Yeah, I can hardly believe it myself. Astros actually beat the Giants at the Box 2 games in a row!!!!!!! The Giants are like 90-1 at the Box, so this is a wonderful series victory.
First, Barry Zito was knocked out after the 4th, giving up 6 runs. Then Matt Cain was knocked out after 2.2 innings, giving up TWO homers and 7 runs. TO THE ASTROS, of all teams!!!!! Which just goes to show that when it comes to baseball, youneverknow.
In the Zito game, Chris Johnson started at third, went 2 fer 4, stole a base, drove in a run, reached base on a WP strikeout and came around to score eventually, was called out on strikes on a bullstuff check swing call, and took a minimum of 4 pitches in EACH PA. Oh yeah – and he made 2 errors – one in which he completely missed catching a grounder which went for 2 bases, and a throwing error which was too weak to reach first – and both errors led to runs.
So today, that good-fer-nuthin had to be taught a lil lesson. He got hisself benched and replaced by Pedro Feliz, so that he could see how a real ballplayer Goes About His Business (as I have heard Fast Eddie say.) So today, Pedro went ofer 4 – and saw the following pitches for each PA: 2,1,5 (popped out on Ball 4) and 5. Oh yeah – and he also made an error – bad throwing error – which led to 2 unearned runs.
Let’s say that Feliz is NOT an improvement – or any sort of good example neither. And I didn’t even get around to talking about the 3 plays that weren’t made on hits, neither.
Castro caught both yesterday and today – and the pitcher yesterday didn’t seem to like him any better than he did Towles, let’s say that. Especially after the WP. He went ofer, walked and scored a run. He runs very well, by the way – not Biggio type well, but you wouldn’t know he is a catcher by watching him run. Fox cameras and Patty Smith were all OVAH his family in the stands.
Today, he caught Wandy – and maybe it is my imagination, but Wandy seemed a lot more comfortable – gave up only 4 hits and a walk (and 2 of those hits were because neother Blum nor Feliz can field for spit, but I digress) over 6 IP. The curve seemed to be working a lot better today. He threw only 1 bad pitch, which Pat Burrell hit into the Crawford Boxes. Actually, it was the only really hard hit pitch – although there were 2 FB to the warning track. He only struck out 3, but got LOTS of ground balls and 3 GIDPs. Now, if Castro can get Wandy striking out everyone again…
And let me not forget to mention that Wandy singled and scored a run!!!!! Keeping the BA over Clank’s weight!!!
Anyway, today, Castro hit his first homer, went 2fer 3 with a walk, 2 runs, 1 RBI and is lookin good with glove (I noticed that none of the Giants bothered to try to steal today – hehhehheh) and bat. Patti Smith, of course, was all OVAH his family AGAIN.
Yesterday, 28 year old Houston Homeboy Jason Bourgeois debuted in center. He finally gets to live his dream, playing for his hometown Astros he watched so many times when he was a kid. Didn’t see Patty Smith all OVAH Bourgy’s friends and family – maybe they couldn’t afford the expensive seats the Castros had. But anyway, he led off the game with a hit, promptly stole second, then overslid the bag and was tagged out. He also walked, scored a run, and played a very nice CF. Too bad we can’t bench Clank and play Bourgy out in left for the rest of the year. Well, HOPEfully, that is exactly what we will do in Arlington and DH Clank – it’s his best position.
I sure would like to see Castro catching, Navarro at short, Johnson at 3rd, Bourn ALWAYS in center, Bourgy in left and Pence in right. Which would be TEH kewl. And would subtract from the beating we gonna get from the Rangers Power Lineup.
where was I?
Oh yeah. Back on the players.
Bourn killed the ball on Tuesday, driving in the only run – and he was all OVAH the field – most of the balls were hit to center/L center/R center and Michael was on his horse all night. He sat yesterday (we’re back to benching him against leftys – sigh) and today, he hit TWO doubles – one to the LF bullpen, one to the RF bullpen, which would have been a triple if Wandy hadn’t gotten the stop sign at third. Michael overran second – was halfway to 3rd and had to go back. It was hilarious – he was yelling something to Wandy about running like a catcher or something and how he robbed him of a triple. Fortunately, the Giants can’t field for spit and he didn’t get caught off base – he would have if there were real OF in the OF. He also walked and scored a run. When he scored the run, he was like 2 steps behind Wandy – damm that boy can FLY. He couldn’t steal any bases because there was always someone on the base in front of him.
