Archive for August, 2009

8/30/09: Astros Give Wandy No Run Support And He Loses Again

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Wandy didn’t get ANY help from the ump, who gave Haren outside pitches he didn’t give Wandy, and at one point in the 5th, Wandy got upset for the first time this year and started complaining when “balls” 2 and 3, right in the middle of the strike zone, weren’t called. He got 6 swinging Ks (one looking) and gave up 2 walks. He gave up a homer to Justin Upton in the 6th on a letter high FB, then struck out Reynolds and Young and got Ryal to FO.

He just lost it after the top iof the 7th – Lance singled and moved to second on a Lee groundout. I wasn’t very happy to see Carlos not bother to bust it down to first because he assumed it would be a GIDP, as usual, but then tried to speed up when Haren missed the ball and Reynolds had to come in and get it. Pence hit what should have been an RBI single, but Clark, that idiot (he’s as bad as Mansolino, didn’t think that was possible – I miss Ed Romero, can hardly believe I’m saying that) threw up the stop sign for Lance, who would have EASILY scored standing up. Pence goes to second on the throw home.

Haren walks Kaz and it’s bases loaded, 2 out. Blum pinch hits for Maysonet (the lefty righty thing) and he would have if Maysonet had had 2 hits, and The Proven Veteran pops out, then Grit, pinch hitting for Quintero, flies out. Too bad they weren’t in the opposite order because that would have been a sac-fly.

Anyway, Wandy was obviously angry and discombobulated when he came back out, gave up 2 doubles (and a run) on 2 hanging curves, then a single to the pitcher.

So then it’s men on first and third, no out. Coop, naturally, can’t just bring in Hawkins because he’s only allowed to pitch the 8th, so he does his usual thingy of 1 pitcher, 1 hitter, and 1 of Wandy’s runs ends up scoring. So it’s a “lousy” outing for Wandy. By the way, I have to go out and run an errand in the 5th and 6th and the Dbax radio guys (you know I absolutely REFUSE to listen to our 2 clounzzz) and they were both calling Wandy one of the best and most underrated lefty in the majors. Seems that the OTHER teams have figured this out. Too bad our own fans can’t.

He got like ZERO help from his teammates, as usual, who just will NOT even TRY to work counts, foul pitches. All he got was the first inning run from Bourn, who walked scored, went to third and came home on a groundout. At least he didn’t get shut out. The first hit was a single by Keppinger in the 4th then nothing until a single up the middle by Bourn in the 6th. At the end of the 6th, Haren had thrown 68 freaking pitches. That is IT. And that, my friends, is the 09 Astros. Not to mention Pence swinging at a slider outside in the dirt to leave the tying run on base in the 8th. And yes I most certainly DO blame the manager for that crap – he’s the one who complains if any of the guys take pitches, saying they aren’t “aggressive” enough. Danny Haren and Jon Garland sure do luuuuvvv those 4-7 pitch innings.

So we get swept by the 3rd worst team in the NL. Great.

Qualls, by the way, wasn’t hit by the ball on the last out of the 9th – the ball hit his glove and as he twisted to get it, the ball caromed off his glove right to the SS, who threw out Michaels. Qualls appeared to have twisted his knee or ankle as he fell. Qualls, by the way, will be their closer for the next year, too. Not sure that the Astros got the best of the Valverde = Qualls + Gutierrez trade.

And in new shocking news, Hampton is too injured to pitch any more this year and is going to get shoulder surgery and get BOTH knees repaired – he thinks he’ll be ready and fit to pitch next year. And speaking of fit to pitch, the Astros are thinking that it just might could be that Bud Norris is tired from all the extra innings he has pitched this year – YA THINK????? and have decided he should skip his next start.

And I would again like to remind everyone that most every single pitcher is NOT Roy Oswalt and he struggles in the year he comes up and/or the year afterwards, as the hitters adjust to him. So yeah I know that Norris is struggling and tired, but I do NOT want him dropped into the same garbage disposal as every single other young pitcher since Wandy came up.

And now we’re off to get smacked around at Wrigley. Lance can’t hit for spit there, Clank was ofer Arizona – oh, wait – I forgot – he DID get a single in the 8th with 2 out which SHOULD have been a double if he had bothered to run hard out of the box – he probably thought it was out.

where was I?

