hitting .316 – an .834 OPS against leftys. So Shouse IBB Encarnacion and then Yost pulls him and sends in the closer, Francisco Cordero (the ex-Ranger closer.) So TLR sends Speizio, who has seen Cordero plenty in all his years in the AL West and hit him well – 5 fer 17 with a homer and a double. And sure enough, Speizio drives in the winning run with a 3 run triple.

So with the Cards pulling it off, Phil had to hope Andy’s sinker would be sinking. It WAS sinking all right. And he had 2 very bad calls go against him – first, pitch #3 to Will Aybar, which was VERY clearly a strike, was called a ball by the HP ump, and sure enough, the very next pitch was hit for a single, sending Adam La Roche to third, then he scored when Marcus Giles bunted – LaRoche got a very late jump and would have been dead if Andy had thrown home; unfortunately, fielding is not one of Andy’s strong points. The next very bad call that went against him was in the 8th when he had squared to bunt and was CLEARLY hit on the foot by a pitch and Bobby Cox got the 3rd base ump to say that Andy had tried to bunt, which, on replay, he clearly had NOT. Andy was FURIOUS – in fact, this was the very first time I had EVER seen him argue angrily with an umpire – Mansolino had to practically push him off the field.

Andy pitched an OUTSTANDING game – 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K and only 79 pitches – guess he must have been tired for Phil to pull him with such a low pitch count, as he had a pretty easy 7th…

He certainly got Clemensed – EIGHT guys LOB – Adam Everett FO with bases loaded in the first, 2 on 2 out by Berkman in the 7th. Then he got Francoed by Trever Miller who gave up a homer to lefty Adam LaRoche on the very first pitch, tying the game.

Poor situational hitting, bad luck for Andy.
Then, suddenly,
luck
luck
luck
is on our side,
yes it isssss

Bobby Cox sends his closer, Bob Wickman, up in the 9th to hold onto the score with a 2-2 tie. Good decision with what was left of his bullpen – I woulda done the exact same.

AWEsome job of baserunning in the 9th by Brad Ausmus who reached on an error – he was on base every single PA today and it wasn’t HIS fault more runs didn’t score – Giles let the ball slip out of his glove into center. Then Chris Burke sends a ball juuuuust slightly past 3rd and Chipper, who barely had a throw, didn’t check the runner at second and when he threw to first, not in time to get Burke, who is very fast, Ausmus alertly scooted to third. VERY heads up.

Then, Orlando Palmeiro singles Brad home and Burke goes to third. Palmeiro sure has picked a great time to suddenly remember how to hit, hasn’t he? With Palmeiro on first and Burke on third and no outs, Mike Lamb hit into a sure 4-6-3- GIDP. Giles throws the ball to Renteria at second – one out, and then Burke draws his throw to let Lamb get to first when so there would only be one out with Lance up. ANOTHER heads up baserunning play.

And Lance who had GIDP his last AB with 2 on, grounds into what should have been ANOTHER easy 6-4-3, but Renteria makes ANOTHER foolish mistake, throws the ball into center field way past Giles, and Burke scores easily, then Lamb keeps running hard as no one seemed to be paying any attention to him, and he scores too. Misplays all over and Roger knows how Wickman feels. I mean, poor guy – how many easy GB outs does he hafta throw? Now he gets a VERY undeserved loss…

Too many fans say – what’s fielding got to do, got to do with it?
What’s fielding, but an overrated nothing
Who needs a glove if the batters all K-ing…

So Trever Miller, who blew Andy’s game, will get the W (is that fair???) if

Brad Lidge can get another save. (Is Dan Wheeler ready??? I got that nervous feeling)
Can he?

Renteria: ball, strike looking, singles up the middle.
Andruw is up – strike looking, ball in dirt, ball inside, strike swinging (oh pleeeeze) ball (oh bull – looked perfect to me) 5-3 – ONE out – Renteria to second
(Wheeler is warming up juuuuust in case)
Chipper – strike swinging on slider, infield dribbler 4-3 – Renteria to third
Brad out.

Wheeler in to face lefty Brian McCann (they’ve never faced each other – McCann’s never faced Lidge neither, but Brad has had a leeeetle trouble with leftys this year… )

OK. CMON, DAN!!!!

