Archive for May, 2009

5/31/09: Hampton Pitches 7 Innings Of 1 Run Ball And Scores Winning Run

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Mike Hampton went out there today as if his job was in serious jeopardy and gave up a leadoff homer in the first on a mid-plate, mid thigh meatball, then a 9 pitch walk to Freddy Sanchez, but escaped with a GIDP. He gave up only 2 more hits but no runs over the next 6 innings. Actually, I don’t know why Coop pulled him after the 7th inning, as he was only at 90 pitches and had breezed through on only 9 pitches.

Actually, I do know. You see, the Astros were only leading by 1 run and The Roolz say that you HAFTA put the setup guy in the 8th and the closer in the 9th no matter how the starter is doing.

Michael Bourn got the day off (facing a lefty, dontchu know) and seeing as how he’s only hitting .333/.353/.455/.808, it was important to start Jason Michaels instead – and he went 0fer 4. Fortunately, Michaels didn’t cost us the ball game with glove, as he had only one ball hit to center – a can of corn in the 5th.

Quintero (!!!) singled in Berkman in the second, who scored from second – and this time, he didn’t get called out when he was safe!! and then Hampton and gang played small ball – Single, single, WP, RBI single to score the go ahead run.

Maysonet hit leadoff in Bourn’s place, going 2 fer 4 – he was stranded both times, but hey, he’s still hitting. I’ll go for that. Carlos has now gone 2 weeks without an RBI – I’ll bet that’s a career high for him, too.

Berkman, by the way, hit his usual numbers in May – .295/.396/.545/.942 – 26 fer 88 with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 5 homers, 19 RBI, 16 BB, 15 K and 3 GIDP. I was kind of amused that Coop moved him to the 5-hole, but Lance didn’t seem to be real too upset about it. I guess Coop for once had the sense to say something to Lance BEFORE he announced it to the media/gave the umps the lineup card.

And it is back home to face the Rox, who just fired their manager, Clint Hurdle and replaced him with the gawdawful Jim Tracy. Remember him from Pittsburgh? I sure do, and as much as I don’t care for Cooper, he’s Joe Torre next to Tracy.

And to start things off, it’s Roy vs Aaron Cook, the Rox ace now that Jeff Francis is on the DL. He’s started 7 games, relieved in 1 over 45.1 IP vs the Astros – 46 H, 4 HR, 14 BB, 22 K – 3.57 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, .264 BAA.

He LIKEY pitching at the Box – he’s started 5 games, won 3, got a ND in 2, has a 2.37 ERA/1.32 WHIP/.265 BAA.

I sure hope that Roy pitches an ACE game – he really needs to. He REALLY needs to.

5/31/09: Wandy Throws His Second Bad Game In A Row

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Started off the same as it did 5 days ago – Wandy walked the leadoff batter, couldn’t find the strike zone, and was behind – this time by 3 runs, before the first inning was over. He threw 35 pitches though, and every inning, he needed way too many pitches to put guys away. Trouble was that he couldn’t get either the curve or change over and the hitters sat dedred.

Although he seemed to get a grasp (hahaha) on his pitches, he ran completely out of steam before he could finish the 5th inning, gave up 3 more hits, 2 more walks and left with 2 on, and naturally, the Astros couldn’t come back. The Astros have not managed to come back even ONCE when trailing after 7 innings this year. Mr. RBI Lee couldn’t manage a hit off Matt Capps, ERA 6.86, with the bases loaded, Astros down by 3, 2 outs, bottom of the 9th.

sigh

Brandon Backe pitched his first inning in relief, gave up 3 doubles, a WP and 2 ER. UCK. In case anyone forgot, he always did MUCH worse as a reliever than a starter.

