Archive for June, 2012

7/1/12: Carlos Lee Refuses To Be Traded To Dodgers

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

It IS his right, you know. People think ballplayers should be traded like animals and have no rights to anything. People don’t think that players should be paid more than a teacher or cop so that the Billionaires who won the teams can keep all the money. People think that ballplayers should WANT to throw their lives away for the benefit of the team that doesn’t want them any more.

No wonder fantasy ball is so popular.

Carlos doesn’t want to leave Houston and he doesn’t care that Crand doesn’t want to have to pay him the remaining 9 mill. It’s his right.

I like the following comment from some person in the Chron:

“If I were the gm and he said he was declining the trade, I’d inform him that he’d better reconsider or his life for the next 3 months would be a nightmare. I’d make him carry all the other players’ bags. I’d make him catch on a day where it’s 100 degrees. I’d send him to the minors if I could. I’d make him take a cheaper flight on road trips. I’d make him wish he’d accepted the trade. This just proves what we’ve already known. Lee only cares about himself. He doesn’t care about winning, the fans, or anything else.”

You plan to MAKE a 13 year veteran into a servant like HOW? Seriously – you are going to force him to carry bags, what, at gunpoint? You are going to make him put on catchers gear? And the pitchers are gonna be REAL happy about throwing to a player who doesn’t know how to catch? You can’t send a 13 year ML veteran to the minors without his permission. You have NO way of not allowing him on the team plane.

Seriously – you have exactly WHAT leverage over him? You CAN tell the manager to bench him and refuse to play him under any circumstances. OK – but seeing as how your bench consists of some minor leaguer and your spare catcher, and seeing as how Carlos is still one of the best hitters on the team, that is like shooting off your foot to show how much pain you’re in.

The ONLY leverage the team has is exactly what they are doing – telling the media that they have a trade in place and trying to hope media pressure will force Carlos to go against his will – sort of like what happened to Fred McGriff when he was in Tampa.

I’m sure Crane is steaming over losing all that money. Too bad for him – he knew he had to pay that contract when he bought the team and he KNEW that Carlos had already turned down plenty of trades and would almost certainly turn down any again. I have no sympathy. And using the media to make him look bad may or may not work real too good in this case.

Will be interesting to see if Crane can find some OTHER kind of lever to force Carlos to leave – he’d better have pictures of Carlos with a live boy or dead girl, as the saying goes, because it sure looks like Carlos really does mean to stay right here, losing or no losing.

6/30/12: Laz Diaz And Bad Baserunning Beat Astros

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Crane has found a place to dump Carlos Lee’s salary – the Dodgers. Of course, I have no idea whether or not it will be mostly a salary dump or if we would get much of anything back. We are talking 9 mill left in salary and a lot of that could go to taking down the train, which will be hidden by ugly billboards soon, and is gonna go. Dodgers are pretty desperate, seeing as how they got shut out by The Hated Giants 3 games in a row and Matt Kemp is still out. Carlos turned down every trade he was offered in 08 and 09 and he’s a 10 and 5 man and doesn’t HAVE to go if he doesn’t want to. This time, the trade proposal was made public, to try to put more pressure on him to go. Always makes me sad when people think that a player doesn’t have a right to turn down a trade For The Good Of The Team. Even when he DOES have the right.

It’s a nice cool 92 degrees in Chi-town in the middle of the afternoon and even the flags are limp. Will see how limp the BATS are.

1st: Schafer and his .315 OBP is leading off and he takes a 9 pitch walk. Lowrie fouls some off, Schafer doesn’t get a good jump and he’s caught stealing. Lowrie flies out, Carlos grounds out.

Happ gets a K, walk to Starlin Castro (he’s not getting the high strike or the knee high strike). Then it’s Anthony Rizzo – he’s the latest Brett Wallace – dumped by the Red Sox and Padres (only he got some ML ABs last year – you have to come up and hit like Bryce Harper to not be considered a failure) and he Ks looking. Alfonso Soriano Ks swinging. Cubs fans I know are absolutely DYING to get rid of him – not sure why – it’s not like he’s holding anyone back and it’s not like the Cubs can’t afford his huge salary. He’s in his late 30s, no other team is gonna pick up his whole contract and they’re not getting any sort of top prospects for him.