Oh yeah. Miggy has run out of gas and is barely rolling and I could go on and on and on, but why bother? I’d be looking forward to Tuesday when the rosters expand, but we all know that Cooper isn’t gonna play any young guys unless he is ordered to.

You notice that this here Arizona team is basically composed almost entirely of guys who have been called up in the past 3 years and they are coming together. And yes I know we can’t trade Carlos or Berkman and if we trade Roy we’ll have the worst pitching staff in the majors – even accounting for the fact that Drayton will tell Fast Eddie to sign a bunch more Hampton/Ortiz type rejects.

Now I would go for that if we could get Dave Duncan away from the Cards – I am reading that he’s angry because the Cards fans have all bagged on his son, who seriously injured his back and was ineffective thereafter and is now probably OOB. Dave gets incredible results from pitchers you’d swear were washed up – as we ALL know only too well. And apparently, the Cards GM has disengaged Duncan from the development on minor league pitchers, not sure why. Yeah, we’d have to PAY him, but he’s cheaper than your usual crappy middle reliever that Fast Eddie loves.

Astros Play Dead In The Desert And Norris Loses To Garland Again

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Let me be kind – the only Astros who didn’t look close to dead out there today were Norris, Paulino and Bourn. Honorable mention to Coste who at least tried to work the count, which is more than I can say for the rest of the losers.

The guys have more than obviously mailed it in and are waiting to get this season over with so they can go home. It’s not as if the DBax are a good team, or Scherzer/Garland are good pitchers. They aren’t.

I am getting VERY tired of all the stupid IBBs. They fail a LOT more often than they succeed.

Norris did fine in the first, giving up only an IF single to short – let’s say Miggy looks dog tired – the throw didn’t have real too much on it. So much for giving the guys days off to rest. And he ended the inning by picking Upton off. That was kewl – by FAR the highlight of the game.

 In the second, he walked Montero on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt, then promptly hit Young. Parra GO, then, of course, the stupid IBB. Norris then threw a WP on the IBB, allowing a run to score, then got the 3rd out.

In the 4th, he suddenly lost control, walked the first guy, then gave up a triple off the RF wall, then an RBI single, then an upper deck homer – and there we are, down 5-0. Somehow, Norris got himself together, struck out the next 2 guys, walked the next hitter, then got a popout. 8 batters, 35 pitches.

So we have the heart of the lineup up – Lance, Lee, Tejada. Their pitcher just worked 20 minutes, gave up 4 runs, threw 35 pitches – and, mind, this is his first year in the bigs and he’s thrown 60 more innings than he did last year. You’d think they’d try to work the opposing pitcher a bit, try to foul off a few pitches, step out, take their time.

nope

4 pitches, 3 outs, 2 minutes.

No, I’m NOT kidding. Roy needs to do some serious ass kicking.

Norris came back, gritted his teeth and got 3 outs on 9 pitches.

Then Pence singled, Kaz popped out and Coste GIDP. You have to excuse him for picking up the slack as the other guys never came to the plate with men on first and less than 2 outs. In fact, Carlos didn’t get on base at all. Again. And he had a weak flyout his only opportunity to drive in runs – he couldn’t have GIDP because there were already 2 outs

BAH

Norris gave up a homer to Upton on a very inside FB lower thigh, so I can hardly fault him for that. Then he got 2 popouts and a flyout that Bourn made a great diving catch on. He made another incredible catch in the 8th, too, but we’re getting used to that. Like I said, Michael hasn’t packed it in yet.

Paulino came in for the 6th and got 1,2,3 out.

In the 7th, Drew hit an IF single off his leg, then Roberts hit a clean single, Upton Kd, then Keppinger completely botched an easy tailor made 5-4-3 and no one was out. So with bases loaded, of course Coop pulls Paulino. Why? To put in a lefty to face a lefty, duh. JEEZUSZ GAWD I am tired of this crap. So naturally, the hitter swings and hits a neck high FB to opposite field and Carlos lopes after the ball and all 3 runs score and are charged to Paulino.

Crap like this is why I keep telling people that Coop is teh sukc. Paulino was pitching FINE and there was absolutely NO reason to pull the guy. NONE. The game wasn’t even on the line any more.

And Wandy is pitching tomorrow and we are facing Danny Haren, who, unlike Garland and Scherzer, is actually a good pitcher. I’m sure Wandy will be thrilled with yet another 1-0 loss or ND.

