Archive for April, 2010

Astros Manage To Hit 4 Singles, Walk Once, Score 2 Runs And Lose To Tommy Hansen

Friday, April 30th, 2010

JR Towles threw out 2 basestealers, Tommy Manzella made 2 errors and hit into a GIDP (that scored a run), Wandy missed the loss, I mean start because his back hurts, Berkman sat out because his knee hurts, Bourn wore the sombrero again and the Astros lost again. For the 4th game in a row. Really, there’s nothing else to say, except that I am sick of Cory Sullivan and at least Junior Cruz, who also couldn’t hit, at least had lots of walks.

sigh

We face Tim Hudson tomorrow afternoon, and I guess Moehler is getting the emergency start.

Astros are dead last in the NL in walks, and are 3rd from last in number of pitches seen/PA.

sigh

Tomorrow is the big birthday party for the twins, who turn 8. Yes, 8. Seems like yesterday they were just babies and I was taking them to the Box almost every game to watch our winning team. So anyhow, I may not have time to write up the games until Sunday, as Husband undoubtedly has Something Good planned for MY birthday – I turn the big 3-0 (AAAAAAKKKK) and he already knows bettern to say – well, dontchu worry bout it Baby – you look bettern some other grrrls your age….

“Tomahawk Talk” Interviews Me About Astros At Braves

Friday, April 30th, 2010

In which Braves Blogger Scott Humphries asks me a few questions about the Stros and I manage to be Very Polite and not say stuff like – gee was it only 5 years ago that our now gawdawful teams were facing each other in the playoffs?

And yes I know that the answer to the last question (on the Q & A) is wishful thinking.

Click here to read…

Reds Beat Roy Oswalt For The Second Time In 10 Years

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I guess that sounds better than – once again, Astros Display Massive Suckage.

Roy wasn’t at his best – he threw 7 innings, 120 pitches and gave up 8 hits – 1 homer, 1 triple, 1 double and 5 singles, 4 walks, 1 IBB and 6 K (2 to the pitcher) and his offense didn’t pick him up. Seems to me he had trouble finishing guys off after getting them to 0-2 because there were waaayyy too many pitches fouled off.

So what is there good to say?

Well, Tommy Manzella made three absolutely incredible plays and turned 3 DPs and turned what would have been a fer SHER single up the middle for Bronson Arroyo into an out.

Michael Bourn hit a single and an RBI double and Pence, after my bout giving up on that boy, hit a homer almost up to the trax above the Crawford Boxes and also hit a good clean single (NOT an IF hit or a roller that squeaked through) to left center.

I gots to give Clank props for the high socks – first time I ever remember seeing him wear them – but he keeps striking out and an incredible rate (for him) 16 K in 79 AB – and he swung at a pitch that was so far out of the strike zone that he almost fell over. Feliz just looked awful and Towles didn’t have one good AB. Manzella at least hit a double and scored a run.

And if the guys look THIS bad against Bronson Arroyo, imagine how they are gonna look tomorrow against Tommy Hanson and the Braves, who I know are on a losing streak of their own, but the Stros haven’t exactly thrived at Turner field…

Michael Bourn Wears The Golden Sombrero, Loses A 3 Run Ball, Pence Gets The E And Astros Lose

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Well, seems that even Michael Bourn can have a BAD game. Four strikeouts and the only time he hit the ball, it was 2 out, bottom of the 9th, tying runs on base, and the ball got caught. But worst of all, he lost a fly ball in the top of the 4th – bases loaded, 2 outs, and Pence ran to get it, missed and all 3 runs scored AND Pence got the E. I guess he shoulda been backing up Bourn better, but Bourn shoulda gotten to the ball. I don’t suppose I need to bring up him striking out with bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th, do I?

I know, bases shouldn’t have been loaded. Paulino had a really bad game, except for his last inning. First inning, he had ZERO command of the FB, and the only pitch he got over for a strike was his slider. Drew Stubbs led off with a single on the first strike he saw, then, with Brandon Phillips up, he watched him take a strike, then took off on the next ball, which was almost head high and Quintero had a bad throw (Kaz saved that ball from going into the OF) and Phillips walked on the next pitches and all I thought was (swear words) here we go again with a pitcher who has a problem throwing strikes. Stubbs eventually scored on a groundout, but it took Felipe 20 pitches to get through the first and he threw more balls than strikes.

