Archive for September, 2008

9/30/08: The Brad Ausmus Tribute Video

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Absolutely AWESOMENESS!!!
Played at the Box on his last day.
Check it out.

End Of Season Comparison Of 2008 Astros Starters – Part 1

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Here are all the pitchers who started a game for the Astros this year: (only their stats as starters:)

Roy Oswalt: 17-10 in 32 GS (22 QS): 208.2 IP: 1.18 WHIP, 3.54 ERA – 120 ERA+ : 7.12 K/9; 2.0 BB/9; 3.51 K/BB: 1 HR/9 IP: .253 BAA/.300 OBPA/.392 SLGA/.689 OPSA
– 6 1/2 IP/GS – excluding the start in which he had to leave hurt – 6.2 IP/GS

Wandy Rodriguez: 9-7 in 25 GS (10 QS): 137.1 IP: 1.31 WHIP, 3.54 ERA – 120 ERA+ : 8.59 K/9: 2.3 BB/9 IP: 3:1 K:BB; 0.92 HR/9 IP: .256 BAA/.316 OBPA/.401 SLGA/.716 OPSA
– 5 1/2 IP/GS – excluding the 2 starts in which he had to leave early because he was hurt – 5.2 IP/GS

Brandon Backe: 9-14 in 31 GS (10 QS) over 166.2 IP: 1.67 WHIP, 6.05 ERA – 70 ERA+ ; 6.86 K/9; 4.16 BB/9; 1.65 K:BB; 1.95 HR/9: .302 BAA/.376 OBPA/.544 SLGA/.918 OPSA
– overall, 5.1 IP/GS – excluding his execrable September, 5.2 IP/GS

Brian Moehler: 11-8 in 26 GS (9 QS) over 141.2 IP – 1.33 WHIP, 4.43 ERA – 95 ERA+ ; 5.0 K/9; 2.05 BB/9; 2.5 K:BB; .277 BAA
– 5.1 (actually, it is 5 1/2) IP/GS

Chris Sampson: 4-3 in 11 GS (4 QS) over 55.2 IP – 1.39 WHIP, 5.66 ERA: 4.4 K/9; 1.95 BB/9; 2.25 K:BB; 0.81 HR/9: .305 BAA
– 5.0 IP/ GS (this includes the disaster at Coors in which he gave up 6 ER in 0.2 IP)

Shawn Chacon: 2-3 in 15 GS (9 QS) over 85.7 IP: 1.51 WHIP, 5.04 ERA – 84 ERA+ ; 5.57 K/9, 3.38 BB/9; 1.65 K:BB; 1.68 HR/9: .270 BAA/ .354 OBPA/ .491 SLGA/ .841 OPSA
– 6.0 IP/ GS (excluding the game in which Coop pulled him after 1 inning, 4 ER in Milwaukee for “attitude”)

Randy Wolf (ONLY his numbers as an Astro) 6-2 in 12 GS (6 QS) over 70.2 IP – 1.30 WHIP, 3.57 ERA (119 ERA+) – 7.25K/9; 3.05 BB/9; 2.37 K:BB; 0.89 HR/9;
– 5.2 IP/GS (actually, a little over 5.2, but not 6)

Jack Cassel: 1-1 in 3 GS over 14.1 IP – 1.63 WHIP, 6.91 ERA (67 ERA+) 3.14K/9; 1.88 BB/9; 1.88 HR/9; .351 BAA

Runelvys Hernandez: 0-3 in 4 GS over 19.1 IP – 2.22 WHIP, 8.38 ERA (51 ERA+)

9/28/08: Brad Ausmus Homers On His Last Day To Cement Wandy’s Win

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Ooooohhhhh Brad
Ah luuuuv you so
Never never never wanna letchu go
Wish you could stay here for good…
(especially if you would pose for a few more shirtless pics)