Husband keeps asking me why I bother to watch when the players can’t be bothered to play. I’m running out of answers. I’m just hoping that we will bring up a LOT of young guys and sit all these old crappy veterans and let the youngsters (well, youngERsI) play. And I don’t care if they lose most of the games left – I would like to see some guys who are trying to win, playing hard and not just rebelling against the crappy coaches and manager.

By the way, I got emailed this quote posted by someone on another blog (don’t know which one, sorry):

“I live in AZ and attended the game last night (will be there the next two as well). My clubhouse seats allow me to see into the Astros dugout. Here are some quick observations from the game:

When Berkman was thrown out at 3rd everyone was laughing when he went into the dugout.. including Romero.
Coop and the bench players were visibly pissed when Bazardo cut off the throw from Pence that allowed the D’Backs to make it 3-2. Cruz led a “team discussion” at the end of the bench with Q and Bazardo in an antimated way.
Coop just kept lowering his head and shaking it in disgust during the 7 run 3rd. Robinson looked lost not sure what to do.
When Coop pulled Bazardo not a single player talked to him on the bench for several innings. Roy and Hampy were on the rail right in front of him and never acknowledged him at all. Ironically neither did any of the coaches. Cruz and Norris finally sat near him and were talking to him.
Bench erupted (those left there) when Carlos tracked down the long run in left field. (actually one of the better catches I have seen Lee make)

I kept looking in and I have to tell you this team looks lost, lifeless and lacking leadership. When I think that DM is letting this mulitmillion dollar business be run by Coop, Romero, Clark, Cruz and Robinson it is frightening. We need a leadership overhaul quickly.”

Um, yeah.

 I also hear tell that the stuff that Justice and Ortiz are printing in the Chron on the record is the very tip of the iceberg. Which, judging by the players body language and attitude, is, well, like, youknow, duh. Justice proposed in his blog today, that we appoint Bagwell as interim manager. Seeing as how he and Biggio always thought they were better/smarter than any of the guys they ran off, I’d love to see him try it. I somehow doubt that he has any more idea how to handle the pitchers than Coop does.

And about Coop and everyone else being all mad at Bazardo – I’ve watched the replay, including the one on MLB.com, from the Dbax camera. Romero runs as fast as Bourn and he would NOT have been a dead duck – he’s not exactly slow. Bazardo actually made a smart decision, getting the sure out. Of course it interfered with Pence and his collecting assists, so I can see Cooper getting his panties in a wad. As for the radio guys, their “judgement” stinks. To put it mildly. The ballgame sure as heck didn’t exactly “turn” on THAT play – unless you want to claim that getting screamed at unnecessarily freaked Bazardo out and he pitched even worse when he went back out, in spite of being given the lead back.

Being a mother, I can tell you that there is a RIGHT time and place to chew out your kids/underlings and destroying their spirit is just stupid and defeats the both of you. 

 

9/29/09: Bazardo And Wilton Lopez Throw BP At The BOB

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Husband and I went out last night and so I didn’t get a chance to even check the replay until early this morning.

Well, I shouldn’t even say that – I checked the box score and thought that the lousy pitching would most likely angry up the blood and figured I should REALLY sleep on it and get some strength back before bothering to look again.

It was a good decision. All I can say is – good thing the Astros are not in any sort of race for the postseason.

Max Scherzer was not very good, but it dsidn’t matter because the Astros were worse. Lance Berkman drove in 2 in the first with a double, but tried for 3rd and got thrown out. Carlos and Miggy did nothing – which was what they did all night, by the way. And they didn’t even GIDP, adding to the team’s total run for the record.

Then, spotted 2 runs, Bazardo came in to pitch and oh man, was he BAD. The ump spotted him strike 1, then he proceded to walk the leadoff man, then give up 2 straight singles to load the bases, then walk in another run. AND he really wasn’t getting squoze by the ump, neither – he just was not anywhere near the strike zone and the few times he DID, the balls were hit. Dewey ran out there, told Bazardo to throw freaking strikes, then he got a GIDP, giving up another run, then he finally got a groundout.