It took him 20 pitches to get through the second, too, but at least he had a leeeetle better command – got Nix on a staring K (5 pitches) gave up a 5 pitch walk and got a 4 pitch K on the pitcher.

3rd inning, he got his 3 outs on 1 pitch each – trouble was that in between, he gave up a bloop single and a triple – and that was actually a very good pitch, a knee high inside slider.

So the Astros are down, 2-0. Mostly because they look like fools up there – the only guy to reach base was Kepp, who singled, then got erased on the Astros piece de resistance – the GIDP. Don’t guess I should mention that this was the first of Clank’s 2 GIDPs on the night, hunh?

This is painful. Thing is, by the 4th, Paulino was having such a tough time finding the plate that he didn’t get any borderline pitches called. He gave up an IF single to short (Kepp should not be playing short) then got a FO, then gave up a double to left, then Kd the pitcher, then gave up a 6 pitch walk to Stubbs to load the bases – and 2 of those balls would have been called strikes if he hadn’t had such bad command. And then the effup with the flyball to right center which let 3 runs score – and unearned runs STILL score real actual RUNS.

ugh

Then he gave up another walk, and a double, and mercifully struck out Bruce to end the, the, the, um, horror – yeah, that’s the word.

Number one son looked at me. He sez – man whatta bunch of LOSERSSS ida wanna watch this no mo. And his twin sez – yeah, we ain’t no Cub fans you know.

ooooooooooh burrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnn

So I told them that your team is your team, win or lose and number 1 son sez – but they such BORING losers. The boy gots his little self a point there, but I told him he had a choice of minding his manners and watching or going straight to bed, so he decided that it just might could be a good decision to stay on Mami’s good side and he managed to stay shut up when Bourn, Kepp and Clank went down without a murmur.

And he managed to not sneer when, as usual, the first pinch hitter sent up was Cory Sullivan, who actually managed to not make an out, as usual, by walking (HOW long is this gonna last???) And the kidsss groaned when Michael Bourn came up with bases loaded, 2 out, chance to be a HEro and struck out. The twins looked at each other, shrugged, and without being nagged, went off to wash hands and face and brush teeth for bed – and told little brother to cmon, letsgo – this stuff is for GRRRRRRRRRLZ.

So, of course, they missed watching Brian Moehler pitch 2 innings of 1,2,3 out – helped by the damfool Reds pitcher trying to stretch a single into a double, missed Sammy Gervacio get 1,2,3 out with just 1 walk, missed Chris Sampson give up a double, then get 3 quick groundouts.

AND they missed the excitement, bottom of the 9th when Nick Masset, who made Clank, Lance and Pence look like uh, lousy – yeah, that’s the word, well, tonight, he decided to suck. First, he walks Clank on 4 straight pitches. Then, he throws a luscious beefy FB right down the middle to Lance, who sends it a LONG way to left for a 2 run homer.

He then Ks Pedro Feliz, but then, not sure why, Dusty pulls him and sends up Coco Cordero to face Pence, who beats out his second IF hit (he’s reminding me of Willy T – that is not a good thing, by the way). Kaz then walks on 5 pitches, then Mills sends Blum up to pinch hit.  Blum clutches and singles Pence home.

Then, Mills sends Towles up to pinch hit – WHY??? Where is Jason Michaels with the game on the line? Towles can’t pinch hit to save his life. And sure enough, he Ks, and then Michael hits the ball far, but not far enough and it’s ovah.

But at least we had ONE inning of excitement.

I don’t know why Norris and Paulino are having such trouble throwing strikes, but they really need to get it going before Drayton gets impatient and sends them packing for some mediocre pitcher who has Veteran Presence. Or something.

Roy goes tomorrow and I’m not gonna say anything more…

Bud Norris Can’t Find The Strike Zone, Berkman Swings And Misses Pitches Out Of The Zone And Astros Lose To Reds

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Let’s just say it was ugly.

I hardly know where to start, but I guess it begins with Bud. The boy either can’t find the strike zone at all, throws hittable strikes or throws unhittable strikes. I mean that’s sort of like duh, but Bud is like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. He started off great – 13 pitches, 9 strikes – 2 swinging Ks and 1 flyout. I thought – this is gonna be GREAT.

wrong -o

Stros scored first when Michael Bourn got on base, stole second, went to 3rd on the bad throw and came home on a groundout. Sound familiar? It should, and Michael is an All-Star. But then Clank singled and the damm fool tried to steal second and it was a strike em out (Berkman wore the sombrero tonight) throw em out.