Ball 1, foul, foul, hi pop foul down LF line that both Lamb and Scott miss, ball 2, single to left scoring Renteria…
PH Daryl Ward: ball 1 low – PR to second on FI, swinging K (and they miss picking off the PR who has wandered off second, ball 2 low (BULLSTUFF!!!) – single to center, run scores

Stros 5 – Braves 4

OK Dan – this is crunch time. Everybody been saying you should be closer, Brad got pulled for you, now freaking PROVE IT!!!
LaRoche – ball 1, ball 2, foul, foul, (OK NOW GET IT DONE!!!)
STRIKE SWINGING!!!
YESSSSSSSSSS
STROS WIN STROS WIN!!!!!

You know, the entire “win” system is so freaking out of date. You can lose another guys game, let his runners score, let more of your own runners score and STILL “win” if your team happens to hit in their next ABs.

And something wrong that relievers can come in with MOB, let them all score but none of your own runners score and your ERA shows nothing. Don’t know quite how to fix that, but still, Borkowski winning the other day and Trever winning today – that is just not fair.

Back to baseball -
Last game of the regular season coming up. It’s a race to the wire this year -
San Diego won, LA won, Philly is out, Reds lost
- we’ve clinched second place for the fifth year in a row.
So San Diego and LA are tied in the NL West – one will be Division winners, the other will be the WC.
Detroit and Minnesota are tied in the AL Central – one will be Division Winner, the other will be the WC

And how about us?
Here’s how it goes:
Sam Dude is pitching against Smoltz tomorrow.

Right now, we’re 82-79 and St. Louis is 83-77

IF we lose, no matter what happens with St. Louis, they win the division.
IF we win AND Milwaukee actually freaking TRIES to beat St. Louis and does, then the Cards hafta play the Giants on Monday. If they lose on Monday, they hafta play us on Tuesday and I would bet that the lil guy with the bulldozer who SHOULD be winning the Cy Young will be pitching…

9/30/06: Must Win Game – Sampson Vs Cormier At Atlanta

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

“And everyone of us must win at last
Like in the future, like in the past”

- Mansun

Truth be told, it really IS our very very last chance – we HAFTA win and if the Cards win, honestly, it really is OVAH.

Chris Sampson, RHP vs Lance Cormier, RHP

this year: 2-0 in 2 GS and 9 in relief: 2 HR, 3 BB, 12 K over 30 IP – 2.10 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and a .215 BAA
In AAA, he was a top notch starter, going 11-2 with a 2.70 ERA

He had handled a spot start June 7 against the Cubs, going 7 innings, 3 hits, no runs and this earned him a seat on the bench then a trip back to AAA, while Taylor Buchholz, Fernando Nieve and Wandy continued to stink it up. He was called back up, and essentially spent his days on his butt. Then after he returned to AAA, he was stripped of his starter status and put in the bullpen. He was called back up to the bigs in August, after the Express lost the championship and was given a few unimportant innings.

Matt Albers, an AA pitcher for most of the year, had originally been preferred as a starter, but he, um, hadn’t done very well, and so
- he started the 25th in Philly – went 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up 3 hits and no runs with 45 pitches.

When Jason Hirsh was knocked out of his start 2 days later, Sampson came right in, pitched 2.2 scoreless 1 hit innings – only 27 pitches needed.

Sampson had said that since he hadn’t started in several months, his arm wasn’t as strong as it might could be, so he could only go a few innings. Hopefully, he can go 5 today. And hopefully, his outstanding outings will help convince the Organization that he would be wasted in the bullpen.

Lance Cormier, RHP
- a righty relief pitcher the Braves got from the Dbax for Jorge Sosa
well, he was SUPPOSED to be a relief pitcher, but since all the Braves scheduled starters except Smoltz were hurt, SOMEone had to start and that someone is this here guy…

this year: 4-5 in 8 GS, 20 in relief: 6 HR, 37 BB, 42 K over 68.1 IP – 5.00 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and a .309 BAA
- has 4 QS, lasted at least 5 innings in 5 GS and he has a 4.53 ERA as a starter
@ the Ted: 2-3 in 3 GS, 12 in relief: 5 HR, 13 BB, 21 K over 31.1 IP – 5.46 ERA, 1.79 WHIP and a .344 BAA
vs Hou: 1-0 in 1 GS, 4 in relief: 0 HR, 1 BB, 6 K over 9.2 IP – 3.72 ERA, 1.76 WHIP and a .381 BAA

9/29/06: Astros Have Bad Luck And Lose To Braves

Friday, September 29th, 2006

BEEEEEEEELEEEEEEVE it or not
The Astros lead off Sports Center!!!
- now, back to your regularly scheduled entry…

This year the team slogan is “Believe The Buzz.”
Beeeelieve. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzz… get it?
I was thinkin of starting to bee-leeeve, hardly believing that luck could possibly last and last and last. There IS a difference between hoping and believing.