What can I say? When you’re hot, you’re hot. And yes, I know all yall males GLAD to know you won’t hafta be hearing about how HOT Bradley is again. Because by the time his grrrls are grown and gone and he might could agree to leave the West Coast, he’ll be old and gray and he’ll probably have a gut and a chaw like Bobby Cox…

It was a great send-off and I’m glad we had seats on the 3rd base side because it was HOT today, even in my Wandy Astros shirt (yes, I’m STILL the only person I’ve ever seen wearing a Wandy t-shirt. I say it LOUD, I say it PROUD.)
And Wandy was just good. 7 innings, 4 H, 6 K, no BB, 1 GIDP, 83 pitches, 60 strikes. I was NOT happy that Coop pulled him out – just adds to the unfortunate common belief that Wandy can’t finish games. And he looked a LOT sharper than Hawkins and Valverde, too, both of whom look really REALLY tired.

And how kewl was Wandy driving in his first run – and he nearly scored, too, barely getting thrown out at the plate.

But at least the Astros ended the season with a W and a 86-75 record – a lot bettern I thought they’d do.

And congrats to the Brew Crew. Man I can’t see them going very far – in 04 we had Oswalt and Roger and
well, at least we had Lidge and back then he’d have those great 2 inning saves.

The Crew has CC and
well, dude can’t pitch EVERY day. Wouldn’t it be something if he DID decide to stay with the Brewers? And said um, no thanx to Hank and the Bronx?

Well, everyone but the White Sox have at least 2 days off before the playoffs start, so I’m gonna take a few days off too. I’m going to do some analysis and comparison of the Astros pitchers and position players and look at all the ex-Stros too. If anyone has anything in particular they’d like me to write about, tell me.

And yeah, I wouldn’t mind more topless pics of Bradley. HowEVAH did you know???

9/27/08: Josh Anderson Hits 2 Homers Off Backe To Beat Astros

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Brandon was just awful – hung sliders, threw FB in the middle of the plate -sure didn’t look like a guy determined to pitch for his job next year. And yeah, the ump DID have a constantly changing strike zone, but the middle of the plate IS the middle of the plate.

He started the game off in BAD style, giving up a leadoff homer to power hitter Josh Anderson, who sure does like hitting here at the Box. Then a single, then 2 outs, then a double to Jeff Freaking Francoer, who has been one of the 10 worst offensive hitters in the majors this year, then a 2 run double, then the 3rd out.

Down 3-0.

Second inning, a FO, a single, then NL leading home run hitter Josh Anderson hit ANOTHER homer – and that, folks, is

Brandon’s ML leading 36th.
Great. Tejada continues to pad his GIDP lead to 32 (but he won’t be able to break Jim Rice’s record of 37) and Brandon leads the NL in homers allowed.

Where was I? Oh yeah. One out in the second, Astros already down 5-0. Next batter singles on an 0-2, then a WP, then a single, then a walk to load the bases.

Coop has seen enough, brings in Jack Cassel.
Who promptly gives up a 3 run double, Francoering poor Backe. He gives up another run scoring single, then holds the Braves scoreless for another 2 innings.

But by then, it’s Braves 8 – Astros zip.

The Astros chip away, but leave men on base in every inning but the 5th and the 9th.
Borkowski managed to pitch 2 scoreless, Nieve pitched 1 inning, striking out all 3 batters and Wesley pitched a 1,2,3 inning, striking out 2. It was Geary, of all people, who gave up 2 more runs.

Pence hit a homer, but it was Berkman who reached on a swinging strikeout on a ball in the dirt!!! and promptly stole second for his 18th SB of the year who had the play of the game. Lance is REALLY swinging at a LOT of pitches not in the strike zone – something he didn’t used to do.


And tomorrow is Brad Ausmus Day. Of  course I am joining the Million Woman March to the Box to tell Bradley that he is The Hottest EVAH!!!