2nd: Bogu grounds out. CJ beats out an IF hit to the 5.5 hole. Good. We won’t get no hit and maybe CJ 3 day streak of horros is ovah. Jason Castro immediately GIDP 4-6-3. At least we won’t get no-hit. I keep saying that over.

Bryan LeHair up – another guy the Cubs fans I know want to get rid of, because they think that Rizzo = Bryce Harper and LeHair is 29 and only in his second year in the majors and no one can get better when he is Too Old, like, say Jose Bautista. He takes a few, fouls off 6, then Ks. Soto hits the next pitch for a single. Jeezus – Soto is hitting .160 – man, what happened to him? Barney FO. Luis Valbuena, the utility infielder who the Cubs picked up off the discarded list in the spring, acting as a 3B replacement for Aramis Ramirez, grounds out.  39 pitches because of too many pitches needed to get all those Ks.

3rd: Julio Daniel Martinez singles up the middle. Scott Moore, playing 2B today (still no Altuve – now they aren’t saying ANYTHING about when he might could be back) goes to 3-2 and doubles off the RF wall. JD runs so badly he’s held at 3rd – anyone who could run would have been able to score. Happ is up – can he get a squeeze? Nope. He Ks on 3 pitches – doesn’t even try to bunt. Schafer is up – is HE gonna squeeze? Swings at ball1, takes a strike, then singles to left, Julio Daniel scores!!!!

We won’t get shutout again!!!

Men on first and Lowrie hits the first pitch right to the first baseman and Scott Moore is dead meat at home. Good play. Men at first and second, 2 out. Carlos Lee, can you smell the RBIs???? Nope – and this is with a bad call by the HP ump who calls a swinging K on strike 2 when Carlos barely moved the bat.

Astros 1 Cubs none yet

Happ back up. Garza Ks, DeJesus goes to 3-2 and walks, Starlin Castro – did I tell you that the Cubs fans are talking about how Theo should trade him away too? You know, trading away everyone at their 3rd year sounds like what Billy Beane does every single year and you see how great the A’s are doing, right? (Yes, I know that ownership is Rachel Phelps in drag and the players all know that if they are even remotely competent, they’ll get traded in 2 years so why bother to care?) Happ threw 4 pitches waaaaayyy out of the zone to DeJesus and now he’s not getting pitches on the black called. Starlin hits into a 6-4-3 on the 9th pitch.  57 pitches after 3 innings and I sure don’t see any complete game and I sure see that if the hitters don’t hit like 10 more runs, there’s gonna be trouble winning this game with the bullpen we got – especially as Xavier Cedeno got sent down when Bud got called up. I wonder why him and not, say, Dave Carpenter.

4th: Bogu up – and Garza is getting the calls on the corners that Happ is not getting. Wonder if it has anything to do with the catcher. 11 pitch walk. This ain’t gonna be no 2 hour game – LOTS of 7+ pitch ABs by both pitchers. CJ singles to center. Men on first and second. Jason Castro up – takes a called strike 3″ outside. Good grief. He GIDP 5-3. Second GIDP in a row. Cmon Julio Daniel. And he drives in CJ with a single to center!!!! 2 outs, CJ was running with the pitch. CMON Scott Moore!!! And he singles to center, but Julio Daniel was NOT running with the pitch and he stops waaay off second and is dead meat. That was seriously crappy baserunning.

Astros 2 Cubs nothing yet

Rizzo FO on the first pitch. Sori singles to center. LaHair grounds out on the 9th pitch – Carlos misses the ball and so Moore gets it and throws it to Happ, who ran like heck to get to first. Soto walks on 4 pitches. Happ is not getting ANY borderline calls – 2 of those pitches caught the edge. Barney up – again, no borderline pitches. But he grounds to Lowrie, who dives, tosses the ball to Moore while he’s still down, Moore picks it out of the dirt and Soto is out – good thing HE doesn’t run fast. 78 pitches – 21 pitches thrown.