And that was bout the story of Astros on the bases tonight.

But back to Bud – not that I wanna, but it’s gotta be done. He just takes too many pitches to get what outs he does get and throws too many pitches that are WAY out of the zone. It wasn’t the ump neither – the balls were WAY out of the zone.

Take the second inning – took him 24 pitches – he hit Rolen with the first pitch, then an 8 pitch walk, then a 2 pitch single, then a 6 pitch staring K on the same pitch he’d fouled off 3 times before, then a 2 RBI single on a juicy FB down the middle, then a 4 pitch swinging K of the pitcher.

He had at least 1 runner on base every inning. By the 6th, the only strike he could get over was his FB, and he gave up 3 straight singles, left with no outs, 1 run in, 2 on base, then got Francoed by Fulchino. It wasn’t that he couldn’t throw first pitch strikes, because he did. It was that he went to an 0-2 count on exactly 1 hitter. He gave up FOUR walks and a HBP, 6 singles, no SB and 5 runs. Uck. Even if Fulchino had prevented the runs from scoring, it would still be an ugly line.

He wasn’t so walkerrific in AAA – and it isn’t that he makes borderline pitches, neither, so I don’t know why he has such control problems, and it is a problem for all of his pitches, too.

And yeah, I know that the Pirates had even more hits Sunday than the Reds had today (including walks) but The Reds managed to get guys home and the Astros just didn’t. The Clank getting caught stealing thing was disgraceful – Hanigan’s arm is waaay better than Doumit – heck, he even threw out Michael!!! Berkman Kd with 2 on in the 3rd, too. Norris grounded out with 2 on 2 out in the 4th, but hey – these things happen and I don’t really blame Mills for not pinch hitting as it was somewhat reasonable to expect that we could come back against an 0-3 starter with an 8+ ERA.

But I sure nuff DO blame Mills for sending Cory Sullivan and his .100 BA up there to pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th with 2 out. What, he’s saving Michaels and/or Feliz for???? This pinch hitting Cory Sullivan has GOT to come to an end SOMEtime. It’s not as if he has this incredible track record and is slumping. It’s reminding me of the last year of Orlando Palmeiro or the Gritmeister, take your pick. Jason Bourgeois is tearing up AAA – maybe it is time to give HIM a chance?

Keppinger grounded out 3 times and Kd. Clank had 2 singles and that *()^*($%#! caught stealing. Berkman wore the sombrero, and got one of those bloop doubles that fell juuuust inside the line and bounced up into the stands. But it was an UGLY swing – late – and his timing looks off. Lots of checked swings, which isn’t like him. Pence just grounded out. Blum did well – hit a couple of singles. Towles hit a double (off Coco Cordero, yet!!!), hit a sac fly which drove in the second run, and walked. Tommy Manzella went 1 fer 4 with a single.

Oh – you wanna know what is REALLY sorry? The “setup” guy with a 12+ ERA getting 3 quick outs on Clank (swinging K), Lance (swinging K) and Pence (popup on ball 4.)

Byrdak did great – a flyout, a swinging K of the righty and a popup.

Sammy Gervacio returned – and he looked bad right off. LOTS of pitches out of the strike zone – he walked Orlando Cabrera, the first hitter on 5 pitches – the “strike” was a gimmee, who then went to second on a groundout. Then, Sammy actually would have had O-Cab picked off second – somehow, after he looked, he forgot to step off, threw the pitch, and Cabrera stole third. I was like – WHAT????? And then, of course, he got rattled, balked, and Cabrera trotted home. The run didn’t matter, the game was already long since lost, but after Sam walked the next guy on 4 straight pitches, NONE of which were ANYWHERES near the plate, Arnesberg trotted out to the mound and said – Sam, look boy, if you WANNA go back to AAA, all you have to do is ask – it’s NOOOOO problem - I mean, it’s not like Wilton Lopez wouldn’t want to return, you know what I’m sayin – like THROW STRIKES AND STOP WITH THE ****!!!! So then he got 2 quick outs.

This looks like the first 8 games Astros, you know what I’m talkin about. The Reds ain’t the Phils/Giants, but they ain’t the Pirates neither and the guys best get their stuff together cuz the Box wasn’t even half full tonight and yes I know it is Tuesday.

