1st – 3 up, 3 down for both teams. So far, HP ump is not calling the knee high strike for either team. I disremember this ump, must be new or a callup – name of Jordan Baker. Actually, I think that last night’s HP ump, Manny Gonzalez, is a rookie/callup, too – and I think he also did a very good job behind home.
2nd: Jose Lopez leads off with a double. Brownie and JD are asking how can the team send Dallas Keuchel back to AAA. Lopez grounded to 3rd and comes home on a ball that Castro doesn’t block. Believe it or not, JD actually SAYS that Castro isn’t blocking balls well and that failure to block balls should be a catcher statistic.
Tribe 1 Stros 0
Shelley Duncan (yes, Chris Duncan’s brother) walks – can’t hit real too much, but like Shelley, he sure can walk. Casey Kotchman (who we know from the Braves) singles to left, men on first and second. Flyout to CF, men on first and third. Groundout, 3 out. 39 pitches.
Astros up – 3 groundouts. Unfortunately, that sinker is working. JD mentioned that CJ’s bunt attempt yesterday (after Bogu’s double) was CJ’s own idea. 25 pitches.
3rd – Choo Ks swinging (ump misses one strike) Asdrubal walks (pitch calling is right) then Happ gets out of it with a 4-6-3. He’s not throwing enough strikes and is at 58 pitches: 35 strikes 23 balls.
Astros up: Julio Daniel goes to 1-2, fouls off 3, then sends a ball to straightaway CF warning track. If he had pulled it a bit, it woulda been out. But at least he looked better than the usual K or groundout to short/third. Schafer grounds out on the first pitch. Happ works it to 6 pitches before striking out looking. 39 pitches. Here we go again.
4th: Lopez flies out to CF first pitch. Brantley grounds out to Happ. Brantley, by the way, is the guy who was the PTBNL in the CC Sabathia trade to the Brewers. Duncan Ks looking. 68 pitches.
Altuve grounds out to short, hits the bag wrong, comes off the field limping. Oh great. Lowrie grounds out to short. This grounding out to short for rightys and grounding out to first for leftys – this is getting tiresome.
Carlos singles to left!!!! Well, there goes the no hitter. I hate it when they wait so many innings. Bogu singles to right thru the infield that the 2B can’t get. It’s where the first baseman usually stands, so Carlos being on first was helpful there. And CJ singles on 3-2 to tie the game, Carlos trots in. Castro up, men on first and third. Time to break that ofer, boy. But no, grounder to second. 65 pitches.
Astros 1 Tribe 1 – at least we won’t get shut out.
5th: Oh JEEZ, Altuve is out – strained right hamstring. Wonderful. At least it’s Bixler and not Downs who gets put in. I’m sure it is great to just keep him on the bench. You know that Maxwell’s ankle is injured. He had a “procedure” last night. Much better to keep an injured player on the 25 man than call up someone who isn’t. Makes sense to me. This way, he can get hurt even WORSE and not come back at all. Now we have TWO injured players on the bench, and we were ALREADY short. Makes sense there boys. 26 pitches for this inning. Happ now at 93 pitches. Peachy.
Julio Daniel grounds out to short. Schafer hits a ball to the LF bullpen, tries to stretch it into a triple and is out by 10 feet. Happ grounds out.
Happ back to the mound. 3 straight groundouts. 103 pitches. Not bad – 6 IP, 4 hits, 2 walks, 5 K, 1 ER. He apparently doesn’t want to be the one to go to AAA when Bud is ready to come back.
And Justin Ruggiano, who we let go in favor of Fernando Martinez, is hitting over .359/.444/.744 over 47 PA for the Marlins and he’s one of the few guys on that team who actually IS hitting. Martinez is now rehabbing. Can’t wait to watch him getting Bogu benched and striking out.
And Kotchman singles up the middle to Bixler, who has a weakass arm and Kotchman beats the throw. Marson the catcher is up – 2 good pitches get called balls, but he Ks anyway. Lowe bunts down the 1B line, Happ tries to let it go foul, but he waits way too long and it’s a bunt hit. For goodness sakes, GET THE OUT. Now it’s Choo with 2 on 1 out instead of 2 out 1 on. Fortunately, he gets himself out. It SHOULD be 3 outs, but now Happ has to get an extra guy out. 6 extra pitches for a flyout to the scoreboard – for a second, I thought it might be OFF the scoreboard, but no. 93 pitches.
Bixler flies out. Lowrie up, almost hits 2 out, doubles into the RF corner on the 11th pitch. Carlos up – cmon boy, smell the RBI. AND HE DOES!!! singles up the middle off the end of the bat and Lowrie scores. Bogu takes 2 balls, then the Indians’ pitching coach goes to the mound, buy some time for the lefty in the bullpen. But he fouls one off then GIDP.
Astros 2 Tribe 1
Question is now, can the bullpen pitch 3 scoreless?
Wilton Lopez, by the way, has a, um, sore UCL – you know, the Tommy John tendon, but he just needs rehab. You know, like Brandon Backe did. How many times has a sprained elbow been successfully “rehabbed” and not needed to be surgically modified after at least 1 more DL stint?
7th: Well, Happ is back out, until he gets someone on, I guess. Duncan flies out. Kotchman grounds out. Marson grounds out to Happ. 7 pitches total. Geez boy, you had to wait until the 7th to pitch like that?
7 IP, 4 H, 2 W, 5 K, 1 ER. He really REALLY doesn’t want to get sent down and Bud Norris, who gave up 2 runs (solo homers) oer 5 IP last night at AAA is insisting he feels fine and wants to come back. So SOMEbody has got to go.
