Well, changing catchers from Quintero to Ausmus didn’t help Woody one bit – same story – one big blowup inning, good the rest. Woody was absolutely nails for 4 of 5 innings – in the 4th, he just couldn’t get much of any strikes over and what was over the plate was up. The Dbax batted around and by the time the pitcher grounded out, it was Dbax 4, Stros 1. Woody came back the very next inning and got 3 outs on 12 pitches. I don’t get it.
Thing is that Woody IS gonna give up 3 or 4 runs every start and the offense just isn’t there to support him. He’s OK for the 5th starter, which is what he actually IS – for some reason, fans have this fantasy where all the starters are as good as Roy – who, by the way, usually has a couple of really bad games every year.
And it was a DARN good thing that Adam Everett, disrespected as he is by media and too many fans, was his usual spectacular self and because Woody got mostly gound ball outs tonight, saved a GOOD 3 runs with his glove – no one ever thinks that matters…
Phil FINALLY replaced Biggio at leadoff, but with LAMB, fer chrissakes, who has been in an even bigger slump since mid May than Biggio OR the much hated Ensberg. Biggio didn’t hit from the 6-hole neither and left 2 on base in the first.
In the 6th, stuff happened.
First, Edgar Gonzalez, who had been sailing thru 5 innings, was pulled and Juan Cruz started the 6th. Berkman grounded out. Which reminds me – there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with his timing, or swing or SOMEthing – he is hitting everything on the ground in the infield. Of COURSE he knows it – he says he’s had slumps before, but I really don’t remember anything like this where everything was on the ground like this. I hope he hasn’t gone all Roberto Alomar.
Anyway, back to the 6th. Lee doubled, Pence singled him in (finally hit a ball out of the infield), Biggio walked, then Ausmus struck out.
Then Phil made a fatal mistake – he pulled Everett for Palmeiro. It’s the lefty-righty idiocy because he’s pulling one slumping hitter for an even worse hitter in an even worse slump. He certainly should have had Everett bunt to advance the runners. Why Phil has such an obsession with Palmeiro I do NOT understand, but he does. Anyway, Palmeiro walks. Then the Dbacks bring in another pitcher who gets pinch hitter Luke Scott to ground out, stranding 3.
This organization already ruined one very good ballplayer in Jason Lane by wasting 3 of his best years having him sit on the bench. Now they are wasting yet ANOTHER good OF – seems they have already written him off. He’s never been platooned, he’s always hit leftys very well, he hit over 300 last year, but noooo. The same fans who were cheering him so vigorously last year have long since abandoned him after his average sank below .250 from erratic playing time and now want him traded.
So we’ve now left 6 MOB.
Now we’re playing without Adam in the field. Palmeiro is playing right, Berkman goes to first, Loretta goes to short (hint – this matters) and Lamb moves to third (hint – this matters.)
Score is 4-2 and we might could have a chance to come from behind. These days I DO have to say – might could.
So we want to keep the score close, right? not fall behind, right?
So Phil sends in Rick White, who had a 1.32 ERA when he came off the DL May 11. He had given up runs in 3 of his last 4 outings and in his last outing, gave up 3 hits and 2 ER in 0.2 IP.
WHERE was Chad Qualls? He hadn’t pitched in FIVE days – he needed work and he’s a better pitcher anyway.
White comes in and immediately gives up a standup triple off the centerfield wall (which, by the way, Pence got a very bad jump on but he’s Pence and not Burke so he gets a free pass). Then Drew grounds out and Lance makes an outstanding WebGem play to catch the ball and beat the runner to first, as White didn’t bother to cover the bag.
Then Hairston hits a bouncer up the middle for a single – it’s a play Adam makes but Loretta can’t. Run scores. OUT IS NOT MADE.
Then Carlos Quentin hits a ball down the LF line which Lamb doesn’t get near because he isn’t capable of stopping any balls hit up the line. OUT IS NOT MADE and there are runners on second and third.
Then Phil decides to have White IBB Montero, a 200 hitter, to face Tony Clark.
Bad mistake. Clark singles up the middle, 2 runs score.
White is having, um, bad luck, and he can’t strike guys out. Time to pull him? Nope. Eric Byrnes smashes a standup triple off the right center field wall and Montero and Clark score standing up.
The pitcher, a relief pitcher who never hits, is up. HE singles.
White is making Moehler look like Gagne 2003.
NOW, after 6 runs have scored, Phil pulls White and sends in Borkowski to clean up. So you say, exactly WHEN should Phil have pulled White? Well, you go back and look at his pitches – too many balls, no swinging strikes, only a few strikes looking, and the rest meaty ones over the middle of the plate. You see, if you have very poor infield defense, your reliever is going to have to strike guys out and in that park with Lee in left and Palmeiro in right and a rookie in center, getting guys to FLY out isn’t smart.
So Phil SHOULD have pulled him after the Quentin double when it was more than obvious that White didn’t have a strikeout pitch goin on. And IBB Montero hoping to get a GIDP from Clark was just plain crazy – look at the infield – they can’t turn a DP because ADAM ISN’T THERE ANY MORE!!!
I had a feeling the Rick White suddenly turning into gold after years of succulousness wasn’t going to work out – he’s been worked multiple innings many times and he hasn’t worked like that in years and it was bound to catch up. He gave up 7 ER in 0.1 IP today and his ERA went from 2.91 to 5.73 – not something great. And it wouldn’t have if Adam and Mo had been there to make the plays.
They should have kept Springer instead of signing White and brought up one of the AAA guys to pitch long relief instead of signing Moehler.
So there we are, down 10-2 at the end of the inning, because Borkowski, who came in to relieve White and get the final 2 outs gave up a 447′ homer to the new third baseman Reynolds, a kid up from AA because Chad Tracy just went on the DL.
Of course, Qualls came in in the 8th – it is his inning – or some such stupidity and gave up a homer to Reynolds. Chad Tracy is praying the ML scouts check out the holes in Reynolds swing and cool him off, just as Pence has been cooled off, before he gets off the DL in a few weeks.
Mo Ensberg came in in the 9th as a PH to face a lefty and hit a 3-2 pitch 400 something feet – looked like his old swing. Hopefully, he’s heating up at the same time that Lamb is slumping.
Of course, I’m sure there will be yet ANOTHER lineup tomorrow. Just as long as Loretta isn’t at short and Lamb isn’t at third or Sampson might as well not even bother.