For 2.1 innings, J Happ was so good and so sharp, I thought he just might could be headed for at least a shutout, if not a no-hitter. I figured that maybe the wind – looks like it’s like 20 MPH out there and I checked weather.com – it was 47 at gametime – was moving the ball and the hitters were too cold to swing. Hey, I was feeling cold just watching them – and for some reason, I was remembering the WS at Chi-town, not a real too good premonition, you know what I’m sayin.
Terry Collins, the Mets manager, who has a history of being not exactly liked by his players (so I hear tell, yet another manager that B&B managed – hahahaha – to get rid of) wanted to get hisself thrown out of the game to fahr upp da boyzzzz, so he went and made a total ass of himself screeching at Doug Eddings, the HP ump for missing a call (you might as well scream at a cat for not coming when she’s called) – dropped foul tip wasn’t dropped, he says – Eddings ignores him goes back to call pitches and Collins gets in his face and Eddings sez – sigh – do you WANT to get thrown out? Well, OK. And Collins was right about dropped foul tips mattering – but I’m getting ahead of myself…
Anyway, Mike Nickeas, their rookie catcher just called up from AAA, somehow turned on a knee-high inside slider and hit it INTO the wind over the LF wall. THAT reminded me of Bradley Aweseomeness doing the same at Wrigley, breaking up a Greg Maddux shutout. Ahhhh, pleasant memories. Anyway, then 2 outs and at the end of 3 innings, Happ has 5 Ks and NO walks – unusual for him and 40 pitches.
Meanwhile, Capuano is lethal – gave up a LONG double to Pence in the first inning, so there’s no worry about getting no-hit, but in the 3rd, Happ singles (he did better than moren a few Astros hitters), then Bourn walks, but Angel Sanchez, slumping (anxiety about Barmes coming back as The Hitting Savant and taking his job???) lines into a DP and there’s the end of that. Too many DPs for the Astros lately.
Fourth inning – what’s good is that Chris Johnson really hits the ball hard to the CF wall for a double. What’s bad is that he was stranded. What’s worse is that Happ started to go to pieces. He’s only gone to one 3 ball count in the first 3 innings, and then he started to lose command (cold fingers?) He needs 8 pitches to get out the suckulous Pagan and his .150 BA. Then it’s David Wright, who has has FINALLY struck out on the 8th pitch foul tip, only Quintero DROPS THE BALL. So Happ throws a FB down the dead center middle of the plate and David Wright hits the ball 400′ into the wind over the fence to break an 0fer 20 (min, he WAS getting on base and had like 8 walks during that time) and this is NOT a good sign. Jackal goes to 3-2 and singles up the middle – this, by the way, is not because of Eddings not calling balls/strikes well. Jason Bay hits a popup to right that Pence misses (he had a BAD night) which bounces over the wall for a GR double. Then JA throws a WP and I mean WILD – like 3 feet to the right of Q’s glove and Jackal trots home and Bay scoots to third. Davis hits a sac-fly. At least it wasn’t a 3 ball count, right?
Mets 4 Stros Crap
I was a little surprised to see Happ go out for the 5th – he didn’t seem to have much in the 4th. He goes to an 8 pitch 3-2 count on Nickeas before getting a FO. Then he gives up a solid double to the PITCHER, who is like 36 years old. Is it time to come out? Then a 3-2 walks to Reyes on 6 pitches. He looks BAD. He goes to 3-2 on Pagan. David Wright is coming up and yeah, he’s had a 6 game dry spell until earlier, but hey, even UNCLE had a bad 10 games straight and you KNOW I wasn’t even thinking in my wildest dreams that he was finished. I’m thinking – cmon Millsey-poo, time to go get the boy, he ain’t got nothin. And sure enough, he gives up a solid 2 run double to left center on a meatball.
NOW Millsie comes and gets him. What’s with all the guys getting girlie names or else doing the LiLo thingy? Can’t we get some REAL nicknames? Like, say, Manitas de Piedra (hands of stone) or Pies en Fuego (Firefoot) or something really imaginitive like guante del oro (Glove of Gold?)
Anyway, Enerio Del Rosario comes in and gets the out, but hey, this game is OVAH and the only real question is – are the Astros gonna get shutout?
Nothing in the 6th except a walk to Clank (and a throw over to keep him close – he has this – like whaaaaaa???? look) but in the 7th, Brett Wallace doubles, then Matt Downs singles to left. Remember that Brett Wallace runs like a grrrl pregnant with twins. So anyhow, Bay picks up the ball, makes a bad throw to Wright and Wallace chugs across the plate. But that’s all she wrote, as Quintero GIDP.
Aneury Rodriguez comes in to mopup in the 8th. He gets Willie Harris to FO on a 3-2, walks Wright, Ks the Jackal (hehhehheh) then – you won’t believe this – Bay hits a popup near the line in shallow right center. Wallace, Downs and Pence converge, Pence calls for it, but he makes a lousy run for it and the ball clanks off his glove and rolls all the way down into the corner and Bay comes all the way around to score after Wright, as Pence makes a lousy throw to Downs, who can’t collar the ball well, then drops it. Not that it mattered. Aneury goes to 3-2 on davis, then throws a high FB on the outside corner which Davis hits a GOOD 450′ to dead center onto the concourse. That’s one of the hardest hit balls I’ve seen this year – reminds me of the homer that Berkman hit to dead center waaaaay high up on the wall at whatever they are calling the DBax stadium.
Taylor Buchholz pitches again, the 8th and 9th, and again I am reminded that he is one of the few pitchers who ever made me go – WOW – when I first saw him pitch. He’s still good, even if he can’t start anymore and hasn’t got his old velocity.
We’re now off to Miller Park, where Nelson Figueroa will opposae Yovani Gallardo, who always kicks Astro butt. Actually, not always – record shows he’s 7-2, which means that somehow, we’ve beaten him twice. Checked it out – Wandy beat him both times; 2-0 and 6-4 (yeah he gave up SIX runs over 5 IP) but he was nails last year. He’s had rough going this year, so I would bet he’s really licking his chops now…
Saturday, we face Shaun Marcum, RHP and his 1.90 ERA, who came from the Toronto Organization. Astros have never faced him. Toronto traded him for a minor leaguer, don’t ask me why: his ERA+ over the past 3 years in the AL East facing Yankees/Rays/RedSox lineups half the time is 108, 125, 114. And he has hurt for part of that, too. BBref says his closest comp is Yovani Gallardo. Just wonderful.
Rubber game on Sunday, Wandy faces ex-Stro Randy Wolf, who is 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA. Wandy has always had a tough time at Miller park – a 5.97 ERA over 60 IP in 11 GS. Note that he did very well there last year in his 2 games – 1 ER over 6.1 IP and 1 ER over 7 IP.