Keppinger found his bat just in time yesterday – hit a 3 run double off Zito with the bases loaded to give the Astros a lead they never gave up. I should also mention that yesterday, CJ wasn’t the only fielder with hands of stone, whose incompetence led to runs. With 1 out in the 7th, CJ missed a GB and it went for a 2 base error. Then Torres hit a ball to right which bounces off the RF wall (Pence got a bad read on the ball and jumped late,) then bobbled it and Torres ended up on third – don’t ask me why on earth Pence didn’t get an error there. Then Sanchez reaches on an E5 (AGAIN!!!) and there are men on first and second. Then Huff hits into what should have been a perfect 4-6-3, only Kepp wastes time trying to tag out Saqnchez, misses, and can’t get Huff out at first either. Everyone safe, no outs.
Total, disgusting error laden mess. And fortunately, only 2 runs.
Kepp, of course, didn’t get any stuff for screwing up – just CJ.
Later, in the 7th, with 1 out, Blum couldn’t get near a grounder that Manzella woulda had with his eyes shut and it went for a single. Then Huff hit into what SHOULD have been a perfect 3-6-3/1, but Berkman double clutched and they only got the 1 out. So with men on first and third, the next hitter hit a sac-fly and the run scored. Of course, it wasn’t a recorded error, but it WAS an effup. THREE runs scored because of crappy fielding. Good thing there was plenty of hitting.
Lance isn’t looking good neither – he got a GR double off the scoreboard (fan interference) – his first well hit ball in I don’t KNOW how long – yesterday, then scored a run. Today, he hit an RBI double when a popup that looked like a foul dropped juuust inside the RF line – 2 runs scored (bases were loaded) and Lance ended up on second. He also hit a clean single. But the days of him routinely hitting blasts to the RF bullpen and over the RF bullpen seem to be OVAH. He also stole a base today and somehow caught his left knee sliding into the bag. (My granma in a wheelchair could steal on Bengie Molina, I swear. He throws worse than Kevin Cash – and I remember when he was good.) Anyway, it DID keep the Astros out of the 6-4-3, because the very next pitch, Clank hit the ball right to the SS. Not that it mattered because Pence Kd and Feliz got out somehow or other, as usual.
Clank went 2fer 4 in the Zito game and drove in a run. Today, he went 1fer 4 with a run scored and a walk. Yes, you read that right. A walk!!!!!
Blum has spent the last 2 days at SS instead of Navarro, don’t ask me why, except Fast Eddie prejudice. He went ofer Zito with a GIDP and 2 missed plays (not errors) and today went 1 fer 3 with an error and another missed play. He’s just as bad as Miggy – well, maybe a touch worse, if that is possible.
Pence went 1 fer 3 with a walk and a run scored in the Zito game. He also misplayed that one ball. He had been dogging it a little out there – had left 2 balls drop near the line which had gone for doubles – I think he thought they were gonna go into the stands and pulled up early. But he was definitely on his horse today, making 3 fine plays and hitting a 3 run homer in the first that put the Astros ahead for good.
I suppose I had better talk about the relief pitching, even though I don’t want to.
First, the good: Lyon came on in the Zito game – got an out, gave up 2 straight singles – was up to 22 pitches, got a popup – up to 27 pitches, then a 6 pitch K. 33 pitches, 1 inning. Today, he got 1,2,3 out on 13 pitches.
Then the not quite as good: Lindstrom got 1,2,3 out on 13 pitches in the Zito game (that was wonderful, yes it was) but today, the boy done gived me near heart failure – good thing there were 3 runs for him to deal with: GR double, GO, RBI single, single, then a blessed popup then a K. Only 15 pitches for 6 hitters.
Then the icky:
Chris Sampson, back from the DL, came out to start the 7th. First hitter ROE (Blum – ahem) and then Rowand singled to left. Neither ball was hard hit, but every pitch but 1 was up. For a sinkerballer, this is not good.
Sampson out, Byrdak in. Flyout, K. Very good. But then single – run in. Single – run in. It wasn’t a manager’s mistake to leave Byrdak out there – Torres is a lousy righty batter and huff is a lefty. Byrdak just didn’t get the job done. He Francoed Sampson, but fortunately they are unearned – fortunately for Sampson, that is – and fortunately for the Astros, they had scored enough that it didn’t matter.
Byrdak out, Wilton Lopez in – and he gets the last out on 1 pitch.
Oh wait – that is GREAT!!!
So tomorrow night is the rematch between Moehler and Colby Lewis (who is undoubtedly licking his lips) but I hope that CJ and Castro and Bourn and Bourgy give him a Cain-Zito thrashing.