Gotta give kudos to Maysonet – he’s still hitting and getting on base – 1 fer 2 with 2 walks and 2 RS. And Erstad actually hit the ball well – first time all year, and was robbed by Nyger Morgan making like Michael Bourn.

uck

Man, I just don’t know what to say. This team looks as dead and lifeless as the 07 Worship The Biggio Farewell Tour Team. I mean, it’s my team, and I’ll always root for them, but man do they look BAD. Not just the pitching, but the failure to hit with RISP (who would have guessed that Michael Bourn has the highest BA with RISP on this team) and vile baserunning blunders, crappy coaching by the 3B coach, too many fielding errors, too many fielding plays not made, regression by Berkman with feet and glove as well as bat…

This is the worst team I can remember since I was 9 or 10. Or was it 11 or 12? No matter, those teams were transitioning over to youngsters, so at least there seemed to be some hope. I keep hearing all about the wonderful prospects in A-ball, but hey, they are in freaking A-ball, and that is a ways off.

sigh

Mike Hampton pitches the rubber game and I hope that for once, he can manage to not suck.

5/30/09: Brian Moehler Pitches First Astros Complete Game Of 2009 To Stop Losing Streak

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Now he can be one of those heroes to the baseball writers who have lately been praising Nolan Ryan to the heavens for instituting a policy with the Rangers that the minor leaguers can’t be kept on pitch counts (which somehow has led to them being in first place this year – don’t ask me to explain THAT one). You see, over his career, Ryan was just your usual ordinary run of the mill guy who had no problem pitching for 25 years, throwing complete 130-160 pitch games every single time out, just like every other starter of the 60s, 70s and 80s did. Unlike the babied, overpaid whiny china dolls of today who care only about money and aren’t Real Men.

or something

Anyway, Moehler threw a FINE game, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP. He was still going strong at the end of the 8th and I guess he must have told Coop that he wasn’t gonna get Chaconed (remember the poor guy’s 8 inning 4 hit 3-0 masterpiece last year – he was at 109 pitches and sailing along when Coop inexplicably pulled him to send in the closer because The Roolz say that the closer has to do the 9th if you are leading by 3 or fewer runs – and the closer promptly lost his game…) He had a 6-0 shutout going at the time, but he gave up a walk, a GR double and an RBI GO and there went the SO, but he sure nuff got his W which he certainly deserved.

Every starter in the lineup except for Moehler got a hit and Maysonet had a career night, going 4 fer 4 with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. Since his callup, he’s 6 fer 14 with 5 RBIs and 2 runs. Which significantly beats the heck out of Jason Worthless Smith and his 0 fer 25 and NO RBIs. Which makes me wonder why Coop was so insistent on Smith’s Veteran Suckage.

I should also not that baserunning was NOT good – Bourn got thrown out trying to stretch a single, Tejada got caught in yet another rundown and TWO guys got thrown out at the plate in the 6th.

But hey, a W is a W and after all the suckage, I’ll take it.

Tomorrow, it’s Wandy vs Jeff Karstens.

Karstens, this year, has thrown 8 games over 43.1 IP – 44 H, 8 (!!!) Hr, 16 BB, 18 K – 5.19 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, .268 BAA.

Wandy, his last game, had the devil’s own luck in that every one of the 6 runs he gave up were designated as unearned. But he still threw flat out lousy and I sure hope he’s found the command he couldn’t find last time.

This year, he’s thrown 10 games over 63 IP – 53 H – 1 HR, 18 BB, 56 K – 1.71 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .232 BAA.

5/28/09: Jay Bruce Tore Up Astros Pitches An Whomped Them Suckas Far

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Good thing It wasn’t Roy-O pitching tonight because he would have had his second evah loss vs the Reds.

Paulino pitched his usual crappy game – 7 H, 3 homers, 1 BB, 1 K over 6 IP – 5 R/4 ER. The UER was Quintero picking up a Willy T bunt 10 ft from the plate and throwing it into the RF corner. A nice example of the eager young pitching all the complaining fans want to see.

But the fact is that the Astros looked like icky dog poo (trying to use nice language.) First inning, Michael Bourn walked, then stole second, went to 3rd on a GO, then scored on Berkman’s sac-fly. He also got a base hit in the 7th, making him the guy with the best night as he got on base twice. Only 6 runners reached base tonight.

This means that Bronson Arroyo pitched a 5 hit, 1 walk, 1 run complete game.

Guys aren’t taking pitches, they aren’t making the pitchers work, they are looking pretty darn lifeless.

We have become the Reds. And the Pirates, who we face tomorrow.