Brad gets a lot of, uh, disrespect from a lot of Astros fans who really don’t think that a catcher does much of anything besides produce (or not produce) the 5 stats for a fantasy team. He does a LOT more for a reality team – ask Roy or Roger or Andy. I’m going to write up a Brad career retrospective either during the playoffs or after the season. And for all the people who have been wanting Brad gone and saying how they’ll take Quintero, might could I suggest you compare stats: Q has even worse stats this year than Brad did over the last 4 years when so many were complaining so bitterly about his BA.

And it’s Wandy’s last start of the year vs ex-Astro Mike Hampton, who has spent most of the last 4 years injured. I remember Mike Hampton VERY well. He was good. And he was traded because he didn’t like Houston and had informed the Organization that he was going to be a FA and Houston was not on his list of NL teams he would agree to sign with.

He was a great success in Colorado all right – remember the GREAT public skoolz his kids were gonna go to?

Root Root Root for the Wand mannnnnn.

9/26/08: Michael Bourn Scores From Second On Berkman’s Sac Fly

Friday, September 26th, 2008

If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it. Lance hit a fly ball to the base of Tal’s Hill straightaway center. Josh Anderson (yes, the ex-Astro who was traded straight up for Villareal) caught it with his back to home, turned, threw it to the cutoff man, who wasn’t nearly in time to tag Michael. Awesome. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a man score from second on a sac-fly. Too kewl.

The Astros Organization never thought real too much of Josh, who isn’t really different from Michael Bourn – good fielder, singles hitter, good baserunner. Josh has done fine in his appearances with the Braves this year – 36/127 with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, with 10 SB and 1 CS – actually, looks a lot like Bourn’s numbers last year.

We’ll have to see how next year plays out for Bourn and Anderson to see if the Astros were right to prefer Bourn to Anderson. Josh has a .678 OPS this year, Bourn a .585 OPS over 585 PA.

Michael made 2 really really outstanding catches out there and so did Pence. Wiggy, on the other hand, messed up a fly ball and 2 runs scored (yes, he did drive himself in with a ball juuuuuust over the RF wall – hit a high outside FB.) And Valverde made a heads up tag of Brandon Jones in the 9th after he had rounded first after he (Valverde) had thrown the ball away to get a DP.

LaTroy Hawkins gave up his first ER as an Astro. It was bound to happen. He’s not Gagne 2003.

Valverde blew his first save since July 21. Location was REALLY bad. He ended up with the W, thank you Darin Erstad.
Philly wins.
Mets lose.

Brewers win. (Suppan and McClung beat Ryan Dempster. hehhehheh. Wasn’t it WONDERFUL seeing all those Brewers fans SERIOUSLY outnumbering the &*$&^@! Cubs fans???!!! hehhehheh)

And the Astros are out of the WC race now. I never thought this team would even sniff it, let alone stay in until almost the last day like 06.

Should I congratulate Miggy Tejada on his sole ownership of the NL GIDP record with 31?

9/26/08: Darin Erstad Hits His 2nd HR Of The Year To Beat Braves

Friday, September 26th, 2008

I figured he deserved his own entry on this one.
Amazing he has more walkoffs than Berkman, hunh?

10/25/08: Roy Oswalt Goes 2/2, Drives In One, Scores One And Beats Reds, As Usual

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Yessiree, Roy Oswalt has 15 hits this year – more than Backe, believe it or not, and not only has his BA greater than his weight, but over the Mendoza line.

And he pitched well too, except for the FB right down the middle of the plate that Corey Patterson, of all people, sent like 500′ to almost straightaway center – the left wall of the 3 Amigos bar. I remembered Corey hitting a lot of homers when he first came up with the Cubs, just not that hard.

(By the way, Dusty Baker had to issue a statement, after being asked by more than a few Astros players, that Corey, who is SMOKING hot, is definitely NOT dating Dusty’s 28 year old daughter. As one clever internet wag said – gee, he can’t even hit THAT.)

