I was writing headlines in my mind, like Wandy Pitches A 5 Hit Complete Game Shutout, when inexplicably, Mills pulled him after 105 pitches and a 6 pitch 8th inning. I hope Wandy told him he was tired because I have no idea why he couldn’t have finished up.
He started off a little shaky, had trouble finding the strike zone with the FB, gave up an IF single to Weeks leading off and then a single to left, but then got Da Prince to pop out to left on another 3 ball count, then got Ryan Braun to ground into a FC (unfortunately the ump was right) and suddenly, Wandy found that fastball and struck out McGehee on 3 pitches.
From there, he was off and running, and except for the 7th, when Braun hit a high inside FB down the LF line for a double and Escobar walked, he just cruised. He had 9 Ks, 2 looking, 7 swinging and the curve was curvin and the FB was hopping. He only gave up one well hit ball and that was to deep center by the Reliant Energy sign by the RF bullpen – naturally, Bourn ran it down. (Now that Berkman is gone, Bourn is doing all the ads on KTRH…)
I noticed that Wandy only threw 4 changeups the entire game – and 2 of em were hit for singles.
Jason Castro was called up on June 22 and caught Wandy’s game on the 24th and all of his games since then.
He threw 14 games to Quintero, went 3-10 with a 6.09 ERA over 75.1 IP (average 5.1 IP/GS)with 6 QS – 7 HR (0.8 HR/9), 95 H (11.3 H/9), 34 BB (4 BB/9), 52 K (6.2 K/9)
He has now thrown 7 starts with Castro: 47 IP (6.2 IP/GS) and is 6-1: 33 H (6.3 H/9), 4 HR (0.8/9), 10 BB (1.9 BB/9), 43 K (8.3 K/9).
That is a statistically significant, whopping difference (even if you omit the2 games he threw against the Rangers and Yankees).
Castro’s new at bat song should be (apologies to Justin Timberlake)\
I’m bringing Wandy back
Them other catchers don’t know how to act
I think it’s special what’s behind your back
So turn around and i’ll pick up the slack.
Send em’ to the bench
And speaking of the bench,
I hear tell that Clank refused a trade to the Red Sox (again) and tonight, he was benched in favor of Jason Michaels.
Brett Wallace made his debut tonight. He sure drew a crowd – I bet there were actually some 37K people in the stands (either that or it was the Bagwell bobbleheads or the post-game Faith and Family Night concert).
First AB he was visibly nervous, poor guy. Naturally, the HP ump wanted to humble him and called 2 borderline FB off the plate as strikes, so he swung wildly at Ball 1. Dude is the human rain delay up there – makes Nomar Garciaparra look speedy. He got 1 good swing on a long fly ball to center, but other than that, no. He did reach on error on a dribbler in front of the plate that Lucroy overthrew, and he struck out twice. I’m not surprised – he is replacing a franchise type player and he’s never had a ML AB before and there are really BIG expectations for the guy. Everyone else in the lineup had at least 1 hit and CJ went 3 fer 3 with a walk.
Dave Bush had one of those bad luck kind of days – the hits against him were either seeing eye singles in the 5.5 hole or those bloop hits over the heads of the infielders. Bourn smashed an opposite field double to the LF bullpen with CJ on second and Castro on first. For some reason, Clark held up the stop sign for Castro, even though he was on CJ’s heels and Braun had barely retrieved the ball (and he would have scored easily and given Michael another RBI).
It was actually a fun game to go to – the most people I’ve seen in the stands since Opening Day – and more enthusiastic, too. And Wandy was at his absolute best for everyone. I know Wade SHOULDA traded him, but I’m selfishly glad he didn’t.
And by the way – bad news – Ed Wade signed his ex-Phillie petsy-poo to a multi-year deal – gee, what a surprise that Fast Eddie is in LUUUVVVV with the guy he drafted and isn’t able to see that this is a year that is out of line with the guy’s career stats. I hate Ed Wade and hope that Drayton sells this team and the new owner’s first act is to get rid of Tal, Ed and trade Petsy Poo.
Wesley Wright (fast becoming my second favorite Astro) starts against ex-Phillie Randy Wolf, who beat the Astros soundly his last time…