And we have Tony Muser version 2 for a manager. And NO, I do not want Phil Garner back. Or Art Howe. Or Larry Bowa. Or Bob Melvin (who isn’t real too particular good either.) Or Don Baylor, who doesn’t seem to have good people skills any more than Cooper does.

Ahm lookin fer a new luuuuuv baby, a new LUUUUUVVV
yeh
yeh
yeh

And I don’t want Bagwell/Biggio neither – neither one of em has managed so much as a game in any league and I know they THINK they should have been co-mamagers from like 96 on, but I’ve never seen any evidence that either one of them could manage.

Personally, I think it’s time to clean house – goodbye Coop, Dewey, Berry, everyone but Cheo and bring in new blood from outside the Organization. I’d personally like to give Wally Backman a try – not sure how that would go over with all the Old Guys in the clubhouse.

Actually, I’d sure like it if they would say, on the record, who (that is available) they would want for their new manager. Be interesting – of course, they could be like Baggy/Biggio who disapproved of everyone…

5/26/09: Roy Oswalt Doesn’t Lose To The Reds

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Congrats to Brandon Backe for not getting indicted by the Galveston grand jury. Seing as how grand juries indict just about everyone brought before them, it sure nuff tells me that it was pretty outrageous to have indicted him in the first place. And of course, the “inquiry” the cops made about the behaviour of their own cops relieved them of ANY wrongdoing.

uh-hunh

Anyhow, Brandon has just about finished up his rehab work and is ready to join the ML team. He hasn’t exactly shone with the AAA club – 2 GS, 10 IP, 13 H, no HR, 3 BB, 12 K, 5 ER – but he sure nuff is better than Hampton/Ortiz/Moehler. I still have a tough time believing that so many people thought that Moehler would repeat his 2007 stats and that Hampton/Ortiz would pitch like it’s 2001 again.

Interesting how many fans on the radio and in the media blogs want to trade off anyone on this team who can hit for young pitching. Wonder if they are the same ones who were screaming 3 years ago about how terrible it was to have all the young pitchers, who weren’t pitching like Oswalt/Clemens/Pettitte and trade them all for some bats. I also wonder if all the people who SAY they would go and see young players getting their heads beat in really WOULD tolerate a 2003 Tigers season – meaning, they would THEN say they won’t go to a game until the team is good enough to spend money on.

I’m pretty sure they will NOT get rid of Erstad, who this year, has basically either struck out or hit grounders to the first/second baseman and is 7 fer 48 with 1 walk and 1 RBI. He is, you see, this Veteran Leader – not exactly sure who he’s leading or where he’s leading them to, but there you are. Who knows if they will get rid of Michaels, who doesn’t even have Erstad’s glove – and Erstad is the guy who let one of Sampson’s runs score last week – didn’t even TRY to get the runner at the plate, who would have been a dead duck. Some “leadership.”

It took them, what, 6 WEEKS of Jason Smith not getting a single hit for them to send him down and bring up Maysonet, who, at least is actually getting a few HITS. And NO, that was HIS baserunning blunder in the 6th – Dave Clark held up the stop sign and so Maysonet stopped. It was Tejada who overran first and NO, Maysonet should NOT have tried to run home as Hernandez was there, ready and waiting.

I suppose I had better talk about Roy, hunh? His ERA is 4.68 at the end of May. He has 3 of 10 QS. He has given up 11 – that is ELEVEN homers over 59 IP. And yes, he SHOULD have been pulled at the end of the 6th because he had lost any semblance of command. It took him 30 pitches to get out of THAT inning. He had gotten a FO, a single and a swinging K, and then he just could NOT command that ball – walked Gonzalez on 4 straight pitches (and Pudge’s passed ball was ball 2), threw a pitch outside the strike zone that was fouled off then hit the batter, walked the next hitter on 4 straight balls, then FINALLY he threw a strike, and luckily got the hitter to GO with bases loaded on a 3-2, and THAT pitch wasn’t in the strike zone.

I don’t care if he was at 64 pitches, 74 pitches 94 pitches or 140 pitches. You can’t throw a strike, you need to come out.

Period.