Tomorrow, it’s Paulino vs Mike Leake, the guy they drafted last year and didn’t think he needed any minor league time. I just hope that Mills pulls Paulino WHEN he loses it instead of waiting until he LOSES.

Lance Homers, Carlos Lee Triples And Michael Bourn Walks And Runs Wild

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Yes, you read that right. Carlos Lee tripled to the RF bullpen, then came home on a throwing error by the cutoff man, Crosby. Did I mention that it was a 2 RBI triple? Yes, Carlos (no Clank today) had himself a very good game – made 2 good catches, one at the scoreboard, one in shallow left that he came in for when he was playing deep. He also singled and stole a base on one of his patented – look for when the pitcher doesn’t know you’re alive, then trot into second. I led off with Carlos because there sure nuff hasn’t been much good to write about him this year, so when he does well, important to give him his props.

But the Star Of The Day was, as usual, Michael Bourn. Honestly, I am really trying to not write headlines about the boy every day, but he keeps excelling. To put it mildly. He walked three times (and scored) stole 3 bases, made 2 OF assists – threw out Iwamura after McCutchen LODP (and McCutchen is pretty darn good his own self – had a clean single to left, beat out 2 IF hits and stole a base – AND he is one HOTTTTT man, too, that perfect body like Michael Bourn and Bradley Awesomeness – and yes, I know we aren’t selling jeans here) and scored 2 runs. And of course, he made a couple of great catches, but because he didn’t slide, they won’t get on Web Gems.

Remember how many fans wanted him OFF the team in 08? Remember how Cooper would have benched him for the rest of the year and played Gritmeister if Fast Eddie hadn’t stopped that? Amazing what a ballplayer can do when he really gets a chance to play without worrying about his job/being sent down/being traded. Interesting how many emails I have gotten from Phillies fans saying that they never thought he was gonna be THAT good. I know Victorino hits for more power, but it will be interesting to see, over the years, who creates more runs.

Anyway, it was a bee-yootifful day at the ballpark, which was about half-full. It was sunny and hot, but smart Mami here chose seats in the shade for Lil Miss, Da Bull and me. As much as I LUUUVVVV the excitement of a packed, noisy House with closed roof, I also LUUUVVV the peace of a half empty place, which makes it easier to move around if you happen to end up near obnoxious people who keep standing up right in front of you, taking pics of themselves endlessly (WHYYY is this necessary during the inning) or keep telling, uh, details (ahem) about their pregnancy or somebody’s wedding etcetcetc. And thank goodness for the best promotion EVAH, the free soda for the designated driver – we needed that today fer SHER.

So where was I? oh yeah – Lance hit his first homer of the year, one of his opposite field jobs into the Crawford Boxes – Charlie Morton kept throwing him those high, off the plate FB. Charlie needs to learn how to keep the ball down because he doesn’t throw hard enough to throw high. As Pedro Feliz and JR Towles, who hit his first double of the year, showed him. Pedro hit 2 singles off high FB, and GIDP and made an excellent grab of  a ball in the dirt to tag a runner coming into third. I haven’t been real too particular impressed with his fielding, but he did just fine today.

JR did a great job blocking balls in the dirt, hit a RBI double, walked once and reached on a HBP and scored a run – he didn’t have a chance to get in on the Astros stolen base parade – they ran wild on Doumit – 3 steals for Bourn, 1 each for Carlos, Pence and Feliz (yes, Feliz???!!!)

Tommy Manzella hit a RBI double (his first double of the year) and made a bunch of really nice plays. No he’s not Adam, but he’s really good. And he’s a VERY good cutoff man, too with a very strong and accurate arm.

Keppinger didn’t get a hit, but he drew 2 walks – one was an RBI. RBI walks are teh kewl. He’s doing a very good job with the glove at 2B, too – he’s not quite Kaz, but he’s incredibly better at second than at short (shudder.)

And Pence? Well, he went 2 fer 4 with 2 runs scored, a WALK!!! and singled after going 0-2 and NOT swinging at a crappy slider that he would have gotten himself out on last week. Best of all, he really ran like heck out of the box on what should have been an inning ending 6-4-3 and beat the throw, which allowed a run to score, and allowed Feliz to come up and drive in another run and nail the Pirates coffin SHUT. And, he threw a bullet to third to prevent a runner from advancing. The fielding has been stellar, regardless of bat.