Chuck James didn’t look real too good in the first – 2 walks and a very LOOOONNNNGG opposite field warning track FB from Lance, but he got Jason to GO with 2 MOB. He settled down, pulled out a VERY nasty changeup and proceded to set everybody down. He went 7 innings, gave up 2 BB, a HBP, 4 hits, 1 HR, 1 ER. He looked VERY sharp – and I think he had better stuff than Horacio Ramirez – especially that changeup.

Roger:
Well, forget a no hitter – 689 starts in 23 years, not a single nono, and the first batter singles.
Our turn for bad luck – in the 6th after 5 dominant innings, Pete Orr hits a very high chop and by the time the ball comes back down to Roger’s hand, Orr is safe. Bad luck. Looks like Roger picks him off to me, but he’s called safe. More bad luck.

Then with Orr moving to second, Everett is moving quickly to cover to cover second and so Renteria’s liner hits off Adam’s glove and instead of LODP, it’s men on first and third. Even MORE bad luck.

Then Berkman misses an easy 3-2-3 GB and the run scores and instead of 2 outs, it’s no outs and men on first and third. More??!! bad luck.

Then Andruw singles a man in. Roger manages to pitch out of the inning without giving up another run – 25 pitches. He pitched 6 innings, 6 hits, no BB, 7 K, 1 ER. He gets called back from the on deck circle for a PH and amazingly, the Braves fans give Roger a standing O and he comes out of the dugout and tips his cap to Braves fans.

So it’s 2-0 Braves at the end of the 6th and we got the usual question:
Can we get some runs for Roger? Can the bullpen manage not to give up any runs until we do?

Nope. Luke is 1 fer his last 12 and Lance isn’t much better – ofer his last 7 with a GIDP. Mo and Jason looked terrible. There is only so much you can ask of Palmeiro and Ausmus and Everett. And when it’s Everett getting 3 of the 5 hits, you in trouble. And when you have 1 on, 2 out and are losing in the bottom of the 9th, WHY is Brad Ausmus not being PH for? Not sure, but dammed if he doesn’t single to center. It’s Aubrey Huff who Ks.

And as for the bullpen – well, Fernando Nieve was fine in the 7th, but gave up back to back homers to deep center (yeah they would have been long FB at the Box, but hey, this ain’t the Box) in the 8th. And Miller came in to get the last 2 outs.

Reds won tonight.
Oh yeah.
And for some reason, pitchers are STILL not figgering out that it basically is never a good idea to pitch to Uncle Albert with 2 out and men on second and third…

Oh Atlanta – Final Series Of 2006

Friday, September 29th, 2006

Oh Atlanta
Oh Atlanta
I said oh, oh Atlanta
Stros got to get back to you
Well you can drop us off on Peachtree
got to feel that Georgia sun
And the pitchers there in Atlanta
They make you awfully glad you come
(apologies to Bill Payne)

Well for the first time since I was a kid, the Braves are not in the playoffs, so this series does not have quiiiite the importance that it would have, say, last year… But yall best believe that the Braves would LUUUVVVV to see the Stros lose right THERE at the Ted, all 3 games, playoffs or NO playoffs…

Roger Clemens, RHP vs Chuck James, LHP

Roger was talking at the end of last year about all the things he’s never accomplished after 20+ years in the bigs – he never stole a base, never hit a home run or pitched a no-hitter

One more thing he’s never done – beaten Atlanta in the regular season (he did win game 1 of the NLDS in 2004)
this year: 7-5 in 18 GS: 7 HR, 29 BB, 95 K over 107.1 IP – 2.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a .214 BAA
@ the Ted: 1 GS, ND – 6 hits, 1 HR, 4 BB, 7 K, 4 ER over 5 IP
vs ATL: 0-2 in 5 GS with 1 CG: 2 HR, 13 BB, 36 K over 34 IP – 3.71 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and a .223 BAA