Roy had a tough time getting used to the ump’s postage stamp strike zone in the first 2 innings, but after Michael Bourn drove in 3 with bases loaded, 2 out, to give the Astros the go-ahead runs, he cruised. 6 innings, 2 hits, 1 HR, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 SB. And on 3 days rest, too. He’s now 24-1 vs the Reds. Duuuudddddddddddeeeeeeeeee.

Wesley came on to start the 7th, struck out the first 2, only Brad missed the strike 3 and the runner got to first as Brad didn’t make a good throw (I luuuuvvvv the boy, but he ain’t what he used to be), then Wesley hit the next guy, and Geary came on and shut it down. Byrdak pitched an easy 1,2,3 8th.

Then with the Astros leading 8-1, Coop sent in Arias to mopup. It wasn’t SUPPOSED to get, um, interesting. But Arias didn’t have that great snappy FB he had in the first 3 innings of his first ML start. FB midplate, mid thigh get hit. And here we go: double, 6-3, RB single, (out comes Dewey, sez “throw strikes” does NOT mean mid plate) advance to second on DI, single to R on FB down the middle (NOTE: Arias has only thrown FB since the second batter) RBI single (at least that pitch was outside). Out goes Arias, leaving 2 on, 1 out.

In comes Nieve, and immediately gives up a 3 run homer – remember what I was saying about mid-plate, mid thigh meatballs?

So now it’s 8-6 and Valverde has to come in and get the last 2 outs, which he does, giving up only a single to right. Interesting – he threw all FB, and almost every one of them was waist high or just a little higher.

Milo sure dislikes Michael Bourn, wants him to turn into Willy Taveras, bunting his way on, getting IF chops (like has anyone checked out Willy’s stats lately? The Rockies won’t even play him full time). He says it at least twice every time Bourn comes up to hit. In the first, Bourn managed to make the pitcher throw 7 pitches before grounding out. Milo was, um, not nice about it. You didn’t hear him say a THING when Blum grounded out on the first pitch to the same place. You don’t hear him say a thing about it when Tejada does the same thing. Just Bourn. It’s about the BA, baby. But he drove in the first 3 runs with a double into the LF corner to shut up Milo. So much for infield hits. And he singled to center to drive home another run – and the ball was NOT in the IF. Shut up Milo.

Actually, you never hear him criticize Tejada for leaving so many men on base, hitting into so many DPs and seldom having ABs of more than 3 pitches. Yeah, I know – it’s all about the BA, baby.

But back on the IF hits thing – Milo and his drones keep mentioning repeatedly that Pence has 37 IF hits. See how good speed is??? they squawk!!! What they ignore is that he ALSO has 33 doubles, 4 triples and 24 homers. Therefore, the fielders are NOT going to always play in to get the bunt/IF chop they way they do with Willy Freaking Taveras who has 15 doubles and 1 homer AND a .251 BA/.308 OBP/.259 SLG/.605 OPS – oh yeah, now THAT’S something Michael should aim for. I just do NOT get all the Willy Worship still goin on.

Matsui has been on fire since he came off the DL – too bad he’s such a total China doll. He’s been a LOT better with the bat than I expected, both home AND away. Tonight, he went 3 fer 3 with 2 walks, scored 2 and drove in 3.
Lance still had a few bad swings, but he draw a walk, singled up the middle and stole his 17th base without even drawing a throw.

Wiggy seems to be getting back on track. Swings have been a lot better since he got robbed of that homer yesterday – sent a ball to the warning track, hit 2 singles and struck out on a pitch that was a ball every other pitch.

So tonight, Mets beat the Cubs, Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh (Braun hit a walkoff granny in the 10th) so the WC possibility is looking kind of dim, you know what I’m sayin.

Fun fact – Reds pitcher Danny Ray Herrera, who is from Odessa, is not lying about his size – he SAYS he’s 5-7″ and 145 lbs. How cool is that??? My new favorite non-Astros player.

9/24/08: Randy Wolf Pitches Astros To 13th Shutout Of 2008

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Wolf pitched well, giving up 8 hits, 2 BB and 7 K – he stranded every runner, partly getting lucky because he got the pitcher for the 3rd out twice. But he had at least 1 MOB in every inning he pitched and he got out of a men on second and third, 1 out, without giving up a run.