The Pirates had more hits than the Astros and, in fact, had men on base in every inning except the 9th, and left bases loaded TWICE. Jeff Clement (an ex-catcher who was supposed to be the second coming of Mike Piazza according to People Who Know in the minor league/prospect world – but ended up getting lucky enough to get traded or he would have been one of those career minor leaguers because he can’t handle ML breaking stuff to save his life) hit a mid-plate, mid thigh FB from Tim Byrdak 434′ to dead CF at the very base of the Hill and all he got for his trouble was a double – he did come around to score, but still, to hit a ball 434′ and all it is is a double? He’s lucky – if Michael had been playing juuuust a little deeper, it would have been an out. One of these days, I’d like to see someone (preferably an Astro) hit the ball over the wall on the Hill. I remember Richie Sexson hit a ball really high off the in-play flagpole – must have been 475′ if it was an inch – and all he got was a double – he jogged out of the batters’ box, natch…

By the 7th, the score was 8-2, so Mills gave relievers some work – Sampson looked very rusty, but came through giving up an IF single to Andrew McCutchen (if that ball isn’t smacked, like Bourn, he’s gonna be safe) who was erased on a GIDP before he could steal second, and an easy FB.

Byrdak gave up that long double and an RBI single, but got a staring K and 2 6-3 GB.

Fulchino actually looked pretty good, getting 2 quick grounders and a swinging K.

And speaking of relievers, Sammy Gervacio is back up and Wilton Lopez got sent down – looks as if he’ll be the first one called up if any reliever sucks/goes on the DL.

So now, the Astros are 8-10 and just might could reach .500 this month, youneverknow. Hopefully, the guys will have gotten their swings together in spite of the fact that they did all that hitting against the pathetic Pirates Pen, and keep it up when the Reds hit town on Tuesday.

The Magic Wandy Returns To Beat Pirates Bullpen

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Yeah, I know it’s the Pirates. But fact is that he threw like last year’s Wandy – came out right away in the first throwing bullets, got 2 staring strikes, then a swing and miss on his curve, which is back. Next hitter, staring at a FB, fouling off a FB, then a swing and miss at a curve. My goodness gracious. Then McCutchen (the hitter) lined out to Keppinger. 8 pitches, 8 strikes, 3 outs. Da Wand Man ROOLZ!!!!!

He threw 7.1 innings, and gave up 4 singles, a walk, and a home run on the only bad pitch he threw all night, a hanging curve. In the 8th, he gave up a single to Cedeno, then got Iwamura to popup, and then Mills pulled him – I have like NO idea why – Crosby and McCutchen were coming up and it’s not like they are these great hitters. I haven’t heard anything – maybe he signaled that he was tired? Who knows? Lyons got the 2 outs.

Lindstrom made it INteresting in the 9th, got 2 quick outs, then had to face a bunch of lefty pinch hitters – looks as if he might have a Brad Lidge lefty weakness thingy goin on – gave up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases with 2 out, but then got Ronny Cedenoto pop out to Pence.

As for hitting, well, the bats came alive against the Pirates bullpen. I guess that’s a good sign. Bourn led off with a single, Kepp and Feliz popped out, then Lance hit a screaming liner up the middle which hit the pitcher, Chris Jakubauskas, who had just been called up for this start, in the head. He went down like he’d been shot and I screamed – he was kicking his legs and for a horrifying moment, I thought he was having a seizure, you know, like what fish do just before they die. The kidz were freaking out, asking if he was gonna die. Lance was pretty upset, too.

 So when the pitcher finally sat up, it was an enormous relief – I told the kids he was gonna be OK. Of course, I got a whole lot of doubts – I mean, how can you get hit in the head like that by something traveling 100+ MPH and be OK? I remember when Ryan Thompson hit a liner that hit Bryce Florie in the face, like what, 10 years ago? (I can’t believe I still remember their names) Florie was never the same and neither was Thompson. But at least Florie didn’t have any brain damage and I pray that poor Chris doesn’t either.

After the game, Number #2 son asked me – Mami, how come he didn’t catch the ball? I told him it came back too fast and he didn’t have time. So he said – Lance didn’t do it on purpose, did he? I said no, he just hit the ball, he doesn’t know exactly where it is going to go – heck, he doesn’t even know IF he’ll hit it when he swings. He thought about that. Then he said, he’s gonna have a BAD headache. And I said – he surely will. And with any luck, that will be ALL he has wrong…

Anyway, to better news, every hitter in the lineup got a hit, even Wandy, who beat out a bunt and singled. Bourn got a walk, a single, and hit into his first GIDP in 2 years (a 4-3 tag the runner.) Tommy Manzella went 2 for 4, but stranded 2. Pedro Feliz hit a 2 run homer offn the LF wall just under the tracks. Even Cory Sullivan got into the act, getting a walk and a single on Carlos Lee needs a rest night.