I don’t know wassup with Roy – if he’s just getting old (it happens) and not every guy can make adjustments, or if it has anything to do with him throwing to Pudge instead of Brad Ausmus, or if it has anything to do with Dewey Robinson being the pitching coach (who Roy wasn’t exactly fond of last year.) Ken Rosenthal thinks that the Astros should trade Roy NOW (that is, IF he will even agree to be traded, seeing as how he has a complete no trade – unlike in fantasy ball where you can move anyone at any time) but I don’t know who would take him, expensive as he is, with him pitching as mediocrely as he is. OR what we would even get back. Yeah, I know, “young players” but as we ALL know, sometimes even the toppest of top prospects can’t hack it in the majors, and now WHO is it wants to see Russ Ortiz back in the rotation instead of Roy-O? And, again, I’ll remind all yall that the days of the Haren type trades are LONG gone (you wonder if the Cards regret that one – remember? Mark Mulder for Danny Haren and 2 other guys who haven’t been all that…)

Bud Norris? At AAA, he’s started 9 games over 53 IP (so here is yet ANOTHER guy who isn’t averaging at least 6 IP/GS) with 45 H (VERY good), 29 walks (bad because if his command isn’t good enough to fool AAA hitters, what is gonna happen when he has to face ML hitters? Remember Stephen Randolph???) and 54 K (good) for a 2.55 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.  Now it might could be that he pitches ala Clamens, and he uses what he has to get out the guys he can get out, and he’d rather walk one guy who won’t go fishing and get out the next guy – I wish I could get game logs for minor league games.

I will note that we do happen to have 3 relievers at AAA who are doing quite well -

1 – Chad Paronto: 19.2 IP over 16 games – 16 H (1 HR) 5 BB, 14 K – 1.07 WHIP, 2.55 ERA. He’s finished 14 games, so looks as if he’s being used somewhat as the closer, a job they wanted Sammy Gervacio to take over, but Sammy hasn’t been doing real too well…

2 – Brendan Donnelly (yeah, the ex-Angel who had been hurt/ineffective the past few years)  13 IP over 12 games: 11 H, 4 BB, 12 K – 1.15 WHIP, 2.08 ERA

3 – Casey Daigle (yes, the husband of that hot blond softball pitcher who never could get out ML hitters) 20.1 IP over 16 G: 20 H (1 HR) 8 BB, 15 K – 1.38 WHIP, 2.21 ERA

Unfortunately, they are all rightys and I’m not sure that Coop will agree to send down Wesley Wright, who isn’t pitching well – bad location, too many walks and homers, too many games in which he’s given up at least 1 run.

Geoff Blum’s hammy is still bothering him and now Kaz has some sort of hammy owie – gee, what a surprise. I hope to heck they don’t call that worthless Jason Smith back up – I’d rather see Matt Kata, hitting .250/.318/.361/.679 at Round Rock take Maysonet’s place as the bench guy who basically does nothing while Maysonet plays second. Tommy Manzella is doing fine – .290/.349/.409/.758 – yeah, I know, nothing extra-ordinary, but I’d still not want him to sit on the bench gathering splinters for 2 weeks.

5/25/09: In Which The Astros Give Up No Earned Runs And Still Lose

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Oh yeh, surrrrre it is SUCH a clevah title.

Because the Astros gave up 8 UNearned runs and deserved every bit if the loss. What a lousy LOUSY game. Sloppy fielding – Miggy made 2 errors, he and Keppinger didn’g get to 3 other ground balls, Quintero threw a ball away, allowing a run.

uck

And Wandy got clobbered – and some of it was his own darn fault. First inning, Willy T reaches because Miggy can’t handle a simple ground ball to short. Then a bunt that Keppinger can’t handle. Then a walk. Then a single to center. Foul out (thank goodness!!!) Then a FC with a run scored because they can’t turn a DP. Then 3 consecutive singles, 1 past a diving Keppinger, who by the way, at least hit (( 3 fer 3 with a walk vs righty pitchers!!! Imagine that!!! And he was only playing because Blum strained his leg yesterday.

Anyway, there we are, already losing 5-2. Bourn went 2 fer 4 with a walk and singled his way on in the first and Lance homered to drive him in.