You could think – well, dude is just finding himself and his pitches out there, maybe he’ll sharpen up next inning. Astros didn’t give him anything in the top of the second – Pence got called out on a wicked outside FB on the black, Matsui went to 3-2 before flying out and Quintero Kd swinging at a FB around his shoulders. Good grief.

So Bazardo comes back, gives up a single, a FC, a sac-bunt, then an RBI single and the Dbax gift him with an out because the hitter tried to go to second on the throw – guess he figured that Pence would try to get the runner at home and not throw to the cutoff man.

So now the Astros are down 3-2.

Top of the 3rd, Bazardo is up. He manages to run the count to 3-2, using up 8 pitches (bitterly – maybe this is the dude who should team the Stros hitters how to foul off unhittable pitches instead of popping up on the first or second) and reaches when the SS boots the ball. Then Bourn hits into what would be a 6-4-3 for any other hitter, except he’s too fast and so it’s a FC (just ONCE, I would like to see some other hitter besides Bourn running full speed instead of gingerly trotting down to first, to allow the DP to be turned…) Then Keppinger homers and the Astros lead 4-2. Then Lance and Carlos get themselves out.

So NOW what can Bazardo do?

This is the painful part here. He walks the first batter – Strike 1 is called Ball 1, he doesn’t get a strike call on the outside corner where the ump has been calling them all night (I’ve mentioned before that this happens a LOT with Q catching) and Coop trots out. But it did no good because Bazardo immediately gave up 2 singles (Carlos doesn’t even try to come forward, then Miggy barely moves to get a grounder), 2 doubles (both smashed into the gaps) and 3 runs without getting a single out. Bazardo threw 44 pitches and got exactly 1 swing and miss. 3 walks, 8 hits, 7 runs, NO Ks and 1 GIDP. The pitches had very little movement, the ones in the strike zone, I mean, and you can NOT have that in the majors. Even really lousy hitting teams like the DBax will tee off on stuff like that.

So, with Arias just going on the DL and Fulchino/Byrdak/Gervacio unavailable because Coop had wasted him night after night, sending him in to get out just 1 batter, it was time for the new guy, who had been picked up off the waiver wire, a righty with a 4.93 ERA/1.30 WHIP at AA for San Diego. So he procedes to let Bazardo’s runner score on an RBI single, then he gives up a homer on a hanging slider and it’s DBax 10, Stros 4 in the bottom of the 3rd, no outs.

Lopez threw 3 more innings, giving up 4 more runs, and all I can say is that if he had been facing any sort of GOOD team, he woulda given up more. And the sad thing is that it looked as if he had better stuff than Bazardo – he got more swinging strikes. 4 IP, 8 H (3 HR), 2 BB and 3 swinging Ks.

sigh

But I gotta hand it to Lopez – he went in there and took it on the chin for 4 innings, all 6 runs worth, knowing he wouldn’t be long for the majors. Funny, even though taking one for the team is smething that is supposed to be admired, it still makes a mess of your numbers and it will get you in the end (see Brandon Backe and starts after August 2008.)

Tonight, it’s a replay of Bud Norris vs Jon Garland.

I hope Bud isn’t just over-tired from working so many more innings this year than he did last year. Which, by the way, is a good way to injure young pitchers (see Troy Patton, 2007 – thank you Coop.)  He threw 80 innings last year and 120 innings this year at AAA plus 27.2 in the majors. His last start, he only lasted 1 inning, gave up six runs because the pitches that DID find the plate had like no movement at all. Garland is far from a great pitcher, but you spot the Other Guys 6 runs in the first, THIS team ain’t coming back.

Oh well, I’m sure that Aaron Boone returning will completely turn things around because he has clearly been The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle.

8/28/09: Astros Manage To Not Lose To Chris Carpenter And Thereby Avoid Sweep

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Roy-0, he sure did stir it up with his caustic on the record remarks yesterday, saying that the team, uh, um, wasn’t, uh, playing with determination to WIN. Berkman held a players only meeting today and the guys, uh, talked it out a bit. Whatever it was, it sure nuff took it out of Berkman, because he didn’t reach base or drive in a run today. Matsui, Grit, Bourn each drove in 1 and Keppinger had the game winner, a solo homer juuuuuuust barely over the LF wall ( woulda been a double offn the scoreboard at home, but hey, the Crawford Boxes giveth and the Crawford Boxes taketh away…

Moehler pitched VERY well. The HP ump, for the second day in a row, did a very good job calling balls and strikes – the only 2 mistakes were on pitches made to Pujols – he called 3 low strikes over 2 AB as balls, but it didn’t cost the Astros. Not real too sure why Coop pulled him after only 75 pitches to have Maysonet bunt – hey, even Moehler can bunt, but that’s Coop fer ya. Moehler only gave up 1 hard hit ball and that was the double to Lugo on an inside FB at the knees. He IBBd Pujols, got a grounder, then gave up a single which scored both Lugo and Pujols. But he only threw 14 pitches and was very sharp.

