J looked like a different guy up there. He didn’t have that look like – oh no, I have to throw the ball, God help me. He worked quickly – unusual for him, and threw strikes. He faced 24 batters and went to 3 ball counts on only 4 of em. Really. He had only 2 hitters who required more than 6 pitches and got 2 GIDPs. No homers, no well hit balls at all. 3 singles, 1 walk.
I don’t know whether or not it’s just that the Pirates are a shell of the team that kicked us into mush earlier this year, or whether Burt Hooton fixed whatever was wrong with him, but all I can say is that this was the ONLY really excellent outing I’ve seen him have all year.
The Astros hit decently – left bases loaded no out in the second, 1 on in the first and third, 2 on in the 8th. They scored the only runs off McDonald, who was VERY good, in the 4th. Paredes walked, Sanchez singled him to 3rd, then Quintero hit this dribbler back toward the pitchers mound, Doumit went out to get it and as no one was at home, Paredes scored. Doumit threw to first for the out, and Sanchez went to third as Jones at first made a crappy throw home. Then McDonald walked the pitcher – always a bad omen. I would say that Jordan Schafer executed the squeeze except that Sanchez didn’t take off at the pitch and Schafer was bunting for a hit – but it looked sort of like a safety squeeze and I most certainly DO like the squeeze. Altuve GIDP.
And that was all she wrote, but that was enough as Froddy got 1,2,3 in the 8th and Maalox came in for the save – got 2 grounders to second, then hit McCutchen – he just can NOT ever seem to get 1,2,3 – then got Doumit swinging – and he owes the umpire for a mega gift Strike 2 which was very high and outside.
Off day tomorrow, then the Brew Crew – now leading the NL Central by like 10 games, comes in to town thinking of yet another sweep. But this ain’t Miller Park where they are 50-17; they’re 9 games under .500 on the road.
Friday, we’re calling up Lucas Harrell, RHP, who Fast Eddie picked up off waivers from the White Sox earlier this year. You wanna guess how many guys on the AAA roster are guys who were originally drafted by the Astros? You wanna guess how many guys at AA on the roster were originally drafted by the Astros, let alone Fast Eddie?
Anyway, Lucas was a 4th rounder in 04. To make a long story short, he pitched 29 mega-suck innings for the White Sox last year over 3 GS and 8 in relief – you don’t want to hear the numbers, but he walked everyone in sight and threw BP. He pitched decently at AAA for the White Sox and for Houston this year: about 3.5 BB/9, 6.4 K/9 and 8 H/9 with a 1.25 WHIP.
We’re facing RHP Zack Greinke (which means no JMike starting in RF) and his 4.05 ERA and 13-5 record. Remember the year he won the CY in the AL and all those media guys groused about how bad his W/L was – bet they think he’s better this year and Has Learned How To Win (having Da Prince and Ryan Braun hitting like crazy got nothing to do with it). Anyway, he beat us last time out – 4 hits, 3 walks, 1 ER/7 IP.
Last series, there were some real actual Brewers fans in the stands. They sell out their home games. Amazing what putting a winning team on the field does – the Brewers went from a dreadful owner in Bud Cheapo Selig, I mean, his Proxy/daughter Wendy Selig, to Mark Attanasio, a guy who was willing to spend some $$$ because he wanted to win.
And speaking of owners – check out Maury Brown’s latest. Maury is the guy who wrote the expose on Jim Crane for Forbes – you know, the war profiteering, the Little Problems with his company policy of not liking to hire Spix, Niggaz and Bytchez and Other Undesireables and his destroying files so the EEOC couldn’t see them – oh yeah – and pointed out how the leveraging was like over the MLB debt limit. If we get shut of Crane and actually get a group with money in here, we ALL owe Maury BIG time seeing as how no other national baseball writer could be bothered to do any checking – let alone the local columnists/reporters.