-

Chuck James, LHP
- age 25. Georgia homeboy from Atlanta, like Francoer, drafted in the 20th round in 2002
a skinny lil lefty – supposed to be 6′ (uh-hunh) 170 lb – looks a little biggern Wandy, but not much
- was an outstanding minor league starter
2.09 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 5.97 hits/9 IP, 0.45 HR/ 9 IP, 2.59 BB/9 IP, 10.54K/9 IP (average from A to AAA)
I wish he was on our team – yall know how I luuuvvvv rooting for the short skinny guys who don’t look like a ballplayer “supposed to” look

- brought up this year, started off in relief. Hurt himself in May, went on the DL for 6 weeks, was put into the rotation after he got off the DL on June 25 because of no Hampton, Thomson, Ramirez, or anyone else who could throw a decent (at least) 5 innings of 3 runs or less – in spite of the fact that Bobby Cox had no decent bullpen whatsoever.

He’s done pretty darn good. 10 QS in 17 GS. He lasted at least 5 innings in 15 of 17 GS.
this year: 10-4 in 17 GS, 7 in relief: 19 HR, 45 BB, 83 K over 112 IP – 3.94 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and a .236 BAA
- and yeah, he has fewer K/9, more BB and HR/9 than he did in the minors, but hey, he’s facing ML hitters and not every guy is Fancisco Liriano
@ the Ted: 5-2 in 9 GS, 1 in relief: 12 HR, 16 BB, 42 K over 54.2 IP – 4.28 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a .272 BAA
has never faced the Astros
Aubrey Huff is 0 fer 3

8/28/06: Hot September Reign

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

UPDATE 10:30 PM: St Louis just lost – Jason Marquis pitched BP, gave up 3 BB, 5 H and 6 ER over 2.2 IP and Uncle went ofer.
1/2 game behind….

The players had to wait almost 3 1/2 hours for the rain to stop and fortunately, it did – I hate watching guys playing in the rain – I always think they are going to slip and really hurt themselves, as Reggie Sanders did last year. And you KNOW that unless it was pouring like a hurricane, they were going to start this game…

Of course, the question in everybody’s mind before the game HAD to be, WHO in the bullpen will be able to pitch today if the score is close??? You KNOW Wheeler must feel like overcooked spaghetti today…

Gorzellany came out looking absolutely unhittable. He’s quick worker, like Roy, and induced GB after GB. He’s got great stuff. I was getting that sick feeling, when Chris Burke broke his concentration chopping a GB into left for a base hit. Then Jason Lane broke his bat on a cutter, fisting it into left. Two bad luck sort of hits – what usually happens to Wandy. But THIS time it happened to the other guy. For stat geeks who disbelieve in luck, let me tell you, luck is REAL.

Then, pitching from the stretch, Gorzellany suddenly struggled with his control and next thing you know, Adam Everett singled up the middle, driving in Burke. You know, I sure do hear a whole lot of grumbling about Adam and his limp bat, but the guy has driven in 59 runs from the 8 hole (mostly) and the 7 hole – in fact, he hits best with men on third and less than 2 out, according to yahoo stats – interesting… And, according to the latest defensive stats, he is the best defensive player in MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL and trust me that counts for a LOT – you disbelieve me, you ask Roy how he felt about Adam’s play on Nady’s grounder with bases loaded in the 6th. No way does St. Jeter get NEAR making that play!!!)

Next, the ump incorrectly ruled Ausmus HBP – it was actually a foul off his bat that hit his leg, but hey, on base is on base (see, luck IS coming our way) then Roy walked in his 8th RBI. Of course, with bases full and one out and Willy up, Willy doesn’t squeeze or manage to even get the ball to the SS to drive in any more runs. GRRRRRRRRRRR. I sure never hear complaints about how bad Willy is with driving in runners – he’s MUCH worse than Everett.