I don’t see the point of pulling a pitcher to have someone else go up and do what a pitcher was gonna do anyway. Then he wastes 3 pitchers in the next inning – Gervacio, Byrdak and Fulchino, Byrdak and Fulchino pitching to just 1 hitter each.

I’m sorry, but that is just stupid. Byrdak is NOT a LOOGY, Fulchino is NOT a ROOGY and Gervacio can get leftys out. It’s like Cooper can’t believe that a team just might could actually NEED a pitcher in a few innings. Or even the next day, and we DON’T have a day off this time.

Valverde got a 2 out save. With the score tied, the reasoning behind NOT having Fulchino throw more than 3 pitches is, WHAT? If Holliday had managed to catch Keppinger’s homer, which he just missed, like WHO was gonna pitch the 10th?

Every time I hear people talking about how all the losing isn’t Coop’s fault, besides pointing to his walking Johsnons to pitch to Hanley Ramirez, using an obviously hurting, spent pitcher, I point to his doing stupid stsuff like burning through 3 pitchers in 1 inning when they are ALL sharp. And doing it 2 nights in a row.

good grief

Tomorrow, we go to the BOB and face the Dbax, who we just saw 10 days ago. It’s Yorman Bazardo vs Max Scherzer.

Oh yeah – both Hawkins and Valverde have been pulled back from waivers so no trades. Peachy. This way, Drayton can pretend this team is still in contention, which they are, for 3rd place in the Central. And we aren’t gonna call up any young players who aren’t on the 40 man, or even Bogusevic. Just great. Now we can all eagerly look forward to Aaron Boone, the Saviour Of The Team.

good grief

If Drayton wants fans to come to the ballpark, he’d best be giving us some sort of reason besides Aaron Freaking Boone and his lifetime ERA+ of 94. And it sure has amused me how many Astros fans are indignant that Roy-O had the NERVE to say what he did and he should be traded like Billy Wags. Who does he think he is, Biggio/Bagwell?????

8/27/09: Roy Oswalt Gives Up 3 In The First And Loses To The Cards

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Balls went all over the place in the first, and the Cards managed to plate 3 runs. Uncle, for once, wasn’t the main cause of the trouble, although he DID contribute. Roy pitched out of trouble all night, leaving bases loaded in the 4th and 5th, and leaving 2 on in the 6th by getting Uncle to pop out. Hehhehheh.

The Astros scored 2 runs on 4 singles in the 4th, then Miggy GIDP and Keppinger got out.

Best Astros play of the night? With Pujols on first and 1 out, Holliday hit a ball into center which Bourn lost in the lights. He screamed to Pence, who ran to catch it, then he doubled Uncle off first.

Absolutely stupidest play of the night? I mean besides Miggy’s and Kepp’s GIDPs? Coop coming and taking Gervacio out after he’d gotten 2 outs on 2 pitches to get Byrdak to pitch to whoever TLR would use to PH. THIS is what I mean by stupidly using up the bullpen. What, he doesn’t think Gervacio could get any lefty? It’s just TOO stupid and it’s why the bullpen is worn down completely with another month yet to go.

And yet I keep hearing people defending Coop by saying he was handed a bad team. And a bad team that has won “above its potential.” What a steaming load. He does stuff like tell Pence not to hit outside pitches to the opposite field because he’s there to drive in runs. He disses guys who take pitches and walk. He encourages “aggressiveness” – like Keppinger swinging at Ball 2 to groundout – hey, he didn’t STRIKE out, right?

sigh

And tomorrow afternoon, it’s gonna be Moehler vs Chris Carpenter, who made even good Astros teams look bad. I’m not holding my breath, just praying we don’t get no-hit.

