So Phil decided to start Sampson today instead of Roy on early rest. Me, I think it was a psychological thing – the Cards are more worried about facing Roy than any other pitcher…
Yall know I think that Sampson had done a great job so far this year and I know that Roy is no question the better pitcher and all the statists think this was a mistake…
It started out with bad luck for Sampson – Burke made an error on an easy 4-3, overthrowing it and Giles scored on a Renteria sac bunt then a Chipper Jones GO – Lance threw to home hoping to get the speedy Giles instead of the sure out, but got neither. An unearned run still counts on the scoreboard, unfortunately. But Chris shrugged it off, Kd Andruw, and then Burke made a beautiful leaping grap of McCann’s scorching liner.
So do Chris and Lance come back to the dugout and say to Sampson – hey dude, we gotcher back and we’ll get that run back and then some???
Well, Chris sure tried. Huff singled, then Burke hit a bloop double to left. No out, men on second and third. Adam LO to second. No chance. Then Quintero hits a FB to shallow center which Francoeur makes a sliding catch on. Francoeur has an arm like Clemente and Mansolino sends Huff, who, if yall remember Phil almost always pinch runs for in the late innings because Huff runs about as fast as Quintero. STUPID. Huff was dead meat 20 feet from the plate.
Yeah, the pitcher was up next, but Sampson, who hit over .300 as a pitcher in AAA, was a better bet to drive a run in than even Willy T was to beat Francoeur’s throw. That was as stupid as sending Andy Pettitte home from second on a single to shallow center. Sigh.
Errors. Inability to get guys home with men on second and third with 2 out. Seriously stupid coaching mistakes.
Chris makes one bad pitch to Francoeur in the second – he hangs a slider and Francoeur Pujolses it into the stands. That guy will swing at ANYTHING – rookie mistake by both Sampson and Quintero to throw him anything in the strike zone…
Braves 2 Stros 0
3rd inning – Sampson PO. Willy Ks again, Lamb singles. Berkman singles. Will Luke Scott heat up again? He’s been pretty cold for the last 5 games. HBP on the knee. Bases loaded for Huff – here we are with RISP again – and we strand em all. Same ol same ol.
Chris pitching – Renteria walks, Chipper singles, no outs. Sampson has thrown 40 pitches now – not sure how long he is expected to go today. Hickey to the mound. And Andruw hits a ball to third. Lamb grabs it, fires it waaaaay past Berkman for yet ANOTHER error and Chipper scores and Andruw is on third. McCann GO and it is ANOTHER UER for poor Chris.
- One more time – a SCREEEEEMMMM out to all the people who think that all that matters is bats bats bats and Adam Everett should be poopoo-canned. No pitcher alive, not Nolan Ryan, not Roger Clemens, not ANY pitcher has ever struck out every one of 27 batters and the fielders just MUST make plays.
Fact is that Chris had made exactly ONE bad pitch – the hanging slider to Francoeur and I hope hope hope that the Organization does NOT use these 3 runs to decide that he does not deserve a GOOD chance to be in the rotation next year. Chris can’t make the rest of the lineup hit with RISP and seem to me that Roger wasn’t criticized for it. There is NO reason to waste a very good starting pitcher in the mop up role like Borkowski, which is sure nuff what it looks like they plan to do.
Unless our rotation next year is Roy, Webb, Santana, Smoltz and Verlander, there is no reason to waste a very good SP. Who is it they think is better – Wandy? Albers? Hirsh? Patton? They have already decided to use Nieve as yet another cruddy 1 or 2 inning mop up guy so forget him. You best believe we aren’t going to pay for 4 FA top line starters and even the available crud isn’t better looking than Sampson.
4th inning – Smoltz got three runs to play with and this guy is not going into the Hall for nothing – and he still got it you know, he’s definitely in the top 10 pitchers in the NL this year. And he gets 1,2,3 out.
- Sampson – no rookie jitters – he gets east FB, K, BB, GO.
Four excellent innings and they send up pinch hitter extroardinaire Jason Lane, who, of course, Ks on 3 pitches in the bottom of the 5th. Smoltz faces Luke Scott with 2 out, men on first and third and gets a weak GB. Looks like Luke has picked a bad time to quit hitting. Smoltz has now thrown 83 pitches through 5 innings and seeing as how the Braves bullpen has practically looked like Gagne 03 against us this series, I am not counting on Renteria’s glove winning the game for us again.