But the best news was Pence – he hit 2 balls really well, not swinging at crap or getting luck dribblers or poking an outside 3-0 pitch past someone. He hit a double to the LF corner that scored 2 runs and also, he hit a solid single up the middle. I hope HOPE his bat is coming back.

It would be nice to sweep this series and get out of last place. We’re facing Charlie Morton who has had 3 starts this year and, uh, hasn’t pitched real too good (let me be nice here) giving up 8 ER/3.1 IP vs the Dbax, 6 ER/6 IP vs the Giants and (ulp) 6 runs in ONE inning vs the Crew. I mean, I feel for Charlie, but it would be nice if the Astros could really get their confidence back by teeing off on him…

Roy Oswalt Passes J.R. Richard Into Second Place For The Astros All Time Strikeout List

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Have to give the boy his props. Hard to believe he’s been pitching in an Astros uni for 10 years now. But he’s got 400 more Ks to go to catch #1 – you know who that is. Will be interesting to see if he pitches for long enough to do it.

Michael Bourn, Ryan Church And Delwyn Young Help Astros Beat Pirates

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Yeah, you read that right. I know that Roy-O got the W but truth is that Maholm outpitched him. Unlike Maholm, who didn’t give up even ONE hard hit ball, Roy gave up a lot of LONG fly balls that were not hits because Michael Bourn is The Man. He made an outSTANDing catch on a long fly ball by Delwyn Young in the second with 2 outs and a man on third that JMike wouldn’t have gotten. It would have been a run scored and a man on at least second with 2 outs.

He made a GREAT catch on Ronny Cedeno’s long FB to the LF bullpen with a man on second to prevent the tying run. And, of course, he made that Web Gems diving catch on Garrett Young’s (and that is one FINE lookin man and I mean FINE lookin man – just too tall. But I digress….) diving liner to left center in the 9th – maybe someone would have driven him in, who knows, but it saved Lindstrom from having to pitch from the stretch, at the very least.

So how did Young and Church win the game for the Astros? Well, it’s the bottom of the 6th, Astros are up 1-0. The Man beats out an infield hit. Jeff Keppinger sac-bunts him over, except that Delwyn Young, who had PLENTY of time to beat the slow Keppinger (he would have been out by 2-3 steps) throws the ball into the stands. Instead of man on second, 1 out, you have men on second and third, no outs. Berkman Ks. That would have been 2 outs. Then Carlos Lee takes a swing at a bad pitch, up and in, waaay out of the strike zone and pops it up to shallow left, near the stands. Ryan Church decides to be a hot dog and instead of just running and getting it, he goes with trying to make a sliding catch and misses the ball completely (if THAT isn’t an error, I don’t know what is – the way “errors” are decided is sometimes too stoopid. My Dog would have made that catch) so Carlos, instead of being the 3rd out, as he should have been, has a 2 RBI double and there went the game.

I know this is Karma or divine payback, or something, because this has happened to Roy dozens of times over his pitching career. Not to mention all the times he has a L or a ND because he pitched magnificently and got zero run support.

As a wise man once said, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes your fielders are like whatshisname the Mets OF in” Men in Black” where he just stares at the UFO and doesn’t notice the baseball flying at his head.

I’ll take the W, don’t get me wrong. But fact is that the guys are still not hitting worth a darn and everyone not named Michael Bourn thinks that taking a walk/not swing at crap is the equivalent of a penis/testicles shrinking procedure…

sigh

Tonight, it’s Wandy (who better get his delivery fixed and that Curve working) vs a guy just called up, righty Chris Jakubauskas. He’s a 31 year old rookie who was undrafted and played for 4 years in the indys before being signed by Seattle to their AA team. He worked his way up to AAA in 08, as a reliever, and threw 55.1 innings with a 2.59 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 8.4 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 7.8K/9 IP.

Last year, he threw 93 innings in relief for the Mariners, with a 5.39 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 8.8 H/9, 1.5 HR/9, 2.6 BB/9, 4.5 K/9 IP.