Arias gave up 2 unearned runs, thanks to Quintero (and him not being able to slam the door after the error), Fulchino pitched 2 scoreless and Byrdak 1 scoreless.

Seems the bullpen is mostly having trouble in high leverage situations…

Hope Roy can work his usual Cincy magic tomorrow, stop this losing streak. At least Lance has had a decent May and he usually KILLZ the baseball at the GAB.

sigh

Looks to me as if the guys have all but given up in disgust. I really REALLY hope I’m wrong. Interesting that the media are openly talking about the players’ unhappiness with Cooper instead of hinting about it as they did last year after the Chacon incident. Thing is that no one in this clubhouse holds the sway with Unca Draytie that Baggy/Bidge did, and they won’t be able to run off Cooper as easily as the B-boys did Terry Collins and Larry Dierker – not because Draytie-poo just gave Coop another year, but because Bud is the one who wanted Cooper made manager and we all know how much Drayton LUUUVVVVVS to kiss Bud’s butt.

I’m about at the point where I hardly want to even bother to talk about the actual game – I mean, besides saying that Pence and Bourn and Tejada and Lee are hitting well, Tejada is fielding like it’s 2007, Kaz looks as bad as he did back with the Mets, Quintero is teh sukc, the pitchers are REALLY terrible and Pence and Bourn are brights spots with the glove, what’s left?

Richard Justice has been averring that Cooper can’t be that bad because the team won 86 games last year and outperformed the run differential. I say they won in SPITE of Cooper, not because of him. But I think I’m going to review his wins and losses after the ASB, see if his managing made a difference in terms of WINS.

But no amount of talk by anyone is gonna persuade me that Coop has the faintest idea of how to handle pitchers, let alone a bullpen.

5/23/09: Dodgers Break New Ground Allowing Bloggers FULL Media Access

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Times change, the Dodgers brass believe. And seeing as how the young generation (under 40) are not reading the rapidly failing newspapers, many of whom employ REALLY lousy writers (and no matter how many of yall grouse about Ortiz, Justice, McTaggart, Footer, various other Chron writers whose knowledge of baseball is minimal, they are incredibly better than about any other paper’s sportswriters, excepting the Kansas City Star) they have smartly decided that allowing the bloggers, who the young generation WILL read, access to the usual sources of info is the smart way to go.

What this means is that bloggers are allowed in the press box, where they have to appear to be disinterested (or is it UN-interested) and invited to interview various people connected to the club.

How do I feel about this?

Good thing is that the pressbox has the very best seats in the house. Bad thing is that it would be like working. I mean, it’s great to sit with other fans, cheer, boo, CARE about what happens on the field, and not be unable to express your, uh, feelings. Truth is that I’m a fan first and a writer second. Writing about the Astros isn’t my job, it’s my hobby. I really wouldn’t want it any other way.

As for the “access” – well, I sure nuff would LUUUUVVVV to be allowed to see inside the clubhouse. But without nekkid guys all over the place because if there is anything funnier than a bunch of nekkid guys, I don’t know what it is and I wouldn’t want to giggle. And truth be told, I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be anywheres near 25 UNWASHED nekkid adult males, you feelin me here…

But as for interviewing the players, the questions I really want answers to, they wouldn’t answer. And if they did, I probably wouldn’t print them because they could get in trouble for answering them. I really am not interested in embarrassing or humiliating the ballplayers, even the ones I don’t like. I would certainly learn a whole lot about how the clubhouse was functioning just seeing how the players interacted with each other. You live with a lot of males, you learn to read them, ESPECIALLY when they don’t want to talk. But then again, I would keep pretty much that stuff to myself.

And as for “interviewing” anyone from the Organization, cmon, they want to keep their jobs and one thing that professional interviewees are good at is saying a lot of words and telling you exactly ZERO. Who, for example, is gonna explain why they will never give minor league player X a chance? I’d get the same blah pablum un-answers that the paid journalists do, and I can listen to their stuff on KTRH/690 or read it in the paper. So really, I don’t think I’m exactly missing out on anything by not attending these canned “interviews.”