Then Mo walks in a run – his swing is STILL late and flat. Amazing – he’s third in win shares on the team, even with his .236 BA, but he has fewer RBIs than Adam hitting 4th most of the year, and somehow, he looks like he’s become afraid of the ball… Then Lance hits a weakass grounder to short with bases loaded (and he did the same with 1 on in the 7th) for easy 6-4 FC. Lately, Lance looks like my granma in a wheelchair batting from the right – I think he just might could need a lil more RH BP.

I want yall to notice that we got ALL our runs with ZERO contribution from the big bats of Berkman and Scott – all the runs were on 1 hit by Adam and walks by Roy and Mo.
Usually 3 runs is enough for Roy, but I’d rather be up 7-0…

Roy -WOW!!! just WOW!!!

Any of yall wanna see a Roy Ace Deluxe performance, this is the game. This is the guy that Peter Angelos doesn’t think is worth 15 mill a year – one of many reasons his team sucks every year. Unlike last Saturday when he didn’t have much, today he had it all – had the FB working, the curve ball going and the slider going. He was back to his usual get the ball throw the ball get em out self. Flat out filthy. Wilson and Bay both hit 2 singles to left off him, but really the only hitter who gave him any trouble was Ryan Doumit, who got him to throw 10 pitches in 1 AB. And you KNOW the Pirates desperately wanted to get Roy out of the game, hoping that our relievers would be too tired to get any pitch over the plate that wasn’t a meatball. Absolutely outstanding start. I’m sure he could have gone 8 innings if not for the Doumit 10 pitch AB running up his pitch count.

Roy now has the second best ERA in the NL (third best in the majors behind only Johan Santana and Brandon Webb,) and the most QS. Unfortunately, he got Clemensed and Francoed too many times this year, so he won’t have the nice win total, but he sure nuff is WAAAYYY outpitching Carpenter down the stretch when the tough had to get going. He hasn’t pitched fewer than 6 innings since July 23 and he has now had 10 QS in a row.

He’s had only one bad game this YEAR – gave up 6 ER over 4.1 IP against San Francisco. His next worse game was 5 ER in 6.1 innings. He had 2 games giving up 4 ER in 5 IP, 1 game with 4 ER in 6.1 IP and 1 game with 4 ER in 8 IP.

And you talk about value down the stretch – we’ve won every game he’s started since the beginning of August except for one game and he gave up just 2 runs over 7 IP.

So here’s his line for this year:
15-8 in 32 GS – 25 QS, 1 in relief, 2 CG: 166 K, 18 HR, 38 BB, 220 hits over 220.2 IP – 2.98 ERA
note that he got a loss or a ND in 11 of those 25 QS
(Carpenter has five games where he gave up 6 ER – both losses in his last 2 stats when his team desperately needed the W – and 1 with 7 ER, 2 games with 5 ER, 4 games with 4 ER, a total of 5 games with fewer than 6 IP.

his final line:
15-8 in 32 GS – 19 QS – 5 CG, 3 SO: 21 HR, 43 BB, 184 K, 194 H over 221.2 IP – 3.09 ERA
note he got a ND in 6 of his 19 QS
note that he has 16 more Ks, but he has more BB and HR too…)

Back to the game -
In the 8th, Trever Miller came in and got Duffy out, then Chad Qualls came in and got 2 outs with 3 pitches for the second night in a row.

Now, would Phil let him finish the game and get the save IF he didn’t get pinch hit for?
Nope. Why not, I wanna know???

Brad Lidge coming in to face Bay, Doumit and Nady.
Nervous stomach time – he threw 2 innings yesterday, 25 pitches, 1 single, 3 Ks, no BB…
Bay – strike 1, foul, FO. OK. One out.
Doumit – ball 1, ball 2, 6-3.

OK, 2 outs. Can Brad get that last out – his biggest problem this year next to getting that 3rd strike on 0-2 has been getting that 3rd out after an easy first 2, just like the Eckstein problem that led to the Pujols problem in Game 5 last year?
cmon boy, I WANT you to succeed SOOOOOOO bad…
Nady – ball 1, foul, ball 2, foul, foul, foul, swinging K!!!
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!

Roy gets his 15th W, Stros get 9th win in a row.
I STILL can’t believe this. I’m liking it, but I am STILL not believing it.

We have to win the last 3, but the Cards only have to win 1 of the last 4. Odds Against….