Their pitcher, Ramon Ramirez gave up 4 hits and 3 BB, but unfortunately for him, one of those hits was a fat changeup to Lance Berkman who hit it 400′ to the left center wall by the second arch. And that was all the Astros needed. He got pulled after 5 for a PH, even though he probably could have thrown another inning. He was sharp, had a nice change and a decent FB, and after the first inning, he only gave up 2 singles and a walk.

The play of the game, though (besides Berkman’s first homer in 2 weeks) was Jay Bruce robbing poor Wiggy of a 2 run homer. Wiggy is slumping as badly as Berkman and Erstad.

Tomorrow, it’s Roy vs Johnny Cueto, against whom the Astros have won all 3 games.
And you know how Roy does vs the Reds…

9/24/08: Miguel Tejada Ties Brad Ausmus For The NL GIDP Record

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Gotta give discredit where discredit’s due.

Thirty GIDP is a career record for Miggy, too.
Yeh, I know he has a .284 BA, but he’s second to last on the team with RCAA at (-)24, just in front of Michael Bourn with (-)26.

9/23/08: Two Unearned Runs = Wandy Loses To Reds

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Yet another crappy, poorly played game

First, let me give credit where credit is due – Volquez was awesome. He gave up ONE well hit ball and that was Matsui’s leadoff homer.

Wandy was actually decent in his return after being sidelined for over 2 weeks with a bad oblique. He struck out 7, walked 2 and gave up 6 singles. He gave up 2 UER in the first, which would have been none if Wiggy had caught Votto’s fly ball to left center or even thrown accurately back to Tejada.

Then let me kick some asses where kicking is due:
1 – Wiggy for missing that fly/bad throw. And it was a NO doubt error. A 3 base error. There went the ballgame. But I can’t get too mad at Wiggy – he’s just not a left fielder and I’m not sure Clank woulda gotten anywheres near that ball.
2 – Lance for continuing his month long suckage with the bat. Striking out with Miggy on second and then hitting a weakass grounder with 2 on in the 8th vs David Freaking Weathers.
3 – Erstad for striking out on the hitandrun.
4 – Ed Romero for inexplicably throwing up a stop sign to Bourn on what SHOULD have been Tejada’s RBI single to left to tie the game – and Tejada got caught in a rundown because he very VERY reasonably expected Bourn to head home. Berkman got IBB and then Blum couldn’t get the job done.
5 – And kicking second base umpire ass on Bourn’s bunt in the 6th – Matsui was NOT out because Keppinger has been pulled off the bag. Same with Reggie in the 9th.
6 – And kicking Coop ass for having Matsui and his .290 BA bunt Newhan over in the 8th – yeah, the Matsui who had 2 hits and another well hit out offn Volquez – and then leaving Bourn in to face lefty Bill Bray. GREAT strategy there Coop. An absolutely STOOPID  WASTE of 2 outs.
They had a chanceeeeeeeeee

Chris Sampson hurt his elbow. Peachy.

Instant (BAD choice of words there) replay lasting 6 1/2 minutes to review Votto’s single off the top of the yellow line in right. I had this feeling it would soon be a LOT more than 2 minutes – and the strange thing is that it was SO obviously not over the wall. Just the other day the umps refused to review a play near the foul line that in my opinion looked like a homer and not a foul that cost the team the game…

Props to Latroy Hawkins for continuing his 0 ERA as an Astro (just 2 UER and there were 2 very well hit balls, though.) Props to Valverde for yet another scoreless inning.
Props to Brad Lidge for being the best reliever in the NL this year. Oh. Forgot. I’m not supposed to praise him.

Anyway, another game tomorrow – Randy Wolf vs Ramon Ramirez, a rookie called up at the end of August who has pitched 3 of 4 QS. Not that it really matters real too much any more…