8/26/09: Wandy Pitches An Outstanding Game But Gets Zero Run Support

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

And that bout says it all. He pitched 7 innings – would have easily thrown a CG if he hadn’t been removed for a PH in the 8th (Jason Useless Michaels who struck out on a ball in the dirt with the tying run on third) and gave up a clean single up the middle followed by a double just inside the 3B line which went to the corner.

Carlos Lee gently trotted over to get it, lobbed it in to Tejada, conceding the run (imagine if it was Crawford in left) and that was all Wainwright needed. And Carlos gave up Wandy’s other hit, barely bothering to move and letting a ball drop in front of him for a hit. I keep reminding myself at times like these at he is at least better than Useless Michaels, which isn’t saying much.

Anyway, Wandy was simply ace – he dealt easily with the ump’s inconsistant strike zone and he actually struck out one more than Wainwright, getting swinging Ks 4 times and staring Ks twice. The curve was working great and he spotted the FB well. He went to 3-2 counts only 3 times. And of course, he lost an away game, more proof that he can’t pitch outside of the Box – and he has pitched VERY well away, except for the horrors game at Miller Park and the unending UER game at the GAB. But old legends absolutely REFUSE to die.

Michael Bourn led off with a double into the gap in left, so at least I didn’t have to go the entire game wondering if we were gonna be no-hit. He also hit a single later on, and then Blum hit a “single” off Julio Lugo’s glove in the 8th. Berkman had a walk in the 9th and that was absolutely IT for Astros getting on base. Pence hit in the 2-hole, but it didn’t help a bit, as he continued to swing at pitches out of the zone.

Hawkins mopped up the 8th and was helped by a great play from Miggy. Hawkins, by the way, was placed on waivers, so it looks as if the Astros are going to try to see what they can get for him, unlike Valverde, who as pulled back, don’t ask me why, because I doubt they are going to offer him arbitration – what if he accepted? Drayton might could have to fork out some $$$ and we couldn’t have THAT.

Tomorrow, it’s Roy vs Joel Piniero, who has pitched very well overall – 24 GS over 162.2 IP – 162 H, 6 (???!!!!) HR, 18 BB (????!!!!!!!!!!) 79 K – 3.15 ERA/1.11 WHIP/.264 BAA

18 BB/162 IP is, like, approaching Maddux territory. He’ll probably not increase his number vs the Astros because the Astros hate to walk – we all know that walks clog up the basepaths and being aggressive and swinging at any ol pitch thrown up there and getting your self out is aggressive and aggressive is always good.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Anyway, he’s thrown 5 games vs the Astros over 33 IP – 32 H, 3 HR, 10 BB, 19 K – 2.97 ERA/1.26 WHIP/.264 BAA

We’d best hope that Ace Roy shows up tomorrow night and doesn’t get his macho all up and “challenge” Pujols and we’d better REALLY hope that the bats show up tomorrow night because it was simply pitiful. Yes I know this team isn’t going anywhere, but that was just, well, pitiful.

I really REALLY hope we call up as many young players as possible in September (and I really wish they’d just shut Sampson down for the rest of the year) and sit the Old Guys and let the kids play. Ed Wade can perfectly well tell Coop this is what he HAS to do, just like he told Coop last year that he HAD to play Bourn whether he liked it or not, which he didn’t.

And by young guys, I don’t mean Armando Benitez, who gave up 4 straight homers to freaking nobody AAA players. Brett Moron Dolan tried saying some nonsense about oh, well, that’s what Joe Nathan did when he was coming off rehab. No comparison, you idiot – Benitez is NOT hurt and he’s been pitching as a closer for an indy league team and he’s not trying to regain his pitches or lost velocity after not throwing a baseball for 2 weeks.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

You’d think that Fast Eddie would have learned his lesson about pitchers who have been washed up for 4 years (see Ortiz and Hampton…)

And last but not least, JR Towles has come off the DL in Round Rock – he had strained a hamstring. I know this Organization hates him, but it would make sense to showcase him for a trade, you know, try to get SOMEthing for him instead of just letting him rot and getting absolutely nothing at all.

Please Help Tom Tango Evaluate Astros’ Fielding Ability

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Hello Astros fans and lovers of great fielders.

The well known statisticial, Tom Tango, c-writer of “The Book”, has been conducting fans evaluations of fielders for 7 years now.