He went to ST as a NRI with the Angels, had a 9.0 ERA over 6 IP – 4 BB, 1 K, 6 H, 8R/6 ER. He was released and signed by the Pirates for their AAA club. He started 2 games, 5 IP each game, has a 4.50 ERA, 1.67 WHIP – 10 H, 1 HR, 4 BB, 8 K, 5 ER.

I’m not gonna make any conclusions because I don’t wanna jinx Wandy….

(by the way, sorry this is late – I forgot to post it last night)

RBI Man Michael Bourn Knocks In One To Keep Marlins From Shutting Out The Astros

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Paulino was Good. And Lousy. And unlucky.

I suppose I should start with unlucky:

1 – CB Bucknor was the HP ump and he has an, um, uh, err-ratic strike zone, to put it mildly.

2 – Clank cost him two runs in the first. Paulino walked Coughlin, gave up a single to shallow right on Hanley Ramirez, then what SHOULD have been a shallow single to left to Cantu – the Marlins 3B coach had stopped him at third, but when Clank let the ball, and I mean he let the ball clank off an EASY grounder and roll into the OF where he stopped bothering to chase it and let Bourn come all the way from center to get it in mid left field – Coughlin and Ramirez scored and Cantu went to second. Had Clank bothered to try to field that ball, it would have been bases loaded, and then Coughlin would most likely have scored on the WP the very next batter. Even if Ramirez had moved to third, Uggla hit into an easy would be GIDP and that would have been only 1 run in.

3 – As usual, Mills didn’t pull him fast enough when he started to falter in the 6th. I think Mills was right to send Paulino back out, as he had struck out the side on 12 pitches in the 5th. But he hit Ramirez with a pitch, and Ramirez got his self out trying to steal and Kaz put an outstanding tag on him (gots to give credit where credit is due) and then Cantu hit a ball to Blum, playing his first game at 3rd and Blum didn’t get himself in the right position to get the ball and it bounced off his glove. Uggla immediately doubled to left – Clank went to get the ball and kind of tossed it to Manzella, the cutoff man, and the ball landed a couple feet in front of him (and we aren’t talking about any great distance to throw, neither, so Manzella had to pick it up and THEN throw to third, so it arrived too late to get Cantu.

There was the usual trot out to the mound, and Paulino then walked Baker on 5 pitches.

NOW it was time to go, but nooooooo, Mills leaves him in to allow a 2 RBI single to Ross, and then a double to Gaby Sanchez. Same as last outing. When Paulino falls apart, he falls apart.

Paulino was very good when he used is Curve for swinging Ks. He was pretty good when he was able to locate the FB down and in. He was good when he located the slider.

He was lousy at putting hitters away when he went to a 2 strike count, even a 1-2 count. He almost always threw the next pitch for a ball, usually not close to the strike zone. Only2 innings he really succeeded at putting guys away was the3rd and  5th. He also had a lot of pitches fouled off, and not too many swing and misses. He needs to be a lot more efficient, as well.

The Astros hit 9 singles and, as usual, no walks.

I need to know why Kaz Matsui, who has only 3 crappy singles this year, was batting second – not Blum. I need to know why Mills is so in luuuuvvvv with Cory Sullivan, so in luuuuvvvv that he always uses him as the first pinch hitters when runners are on. The guy has one hit this year.

sigh

And ONLY Bourn hit when there were MOB. Kaz came up with 2 outs TWICE and left a man on third, and left men on first and second. Blum, known as Mr. CLutch, came up twice with 2 outs and left a man at first and also left a man at second. Berkman, hitting righty for the first time this year, left men on second and third. Clank left a man at first. Quintero GIDP.

uck

Well, good thing is that the Pirates, who got slaughtered by the Crew 20-0 today, are coming in and Roy will be facing lefty Paul Maholm. I don’t guess we are gonna score any 20 runs, but a W would be nice. And I certainly hope that Mills doesn’t sit Bourn, the best hitter on the team, for Cory Sullivan. He should try sitting Clank for him – it wouold make more sense, seeing as how they are hitting as well as each other and Sully can actually like, you know, catch and throw the gosh darn baseball, even if he can’t hit it.

And oh yeah, Alberto Arias, who was so good in the pen last year, is having season ending rotator cuff (shoulder) surgery – and most guys don’t come back from that. Too bad, he looked as if he was going to be good for a long time…