Lowe back out. CJ singles up the middle. Then it’s the hit n run and Castro FINALLY breaks the ofer and hits a fly ball to left that Shelley Duncan doesn’t get to and it’s men on first and third. If Duncan had caught that ball, I doubt CJ would have made it back to first and it woulda been a DP. And then speaking of DP, Julio Daniel immediately hits into a 4-6-3, and CJ trots home.
Astros 3 Tribe 1
Schafer walks after fouling like 3 pitches off his foot and Lowe comes out. The Astros have exactly 2 available pinch hitters – Downsie-doo and Chris Snyder. Lowe is getting pulled for one of THEM? Are you kidding me? Well, whatever.
In comes Joe Smith, RHP, ERA 3.56, to face Downsie-doo, who manages to up his pinch hits this year to 2 fer 16 with a single to left. Men on first and second. Bixler grounds out.
Now comes the nervous time – relievers gonna come in and, well, you know…
8th: Wesley Wright in. Carlos Santana in to pinch hit and he singles off the scoreboard. 2 ‘ higher it woulda been over the wall. Choo Ks.
Wesley out, Brandon Lyon in to face righty Asdrubal Cabrera. Here we go with revolving pitchers again. Cabrera flies out. But Millsie-poo doesn’t trust brandon Lyon to get a lefty out and no I am not kidding, so he’s gone and it’s gonna be a lefty again.
Let me say that again – the manager does not think that Brandon Lyon can get leftys out. Man, this is gonna make him easier to trade, isn’t it? I hate this change relievers every hitter stuff. Yes, I know it’s the modern game. Yes, this is a lot of the reason why there are so few complete games – something that keeps all The Old Guys who are the baseball media grousing happily about how These Modern Players Ain’t Real Men (Tm) and it’s All The Fault Of Those Stupid Moneyball Stat Geeks.
In comes Xavier Cedeno, who gets a groundout from Jason Kipnis, lefty.
Astros up – LHP Nick Hagedone in to face Lowrie, Lee and Bogu. Lowrie goes to 3-2 then walks. Carlos flies out. Bogu up and Lowrie takes second on a PB, which was fortunate because after missing a double by thismuch, he Ks. CJ drives a FB down the middle opposite field just over the RF wall – not long, but long enough!!!
Astros 5 Tribe 1
Jason Castro doubles into the gap OFFN A LEFTY to the LF bullpen – looked good with that swing, too. You throw every pitch outside, same pitch, eventually even a lefty gonna catch up. Time to change pitchers to a righty to face Julio Daniel.
It’s Esmil Rogers and his 6.89 ERA – the Indians picked him up after Colorado released him. Julio Daniel fouls off 3 high FB, takes 2 balls, then hits a hanging slider into the Crawford Boxes for his second homer in 2 days. Schafer Ks.
Astros 7 Tribe 1
9th – Brett Myers, I’m sure, started warming after the top of the 8th when the score was 3-1. You know that the last time he was sent into a Not A Close Situation, he freaked out and gave up 5 runs because he doesn’t know how to pitch unless he has fewer than 3 runs to work with, right?
Can he manage to overcome the onerous burden of a 6 run lead?
Lopez flies out. Brantley fouls off a bunch, then grounds out to Carlos. Duncan walks – that low strike ain’t being called, even a down the middle at the knees strike. Kotchman Ks on 3 pitches.
Gee, I guess closers actually CAN come into a non-save situation and pitch effectively. Who knew?
So this closes out interyeccch for this year. Good.
Astros didn’t do so bad this year – swept the first place White Sox, took 2 of 3 from the first place Indians, got smushed and managed to win only 1 of 6 to the first place Rangers.
Tomorrow, the Padres come in and it’s Wandy Rodriguez vs Ross Ohlendorf, RHP, ex-Pirate who doesn’t have a history of doing well against the Astros or at the Box. Ohlendorf is a Texan, he’s from Austin, went to Princeton and was drafted in the 4th round of the 04 draft by the Dbax, who traded him and a bunch of nobodies to the Yankees to get Randy Johnson back in 07. 6 months later, the Yankees traded him to the Pirates for Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady – one of the trade that started the Pirates rolling on their – trade away every single major leaguer we’ve got who is older than second year – thingy.
He had a 106 ERA+ in 09, a 99 ERA+ in 2010, even though his W/L was 1-11 (your teammates don’t hit, you ain’t winnin) and was really REALLY bad in 2011 and was not offered arb at the end of the year. He signed with Boston’s AAA club, threw 10 games with a 4.61 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 10 games over 52.2 innings before being released. The Padres picked him up – he’s relieved 2 games and started one, going 4.2 innings and has a 4.50 ERA over 10 innings.
He’s 0-3 in 5 GS and 2 in relief at The Box with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP over 31 IP.
Tuesday, it’s Jordan Lyles (unless it’s him who gets sent down) vs Sam Dude – Pads a lil short on starters.
Wednesday, it’s Lucas Harrell vs Clayton Richard, LHP
Thursday, it’s Jason Marquis (Cubs, Rockies, Nats, Dbax) who started the year with the Twins and was released after massive suckage seen in his 3 games with the Dbax to end last year continued into this year. When he was released, he had an ERA of 8.47. With San Diego, he’s thrown 4 games over 26 innings and has a 2.05 ERA which is very deceptive because he’s given up 11 runs total, but only 6 have been earned.
Well, that’s a very good question. Will it be Bud Norris or Dallas Keuchel? Stay tuned.