But I do think that the Dodgers are very VERY smart to reverse the ballclubs’ decade long position of hostility toward bloggers/unpaid unofficial “media.” The Buzz Bissingers of the world may wish to go back to a time where only a very few people were permitted to air their views about ballplayers, the games, its strategies – but things change. I do remember reading that Calvin Griffiths moved how Washington franchise to Minnesota so he could have nice shiny clean White people in the stands instead of icky ol Blacks. Times change. Buzz might not like the internet, the proliferation of people like me expressing my thoughts and feelings about my team and the game of baseball to an audience his ilk used to claim exclusive rights to, but the truth is that newspapers and paid reporters are quickly dying off and the teams SHOULD be wanting rabid fans to be writing about them.

Publicity is important.

By allowing “access” they also hope to some degree, control the attitudes of those who are permitted to interview players and Organization personnel. Truth is that even bloggers are much less likely to write GM X suxxxxx!!!! if they just finished interviewing him, as they will want to get more interviews, and shooting someone down rudely is no way to guarantee more interviews. It’s the flowers principle. You know – if a guy wants a woman, um, in a good mood, it’s far more sensible to give her flowers than it is to tell her that her ass looks fat in that outfit…

As for the no reporting on the Silver Blah Series Part I – really, what is there to say except that the starters sucked, the relievers sucked, the hitters sucked and the manager mismanaged - removing Carlos Lee in a tie game in the 8th for a pinch runner who is a FAR inferior hitter and barely runs faster????  Besides, Interleague play is an idea whose time has come and should be gone, like the DH.

5/22/09: Roy Oswalt’s Hard Won Win Wrenched aWay By Incompetent Ump And Pen

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Gee, is there anything more to say? Besides noting that Keppinger has the range of a cast-iron stove?

hahahaha

Well, yes, guess there IS more to say.

First, Lance Berkman definitely WAS safe at home. I’ve checked the replays and there is absolutely NO question. The ump missed it – it’s Lance’s patented slide and touch home with your hand. I’ve noticed over the years that the few times that Lance argues with umps, he is always right and they DID miss the call. I guess the umps have decided to go ahead and eject anyone who argues with them – Lance isn’t exactly violent and I seriously doubt he called an ump The Magic Word. On the other hand, he might could have offered to donate his Mama’s glasses to help the poor guy out a lil, seeing as how he had a lil bit of trouble…

But fact is that again, too many guys were left on base. Keppinger, all rusty from days and days of having his butt glued to the pine, struck out twice (and this is the guy who was touted as A Guy Who Puts The Ball In Play!!!)

And speaking of putting balls in play, I see that SOMEone decided to get rid of the terminally useless Jason Smith and call up Maysonet. All I can say is that boy best come up and hit .400 and drive in a whole lot of runs right away or he is gonna be declared A Failure on the basis of maybe 20 PA, IF he is lucky enough to get that many.

And speaking of failure.

I suppose I should say something about the bullpen. Again.

I actually don’t fault Ed Romero for pulling Roy after getting a K, then giving up a walk and a single in the 7th. Roy struggled basically all night, giving up ELEVEN hits and constantly battling his way with MOB, except for the 4th, in which he struck out the side. I know he was throwing in the mid 90s, but the movement was gone. Major Leaguers, even Jason Freaking Smith, can hit straight FB.

However, I actually DO fault him for not having any semblance of a plan, other than to use the entire freaking pen up, having each reliever face 1 guy. Unless Felipe Paulino pitches 8 innings, we’re in trouble again. It’s pretty silly to do the LOOGY/ROOGY thing, with very few exceptions.

And we have the heavily media hyped stupid Interleague thingy this weekend. At least we don’t have to watch the evil travesty that is the DH – which has ruined baseball FAR more than steroids.

I figure it’s Paulino’s last chance to prove himself, as Backe si doing quite well on his rehab in the minors, and at least he has a history of getting Major Leaguers out. Most of the time…

5/21/09: Wandy Gets First Hit/RBI Of Year To Beat Yovani Gallardo

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

OK

I know. Wandy didn’t have the game winning hit, just an insurance run. He was great. 5 hits, 1 walk, 5 Ks (including striking out the side in the 5th on 5 swinging Ks!!!)

