Sorry if this isn’t gonna be as complete as usual. I am a tired grrrrl. Yes, it was a nice Mother’s Day. I “got” to sleep in (ahem) while pretending not hear whispering/giggling/arguing. And sure enough, in come the kids with what is left of the fresh squeezed juice Husband made (my favorite – blends orange/tangelo/lime/grapefruit) to the with my “present” which is, of course, Astros tickets to the RF bleachers (first time we have sat there) and a Brad Ausmus Astros t-shirt.
And Husband has also given me a present, an “autographed” picture of Bradley Awesomeness wearing just a surfboard, saying “dearest Lisa, to the hottest, smartest, bestest grrrrl EVAH from your BIGgest fan.”
Husband thinks he’s funny. But I love him anyway, especially seeing as how he’s missing the Rocket’s game.
So after I fix a huge GIANT breakfast, stuffing each kid so full he/she can’t fit even ONE more mouthful (which will keep them from trying not to whine for stuff for like 15 minutes after we get to the Park) we head downtown. Even at noon, there is plenty of street parking (free) and there isn’t a huge crowd, so the wait in line for pics isn’t too bad and there is almost nobody in the designated drivers’ free soda line (the absolute BEST giveaway evah as we get tickets for 5 bucks and sodas are $4.50 – and yes, the scalpers are scalping tickets for 5 bucks these days. The RF bleacher seats aren’t that cheap, but Brother has a few friends…)
We wander around the stadium, see what’s new – kids are NOT gonna sit still for an hour – while brother watches them in the Squeeze Play for a bit. Lots of females, and, in fact, I think that today, there are more females than males at the game. More than a few groups of females, multigenerational. More than a few mothers with their daughters in their Little League unis. SO kewl. Still a LOT of Brad Ausmus jerseys – all worn by females. Imagine that. A few years back I remember that we sat with a grandmother/mother/daughter who had been coming to games since the old Buffs Stadium days, and were Cards fans before that.
The stadium is maybe half full and the roof has been shut long enough for it to be nice and cool – no complaints from Husband or Brother (then again, we are not sitting up by the roof.) and we watch like 10 Astros throw out the “first pitch” to their mothers. A 10 year old girl sings the Anthem a few keys too high for her, but does an otherwise nice job.
No Lance, whose wrist is hurting (I am hoping that it is the truth and it explains why he looked so awful at the plate) and no Blum. Keppinger is starting vs a righty (shock!!!)
This Mother’s Day, almost all the guys are using pink bats – only Carlos and Roy have decided not to. So different from the first year, in which only Ausmus, Berkman and Biggio went pink (that I remember – wish I had written down the names of the guys who did. I do remember Bradley Awesomeness going like 4 fer 5 with that pink bat. Same with Berkman…) On the Padres, Gerut and Hundley are the only ones not using pink bats. Hopefully next year, there won’t be ANY holdouts. Hate to think that those guys are anti-mothers/pro breast cancer… (yes, sarcam)
1st inning – Roy throws a first pitch strike!!! and gets 1,2,3 on 14 pitches. The Padres pitcher, Josh Geer, a righty, is tall and very skinny, looks like a stork, poor boy, and throws a 85-87 MPH fastball (wow and I thought only leftys and Greg Maddux could get away with that.) But he doesn’t spot it well and Kaz leads off with a single to left. Bourn and Pence groundout, then Carlos singles Kaz home. Miggy then hits a long homer off a hanging slider off the LF facade to the right of the CBoxes (you see, Pujols is not the only one who can hit hanging sliders.) Geer gives up another single, then a walk, but gets lucky when Keppinger grounds out to end the inning.
2nd inning – Cotton Candy guy comes around with Pink In The Park “special” bags and he says something like – you kids wanna buy some for your mommy and I say – VERY fast – no thanks, I have diabetes – even louder than they are trying to ask for some. I glare at them as Little Boy asks – you got diabetes? while the man is turning around, so I miss Headley fouling off a bunch of pitches before singling to center. Hairston is kind enough to GIDP, then Kouzmanoff GO. Roy is doing OK – don’t see any curves – 93-94 MOH FB, a few sliders, a few pitches called changeups (which look more like non-sliding sliders to me, but hey, the view from back here is very different from what I’m used to.)
And then Roy is up. Burkie-poo is playing short today. And he’s nervous, I think, in front of his old team and when Roy hits a nice easy grounder right to him, he airmails it into the stands and the ump sends Roy to second. Kaz FO and Bourn barely misses beating out a grounder, then Pence walks, and then Carlos walks. NOT intentionally. Roy hasn’t had to run, just walk and now he’s standing on third. Miggy hits a single to left and Roy trots home with Pence like 2 steps (barely) behind him. With 2 out, Gritmeister grounds out.
3rd inning – Roy walks Hundley on 4 straight pitches, goes to a 3-2 on Burkie-poo, who flies out to Bourn, gets the pitcher (who is not bunting, for some reason) to pop out and Gerut to flyout. Geer gives up a single to Pudge, gets Keppinger to GIDP and then Gerut, who is not happy to realize that a 420′ fly ball to dead center is just another ho hum fly ball out in this here park.