Please click here to fill out scouting reports.

Thank yuh verra much.

8/24/09: Bud Norris Doesn’t Last 2 Innings And Astros Lose To Arizona

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Let me start by saying that he had the bad luck to have both Angel Hernandez as the HP ump and Quintero catching. AND Bud didn’t keep the ball down and the few times he did, Hernandez wouldn’t call it a strike. Bud only gave up one hard hit ball, Roberts’ double to right in the first (and Jason Michaels is no Hunter Pence with the glove), but even piddly singles that get through holes combined with too many walks and Quintero not blocking balls in the dirt = 5 runs in the first inning.

I was DELIGHTED to see Paulino pitch 4 excellent innings, giving up only 1 run (charged to poor Norris) on 2 hits and NO walks with 3 Ks. That’s the best I’ve seen him pitch since his game vs Detroit. And no, Hernandez didn’t call knee high pitches strikes for him either – actually, the strike zone ended like 3″ above the knee, but he DID get letter high FB called strikes and Paulino is good at throwing the high FB. He had the slider working pretty well this outing, too.

And believe it or not, I DO agree with Coop pulling Norris when he did – the kid had absolutely NOTHING out there. And I DO agree with Coop pulling Paulino after 4 innings because even though it was only 55 pitches, he hadn’t been staying in games any longer than that (got knocked out) at AAA for the past month.

The Stros didn’t come back, and they did their usual stranding lots of runners on base thingy. They got homers from Q and Michaels, but unfortunately, they were solo jobs and Carlos made sure that the Astros got back on track in the GIDP race. Bourn was stranded both times he got on base – once at third with 1 out (and that is sorry). However, I’m not gonna be too mad at Paulino for striking out with 2 on and 2 out. Carlos for GIDP with men on first and second 1 out? You betcha.

ESPECIALLY because the twins have now taken up the cause and are gleefully shouting – He GONNA GIDP!!! when we have a man on first and less than 2 outs. Husband only THINKS he got that innocent – who meee? look down.

Maysonet actually got into a game!! He got to pinch hit – he singled, then came around to score. But we need to keep him on the bench as muich as possible because Kaz makes more money. Or something.

We got to see our old pitchers Gutierrez and Qualls. Qualls is their closer – he’s 2-1 with 23 saves and 4 BS – he didn’t win any of the games in which he blew a save, either. This is a significant improvement from last year, in which he was the setup guy – had 22 holds, 7 BS and 8 losses. He was made the closer in Sept, saved 7 games and blew 1 (and without giving up a hit or a walk…) He’ll be a 6th year guy next year, and he’s made a pretty good closer.

Ah well…

Tomorrow, we’re off to ol Saint Looie and it will be Wandy vs Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright lost his last start against the Astros, 2-0 vs Norris, but that is the ONLY time the Astros have beaten the guy – he’s got a 2.17 ERA/1.07 WHIP/.227 BAA over 62.1 IP against us. He’s pretty darn good at home too – over 322 IP, he has a 2.77 ERA/1.20 WHIP/.247 BAA.

Wandy has pitched VERY well vs the Cards over the past 3 years,with an ERA of 2.42, but has been stuck with a lot of hard luck losses due to no run support; let’s hope that he pitches well AND gets run support.

8/23/09: Moehler Gets His First W In 4 Weeks Vs Ace Scherzer

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Ace Scherzer is one of the 2 Boras clients who spurred the changing of the signing deadline for the draft. He’s a strikeout king, beloved of fantasy players who are into that stuff, and he struck out 7 Astros all right. He can throw a fastball anywhere between 90-99 MPH (and you KNOW that getting it over 95 just made the scouts go all faint) but he has only one secondary pitch that I saw him throw – a changeup.

Thing is, ML hitters ALL can hit a 99 MPH fastball IF they guess where it is going to go, and basically, this is why Scherzer gave up 4 runs. Let’s all say it together – it ain’t the speed, it’s the motion.

And Moehler had better control and more motion, so he would up only giving up 2 runs – would have only been one, but Matsui wasn’t able to turn a GIDP and made a bad throw to Berkman.  He lost control in the 6th, gave up a single, Kd 2 and walked 2 and so Coop decided to pull him with a lefty coming up, in spite of the fact that Moehler is actually good vs leftys.