He did give up his first homer of the year to Mike Cameron – just barely fair of the LF foul pole, but 1 ER/7 IP is still awesome. I PARTICULARLY liked the way that he hung in there in the 7th – he was tired, going to 3-2 on Casey McGehee (ex-Cub) before giving up a single, then walking Kendall on 5 pitches. He managed to get Rivera out – he threw a change midthigh, mid-plate and Rivera was juuuuuust a touch late and the ball only went to the RF track. He then got 2 more flyouts to strand the runners.

Ace stuff – and, mind, this is a GOOD team, not the Rox or the Pads who simply SUCK these days.

Makes me think that teams just give up on too many pitchers too quickly. Most fans wanted him OFF the team after he struggled in his sophomore year, 2006, but for some reason, they stuck with him. One of the VERY few smart moves they have made with their home grown pitchers over the past 6 years.

As for Cooper and the bullpen, well, for once, I agree with him having left Arias in to finish up the 9th, when the Astros were leading 6-1, as he had blown through the 4,5,6 hitters in the 8th, getting 2 Ks. Too bad Sampson wasn’t able to prevent all 3 of his runners from scoring before he got the last out (and his second save of the year.)

And speaking of Cooper, any manager can screw up the lineup – I like how the Crew carefully waited until Bourn led off with a single before telling the ump that Matsui was supposed to be batting leadoff. I guess it is Matsui who gets “credited” with the out. Or is it debited. But Bourn walked anyway, then scored on Lance’s double to deep right center, which SHOULD have been a triple if he hadn’t fallen rounding second.

But it was NOT OK for Coop not to have explained to Bourn why he was called back to the dugout after the Crew pointed out Coop’s mistake. It is NOT cool for Coop to just sit there, not say a thing to Bourn or Matsui who were both OBVIOUSLY very upset and about to get into screaming with the umps, and just leave it to a player to explain. He owes Bourn and Matsui TWO apologies each, that is fer SHER. When you hear about the players’ unhappiness with Coop, you know what is going on. Especially with all his lame crap about how someone else should have caught HIS screwup.

sigh

On the good side, Lance hit an RBI double and Miggy drove in 2 and Pence hit an RBI triple that even Cameron couldn’t get to. I have to smirk when I say that I would bet that Bourn would have had it.

Let’s hope that tonight, Roy starts looking more ace-like. It’s getting to be about that time.

5/20/09: Jeff Fulchino Pitches Three 1,2,3 Innings

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I  think the guy deserves how own blog entry, don’t yall? Getting 9 outs on 34 pitches is excellent.

Of course, like the old song goes – but it’s a lil too late to do the right thing now….

Hampton pitched 4 innings before his lil finger owie, but he gave up 3 walks and a hit to left, which, given the fact that Clank is there, meant a double and a run scored, and then smash to center, which meant another run.

And because the Astros left bases loaded twice and men on first and second and 0 or 1 outs twice, there wasn’t real too much chance of victory.

And also because Astros pinch hitters are, to be nice about it, teh sukc. Coop with his lefty righty obsession, which is even worse than Phil, refuses to use Keppinger against ANY righty, even though he is outhitting Erstad and Smith combined.

sigh

I mean, I’ve only said this stuff a zillion times and I sure wish I could have something different to write.

Today, it’s the battle of the aces – Wandy (yall ever think you’d hear Wandy being called an ace???) vs Yovani Gallardo, who has absolutely shut DOWN the Astros in all 3 starts, and threw a 5 hit, 1 run CG against us in April.

Unless there are unearned runs given up by the Crew, Wandy is gonna get tagged with a loss or ND. And since Gallardo is a righty – you won’t see Keppinger.

Actually, Coop should use Hampton or Ortiz as pinch hitters. Unlike the limp noodle “bats” he is now using to no effect, those 2 guys can actually, you know, like, HIT.

And Wandy best be careful with Corey Hart, who is 10/23 with 2 doubles, a homer and 4 walks. Hope the curve is working and the changeup changin, is all I have to say. Well, that and at least there is no Angel Hernandez behind the plate.