8/28/06: Roy Oswalt vs Tom Gorzellany

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Well, let’s hope that Brad Ausmus isn’t too tired from catching 8 innings yesterday night and hitting the game winning RBI.
Willy, Biggio, Lance and Lamb played all 15 innings – of course Lance, who got IBB 3 times yesterday – you notice that as soon as Luke Scott was pulled, Lance didn’t see a pitch. I would guess that Biggio gonna sit and Burke gonna start.

Roy Oswalt, RHP vs Tom Gorzellany, LHP

Roy this year: 14-8 in 31 GS, 1 relief, 2 CG: 18 HR, 36 BB, 160 K over 213.2 IP – 3.07 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, .266 BAA
@ PNC: 3-3 in 8 GS, 1 relief: 1 HR, 14 BB, 43 K over 55.1 IP – 2.93 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and a .261 BAA
vs Pitt: 9-5 in 17 GS, 1 in relief: 4 HR, 20 BB, 107 K over 120.1 IP – 2.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and a .255 BAA

-

Tom Gorzellany, LHP
this year: 2-4 in 10 GS: 3 HR, 28 BB, 38 K over 54.2 IP – 3.79 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and a .237 BAA
@ PNC: 1-2 in 6 GS, 1 relief: 2 HR, 13 BB, 23 K over 30.2 IP – 4.70 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and a .276 BAA
vs Hou: 0-2 in 2 GS: 1 HR, 7 BB, 8 K over 10.1 IP – 6.10 ERA, 1.84 WHIP and a .300 BAA

9/27/06: Brad Ausmus Is The Hero Tonight

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Brad Ausmus got the game-wining sac fly tonight – how cool is that???!!!
It started off really badly for us:
Errors galore -
Lamb bobbles easy GB (no runs scored) – makes it up by getting Nady out in the 11th and Cota out in the 15th.
Borkowski bobbles easy bunt (1 run scored)
Huff fields a ball and throws it way past Everett the cutoff man (1 run scored)

Pitching Just Plain Suckeriffic – Jason Hirsh looked absolutely terrible in the first inning – the Pirate hitters were fouling off pitches left and right and hitting the few flat FB that came over the plate. He was lucky to escape with only one run. In the second, he got 3 lousy hitters out and throwing a dead FB in the middle of the plate that another lousy hitter hit out about 400′. Don’t ask me how he escaped in the third giving up only 1 run on 3 hits. He had bad luck with Mike Lamb bobbling an easy GB out, but then gave up a 4 pitch walk.

My friend Steve noted that Quintero doesn’t really frame pitches very well and the pitchers don’t get borderline strike calls. Well, I couldn’t really judge tonight cuz Hirsh really didn’t HAVE any borderline pitches.

He threw 51 pitches – 31 strikes (11 fouled off), 20 balls – 6 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 ER – it’s the worst he’s thrown since the Reds game where he gave up 10 ER on FB down the middle.

I don’t blame Phil for pulling him with us down by 2 runs, 2 on base and no out and us only 1.5 games behind the Cards. I woulda done the exact same.

A sudden suck-free interlude: Russ Springer was not only suck-free, he was nails – 3 pitches, 3 outs – the “Greg Maddux inning.” I was a bit surprised Phil didn’t double switch to make sure Springer could pitch more than 1 inning, but I guess he wanted him in case he was needed tomorow.

Return to sucktastic – Borkowski needed 23 pitches to get through the 5th inning – 2 hits, 2 walks, 3 runs. Yuck.

Sixth inning, after the Stros managed to catch up 4 runs, he gets some AAA guy out on a 1-1 grounder. Then he walks Duffy on 4 straight pitches, then 2 balls and a high FB for a strike to Jack Wilson, then he throws another of those high meatballs and Wilson hits it to deep left center for a double. Then he IBB Freddy Sanchez, who can’t nobody seem to get out, to pitch to Jason Bay. Also, I don’t guess Phil expected Borkowski to suck this bad.

Nails – part 2 – Chad Qualls comes in, 5th appearance in 6 days, bases loaded, to face Jason Bay and gets a perfect 6-4-3. 3 pitches, 2 outs. Almost a Springer.

Nails – Part 3 -Brad Lidge
in the 7th – single up the middle, chop to the mound GO, swinging K, K looking.
in the 8th – FO on a great running catch by Willy, swinging K, GO.

BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD (he’ll get bolded if he does this in the 9th or if he comes in with bases loaded and gets 3 outs)

In spite of all his troubles, Brad has 103 K over 71.1 IP = 13 K/9 IP – not up to his record high of over 14, but still outstanding. I sure do hope he fixes whatever his trouble is over the winter. I don’t want to see him closing for St. Louis.

The Pirates had the good sense to IBB Lance twice (note that the Padres just found out why you do NOT disrespect Uncle Albert…)

Luke Scott didn’t get the job done in the 7th with 2 on and 2 out.
But he tied it up in the bottom of the 9th. Just a single this time instead of a 3 run homer, but Willy was too fast for them to throw out.

Dan Wheeler threw 2 easy innings 1,2,3 out – 18 pitches. Let’s say I was STUNNED to see him back out there in the 11th. He got Randa right out, but then took 9 pitches to walk Duffy and he looked as if he was out of gas. He barely got Wilson out after 5 pitches – had a tough time locating, then IBB both Sanchez and Bay (very VERY sensible) to pitch to Nady, who GO 5-3. He threw 46 pitches and you best believe he won’t be pitching tomorrow afternoon.

Yall know that rosters can have 40 players in September – sometimes you can USE a few extra players and pitchers. We only have 30 guys on our roster and I do not understand for the life of me why on earth we refused to call up any of our good AAA or AA guys up once their playoffs were over. It’s not like September time counts to arb years.

Nieve pitched the 12th – FO, K, BB, single, GO. 22 pitches, guess he either wasn’t strong enough to go another inning, or Phil didn’t trust him to pitch to Wilson, Sanchez and Bay.

So Chris Sampson came out for the 13th who got them to FO, GO and K swinging.
- 14th GO, single, GIDP
- 15th – FO, GO then pulled for Trever Miller, don’t ask me why.
But Chris was freaking awesone – 2.2 IP, 1 hit, 1 K, 22 pitches. I would HOPE he has earned the right to start by now…

Chris Duffy looks as if he’s a very good player and that catch he made in CF of Mike Lambs sure double rivals anything I’ve ever seen Jim Edmonds do. Not sure why the Pirates were so reluctant to play him. Freddy Sanchez and Bautists look pretty good too. Chacon was very good for 5 innings, then fell apart, giving up 4 ER in the 6th.

We have not once come from behind down 5 runs to win this year.
In this winning streak, we have 6 come from behind wins (and we have only 12 for the year) and 4 of those were done in the last AB. Incredible.

It’s only gonna be 11 hours until the start of the next game. Biggio, Willy, Lance and Lamb played all 15 innings and it will be interesting to see who plays tomorrow.

St. Louis won – HEY CLA MERIDITH, BRAD LIDGE SENDS HIS SYMPATHIES!!!
Reds lost
Phils and Dodgers both win
We’re still 1.5 back of the Cards and the Reds are now 2.5 back.

9/27/06: Astros Win 7th In A Row – Let’s Do It Again

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

I am not believing the end of this year. Winning 7 straight games. Getting FINALLY over .500!!!!
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Offseason – wasn’t that the name of that book?

Tonight, it’s
Jason Hirsh, RHP vs Shawn Chacon, RHP

Jason this year: 3-4 in 8 GS:10 HR, 21 BB, 28 K over 41.2 IP – 5.83 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and a .255 BAA
4 good games, 2 ok but short games, 1 horrible terrible game and last time, lasted only 4.2 innings, gavbe up 4 homers and 4 ER.
vs Pitt: 1 game, went 7 innings, 5 hits, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 ER

-
Shawn Chacon, RHP
- he’s the guy Roy got his first ever homer off last month. Now we know who to send up for a RH pinch hitter
this year: 7-6 in 19 GS, 2 relief: 20 HR, 58 BB, 53 K over 96.1 IP – 6.17 ERA, 1.72 WHIP and a .283 BAA
- NOT good numbers, duh
@ PNC: 1-5 in 7 GS: 5 HR, 20 BB, 20 K ove 35.2 IP – 6.06 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and a .270 BAA
vs Hou: 1-4 in 5 GS, 2 in relief, 1 save: 7 HR, 14 BB, 29 K over 28.1 IP – 6.67 ERA, 1.59 WHIP and a .274BAA

9/26/06: Astros Win Seventh In A Row

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Astros have won 7 in a row.
Cards have LOST 7 in a row.