4th inning – Roy gets 2 quick strikes on The Pest, then plunks him (on the arm? in the side?) and he looks to be in some pain – Roy comes down off the mound to check on The Pest, who is with the trainer for 5 minutes, but then trots down to first. I guess it shook Roy up a bit – it CERTAINLY wasn’t intentional, and he gives up a long FB to Adrian Gonzalez, then a homer to Headley (to the RF bullpen, no cheapo) and a double to Hairston to left. I hear some young guy complaining to his mother – why doesn’t he ever TRY to run. I had to laugh – these days, I don’t think he CAN run any faster until he loses some of that lard. Somehow, Roy settles himself and then gets 2 straight Ks.
I notice that he has thrown only 2 curveballs so far. Maybe his finger hurts too much.
Anyway, Geer comes back, immediately hits Kaz on the foot (DEFINITELY not intentional) then Bourn singles. Geer is pulled and Perdomo, one of many pitchers on the Padres roster I never heard of, is in to relieve. He gets a fer sure GIDP ball from Pence, but Burkie-poo tries a backhand glove and the ball escapes into center and 2 runs score. Poor ol Burkie-poo. Carlos then hits a double to the LF corner and Pence scores. Miggy singles to right and Carlos decides to chug home and does the Jeremy Giambi and is tagged out while he tries to cross standing up – would have easily avoided the tag if he had gone inside and slid. Good thing it didn’t end up mattering. Gritmeister lines out, then Pudge hits a ball 410′ on to the Hill, where Hairston is not used to going – and, by the way, any good CF would have gotten there, as I’ve seen Edmonds, Beltran and Cameron make that catch. But it falls for a triple, Miggy scores and it is Astros 9 – Padres 2. Keppinger grounds out.
5th – Roy gets 1,2,3 easily. Perdomo is back, gives up a single to Roy, a FC to Kaz, a groundout to Bourn, a walk to Pence and a LONG flyout to Carlos.
Which reminds me – I saw something new this game: Hunter Pence did not swing at ANY of the first pitches at ANY AB. I have not ever seen a game in which he did that. He also went to THREE 3-2 counts and I have never seen him do that either. He no longer swings at sliders outside in the dirt and he can’t routinely be gotten out that way. Even on 0-2 with runners on.
6th – Brother takes the boys to the bathroom and they come back with popcorn. For me, they explain. By the way, can they have some? Brother is oblivious to evil glare from Baby Sister and Husband says – pass some over here, willya? Roy gives up a single, then a homer just over the 404′ sign to Adrian Gonzalez and then Ks Headley on 3 pitches, all swinging. First time all night. Hairston has a long flyout to center. Giles has a pinch hit single (he has always hit the heck out of Roy), Hundley walks, then with Burkie-poo up, Pudge has a passed ball, but then with a 3-2 count, he pops up and Miggy gets it almost to the stands.
Roy managed to hang in there for 6 innings – 6 hits (2 HR) 2 walks and 4 K over 103 pitches. The FB was OK, the slider wasn’t bad, the change seldom worked and the curve wasn’t used. He’s lucky he was facing a team with even worse pitching than ours, or he’d have gotten tagged with another loss.
What else? The game dragged. Roy, unlike his usual self, did not work quickly and by the middle of the 6th, 2 hours had passed and the kids were starting to get restless, not that I blame them. So Husband and Brother ”volunteered” to take them home (and watch the rest of the Rockets’ game – even though they weren’t dumb enough to say so but I can read male minds) and bribed them with the promise of food. Which worked. So Lil Miss and I stuck it out for the next hour.
Byrdak came on to pitch the 7th and gave up an upper deck homer to Gerut (who, by the way, is HOT), a 4 pitch walk to Luis Rodriguez, then a fer SHER GIDP ball to Adrian Gonzalez, but Kaz screwed it up and both runners were safe. Poor Byrdak. So Coop went straight to Alberto Arias, who got Headly to line into a 1-3 DP.
Arias is looking mighty good as a reliever, he surely is. A HECK of a lot bettern anyone not named Hawkins or Sampson and Coop might could remember that. But of course, Coop forgot to double switch and so Arias was out. Sampson pitched 2 innings, giving up 2 hits and a walk and getting 2 GIDP.
The Astros, by the way, have turned more DP than any other team in the majors.
Pudge reached base every PA – a walk, 2 singles, a triple and a homer.
Every single man in the starting lineup had at least 1 hit.
Carlos and Miggy knocked in 4 runs each. Kaz and Bourn each stole a base and scored later in the inning. Pence went to THREE 3-2 counts and walked twice. In the same GAME. He actually has 16 walks in 6 weeks – unbelieveable.
Astros are off today and face the Rockies tomorrow.
Paulino has been put back in the rotation and Russ Ortiz has been made the mopup guy. And 0-21 Jason Smith has been re-signed after being DFAd. No one other team was dumb enough to sign him. We just can’t go around having someone on the team who can actually hit the ball or field worth a darn, like Maysonet.
I would guess that if Paulino can’t cut it in the rotation that Backe will be backe and most likely, Ortiz will be gone. But when it comes to Coop, youneverknow.