Nieve comes in in the 5th – gets a K, then a long FB to center which Willy loses in the sun and it falls in for a GR double. No error, just crappy fielding that will count against the pitcher. Chipper walks – and the balls are NOT close. Andruw walks. Good grief.
- GAMUS INTERRUPTUS: Anthony Reyes started for the Cards on short rest – single, K, homer, K, homer, triple, single – and it’s goo-bye already. 0.2 IP and 4 ER… Tony is PRAYING Stros fielders keep making really bad errors
Back to nervous – Wandy is in to face the second best hitting lefty in the NL, Brian McCann. Strike 1, foul, ball 1, FB to center and Willy atones for his stupid misplay on that FB and fires to Quintero who tags Renteria, who has pulled a Jeremy Giambi. 8-2 DP. Cool.
Still Braves 3 Stros 0
6th – Huff Ks, Burke singles, Adam walks. Smoltz looks like he’s tiring, but I’m not holding my breath with THAT guy out there. And it’s Quintero who GO. Men on second and third. Palmeiro PH. So will he face Smoltz or a lefty? Smoltz. Strike looking, ball, foul, ball, foul, foul, K swinging. Two MORE LOB.
Russ Springer in – Francoeur K, Ward GO, Langerhans GO3.
7th – McBride, LHP is there in relief. Willy singles. Big deal. Lamb loops a single to left. Lance is like ofer 15 his last righty AB. And he singles up the middle and Willy scores. Luke Scott – it IS time to hit up. I mean HEAT up. Nope. He Ks after getting 3 straight balls. Can Huff come through THIS time? Nope. He Ks on the 8th pitch. So it’s Chris Burke in to face RHP Tyler Yates and he FO.
Two on, no out and THREE different batters can’t do anything.
Astros baseball right there. We have now left ELEVEN MOB and St Louis is getting their brains beat in in Milwaukee. Great.
Brad is pitching. GO 4-3, GO 5-3, GO 6-3. Six pitches, all strikes. WHY can’t he pitch like this ALL the time?????
8th – Adam GO, Biggio PH for Quintero FO to right, Ausmus PH for Lidge – GO. You KNOW if Brad Ausmus is PH instead of Mo Ensberg that Mo is gonna be outta here at the end of the year. I just sincerely hope we get something good for him and he goes to the AL so he won’t come back to kill us as son as he gets his swing back.
Chad Qualls is pitching – Chipper FO, Andruw FO, McCann FO. 3 outs, 5 pitches.
9th – Wickman in to close. He’s a GB closer and somehow I don’t think we can count on Renteria spotting us 3 runs again. Willy gets himself the sombrero. Lamb GO to Renteria. Lance FO.
You best believe the Braves are enjoying revenge for the last 2 years, knocking us out of the playoffs this year.
This game was basically a very accurate snapshot of the Astros entire season.
Would I have felt better if we had just lost 1-0, as it would have been if there hadn’t been any errors?
The Braves were 3 hit. Yep. Three hits and 4 walks and the only run scored on a solo homer.
The Astros left 11 MOB, Braves left five. How many times have we had games exactly like this? (By the way, Taylor Buchholz had the second lowest run support of any starter who pitched at least 15 starts in the NL – 3.28 runs/game… Not that he didn’t have 5 absolutely 5 horrible starts too.)
The fact is that even had we somehow won, we would have been knocked out by either NL West team in the first round, in spite of the quality of our pitching. See today’s game if you disbelieve me.
This loss means, I think, that Brandon Webb will win the CY by a hairlash over Carpenter, who will come in second ahead of Roy because the Cards won the division. Not fair, but hey, that’s baseball.
And unless Albert beats the Brew Crew today, I think he’s going to lose the MVP to Ryan Howard of the Phils, who has more homers. Yes I know the Phils didn’t even win the WC, but hey, you are talking about HOME RUNS here. Lance who? He’s gonna come in 5th, if that, after the NY guys, even though the 2006 Astros would have made the 2006 Cubs look like the 2001 Mariners without him.
I’ll do the yearly autopsy on the 06 Stros after I have had time to clean off the corpse…