Suddenly Chris Carpenter is giving up 6 runs a game and Astros hitters are doing things they have NOT done all year – coming back to win after being down or ties in the 7th AND driving runs with MOB. Every single guy in the lineup except Brad Ausmus either got an RBI or scored a run. AND Lance didn’t have a very good game and Luke Scott Kd with bases loaded.

We are also suddenly catching lucky breaks and don’t be thinking that luck got nothin to do with winning games. With Lamb on first, Lance hit into a tailor made 3-6-3 GIDP, which would have gotten Snell out of the inning, but Nady, playing first, didn’t get a good throw, and it hit Lamb’s shoulder, both runners safe. And leter, Lance, who sometimes, um, makes dumb baserunning mistakes, made an outstanding slide to evade the tag and score from second on a single to shallow center.

Andy Pettitte did NOT have good stuff. Remember on Saturday when I said that Roy was not ROY? But somehow he managed to get by on inferior stuff. Same with Andy. He looked nice and sharp the first inning, but in the second, the cutter was, um, not cutting and Jason Bay hit a fat one into the LF stands – a good 390′ too, then Ronny Paulino hit another fat FB to deep left center that Luke Scott didn’t get a good read on (he looked like Biggio out there) and it fell for a double – not sure it was a very catchable ball anyhow, but then Andy left another fat one up middle of the plate and Jose Bautista hit it out. He got lucky because the next hitter swung on a ball and GO and Snell K.

Andy made some adjustments next inning, his motion looked a little different, and he managed to keep the rest of the hitters from getting the ball in the air. He gave up at least one hit every inning, but managed to keep them from scoring. He might have finished the 7th, but Duffy had a broken bat slow grounder up the middle that Andy couldn’t get and Adam got to too late to throw out the speedy Duffy. Then Freddy Sanchez, the batting leader, laid down a bunt single. Pretty clever, bunting for a hit when Jason Bay, who hits Pettitte VERY well, coming up.

Fortunately, Springer, who hits Bay, managed to get Castillo out. Springer was, um, not sharp. Of COURSE he’s tired. The entire bullpen is tired. Nieve mopped up the last 2 innings, giving up 1 run on consecutive doubles. I noticed that some guys in the bullpen warming up – Lidge, Miller and someone else. The guys need to get a good night’s sleep tonight.

Hirsh is pitching tomorrow, and I don’t know if the Jason who no hit the Phils for 5 innings, or the Hirsh who looked like dog doo last week is gonna show up.

Philly lost, The Reds and Dodgers won.

We’re now 79-78 and 1.5 games behind the Cards.
We just can’t keep this up.
Can we?????

9/26/06: Andy Pettitte vs Ian Snell

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

OK. It’s 2 PM and right now it is still Pettitte vs Snell. So I am posting this.
Andy Pettitte, LHP vs Ian Snell, LHP

this year: 13-13 in 33 GS, 1 relief with 2 CG, 1 SO: 25 BB, 68 BB, 169 K over 200.4 IP -
4.31 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and a .285 BAA (he FINALLY got his BAA under .300 and he now has 4 RSAA)
@ PNC: 4-1 in 5 GS: 1 HR, 6 BB, 21 K over 30.1 IP – 2.37 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a .252 BAA
vs Pitt: 6-1 in 7 GS: 3 HR, 10 BB, 34 K over 43 IP – 2.30 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and a .220 BAA

-

Ian Snell, RHP
- the guy who looks just like Wandy’s twin, only he pitches better
- career: 15-13 in 37 GS, 12 in relief: 36 HR, 104 BB, 209 K over 235 IP – 4.90 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and a .275 BAA
- this year: 14-10 in 31 GS (14 QS): 29 HR, 71 BB, 166 K over 181 IP – 4.67 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and a .276 BAA
@ PNC: 8-8 in 18 GS, 4 in relief: 16 HR, 38 BB, 86 K over 110 IP – 5.32 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and a .293 BAA
vs Hou: 2-2 in 4 GS, 2 in relief: 2 HR, 10 BB, 23 K over 26.2 IP – 4.05 EA, 1.50 WHIP and a .288 BAA