THis is what I mean when I complain that Coop wastes the pen – and he also had Arias, who is obviously tired, warming up along with Byrdak, but then never used him. He had Byrdak pitch the 7th, and the first batter of the 8th, then pulled him and sent in righty Gervacio to face Reynolds, then pulled him and sent in righty Fulchino to face lefty Allen.

What the heck? He thought that NEITHER Byrdak NOR Fulchino could get Reynolds out? Getting guys up and down like that just wears them out and there are 6 more weeks…

There weren’t any GIDPs tonight. The guys are gonna have to try a little harder if they want to make a run at the record – 174/162 game season, set 3 years ago by the Oakland A’s. Right now, they are stuck at 117. The guys DID, however, turn a very nice 3-6-3 to end the first.

Tomorrow afternoon, The Last Game Before School Starts, features Bud Norris vs Jon Garland, RHP. Garland is a guy who a whole lot of Astros fans wanted Drayton to sign, don’t ask me why. Since he became a full time starter in 02, he’s had exactly one year (the WS year) that he excelled – the rest of the time, he’s been a #3 guy at best whose best characteristic is pitching 200 innings a year.

Anyway, this year, he’s 6-11 in 25 GS over 154 IP – 173H, 17 HR, 50 BB, 74 K – 4.42 ERA/1.44 WHIP/.286 BAA. And yes, he’s right in line with his career numbers, so what you see is what you got.

8/22/09: Roy Oswalt Beats The Diamondbacks 1-0 On A 4 Hitter

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Roy-O pitched to Chris Coste, who, in my opinion, is a MUCH better receiver than either Pudge or Q – very soft hands. He threws a TON of curveballs and that curve was most definitely working just FINE tonight – only one ball was well hit all night.

Lance Berkman set the club record for first baseman assists with (by my count) 9. And both Kepp and Miggy made really dumb errors, which caused Roy to have to throw 8 extra pitches.

Good thing that Roy (and Hawkins and Valverde) pitched as well as they did because the hitters made Yusmeiro Freaking Petit and his 6.5 ERA look like Chris Carpenter. There for a while, I was afraid we were gonna get no-hit. Bourn got on with an E5 to start the game, but then Miggy did – you guessed it – GIDP!!! This team has grounded into 119 freaking DPs this year, with 6 weeks left to go.

It’s gotten so bad that every time anyone not named Bourn comes up with a man on first and less than 2 outs, I fully expect a GIDP. In fact, in the 7th, with 1 out and men on first and third, the Dbax manager had the fielders play at DP depth and I thought – man this manager is an IDIOT – he should just IBB Bourn, who is batting like .400 with RISP, and has grounded into ONE DP all freaking YEAR (and that was VERY close) and pitch to Miggy, who is up to 23 GIDPs on the year. And Bourn acgtually DID work a walk and Miggy actually DID – all together now – GIDP!!!! to leave bases loaded for the second inning in a row.

Anyway, Lance broke up the nono in the 4th with an IF dribbler up the 3rd base line that he beat out. He’s got his BA back up to .280, has his OBP over .400 and OPS around .950, as usual. I haven’t heard much talk lately about how Berkman is all washed up.

Pence is actually looking MUCH better at the plate this past week, after 3 months of struggles. He drew a walk – a 3-2 walk and laid off a pitch that was too high and his usual nemesis pitch on a low and away slider. Although he’s still hitting far too many grounders to short, he’s begun to hit line drives and long fly balls again.

Interesting how people don’t notice slumps in the middle of a season…

And, by the way, it was Keppinger, who supposedly can’t hit RHP, who drove in the only run of the game with a double to left…

Tomorrow, it’s Brian Moehler vs Max Scherzer, RHP

Max is 7-7 in 23 GS over 128.1 IP – 130 H, 13 HR, 47 BB, 135 K – 4.00 ERA/1.33 WHIP/.252 BAA

We faced Max only once before, at the BOB, in which he threw 4.1 scoreless in relief, giving up no hits or walks and striking out 7 (it was the infamous game in which Micah Owings hit a PH homer offn Borkowski and Coop went, uh, hysterical…)

FUN FACT OF THE NIGHT:

Ex-stro Randy Wolf beat the C*bs by driving in both runs – the ONLY runs scored by the Dodgers. Pitchers hitting the winning runs ROOLZ!!!!!!!