5th – Happ is up – NOW he singles. Let’s see if Schafer can do something. Nope, flies out to right. Lowrie bunts – was that a sacbunt? REALLY? Garza slips and falls trying to field it. He better have been bunting for a hit because having him sac bunt is stupid, seeing as how he can hit and hit for power. CMON Carlos – pretend you WANT to impress the Dodgers instead of DEpress them. And he grounds out up the middle, barely tries to run at all, and he should have because Barney stumbles, makes a late throw and Clank was already almost peeling off to go back to the dugout. GIDP.

Valbuena walks – pitch 5 is right in the zone, too. Garza sac-bunts. DeJesus grounds to CJ, who makes a nice play to get 3-1. Starlin Castro singles to right to drive Valbuena in – he can run fast, unlike a lot of other guys. Happ is not getting ANY borderline pitches called. Rizzo hits a FB RIGHT down the freaking middle out.

Cubs 3 Astros 2

I knew leaving all those MOB was gonna be bad news. And I knew that the HP ump refusing to give one single borderline pitch to Happ was gonna cost us. Sori Ks. Big deal.

HOW did I know that was gonna happen. Honestly, sometimes I wonder why I even bother to watch. It’s like reading a *)%&*#! script for the 82nd time.

6th – Bogu goes to 3-2 and pops up to left. CJ walks.

So Garza is out and not left in to face Jason Castro, who has previously grounded into TWO double plays. Maybe he’ll have success against the lefty because he sure didn’t see the ball worth spit off Garza. So Castro singles to left and Sori throws out CJ at 3rd. Not a bad idea, trying for 3rd, seeing as how Sori isn’t a good thower. And CJ might have made it if he’d gone in feet first instead of head first.

Manny Corpas, former closer, in to face Julio Daniel. I thouight Manny was long since out of baseball, having been absolutely terrible his last 2 years for the Rox, 09 and 10. Turns out he missed all last year with TJ surgery (wonder how long he’d been hurt and was shutting up about it). Signed a FA contract with the Cubs and now has a 1.67 ERA.

Happ back in – he might as well having lost already. LeHair GO 3-1. Soto doubles off the LF wall – Julio Daniel doesn’t get a good jump. Barney flies out to right center – Schafer and his weak-ass arm tries to call off Bogu but Bogu gets it anyway and fires a bullet to third. Schafer woulda fired a dribbler to second. Valbuena grounds out.

Happ pitches a QS – 6 IP, 3 ER. Not ENTIRELY his fault – some blame goes to the HP ump/Castro for not getting any borderline strikes after the 1st inning.

LOTS of fault goes to the Astros for not getting runners in. I mean, ASTROS runners.

7th: lefty James Russell in to face lefty Scott Moore – not sure how well he does against ML leftys – he does great against minor league leftys. But he fans. Matt Downs and Schafer flyout.

Fernando Abad out – missed him warming up. Reed Johnson, in for LeHair in a double switch, doubles to the RF corner. Checking it out – turns out he’s only hitting .256 against the Astros – here and I thought it was more like .356. DeJesus grounds out. Starlin Castro is IBB. Rizzo and Sori K.

8th – are the Astros going to be able to do ANYthing? Besides lose, I mean?

Another switch – Shawn Camp, RHP, ERA 3.10 in to face Lowrie. Tony Campana goes to left as a DR. Flyout, swinging K for Carlos Lee on 3 pitches. Bogu kills a pitch that woulda been out at home but is only a long FB here.

9th – Abad still pitching. Campana grounds out. Abad out. Here’s Carpenter. Soto grounds out. Whoa. An OUT!!! Barney hits the ball to left center – Schafer overruns it, JD grabs it, throws it in and slides into second just ahead of the throw. Schafer looked like Willy effing Taveras out there and that is not a compliment. He gets a well deserved error. Jeezuz – what a crappy day. Valbuena flies out.

Carlos Marmol in for the Save. He was put back in the closer’s role in mid June. CJ up. Marmol gets a knee high strike that Happ didn’t. CJ down on 3 pitches. Jason Castro up. Another low strike Happ didn’t get. Either it’s the way Castro receives the ball or right now, the ump is hotternhell and wants this game to just be over. But Castro draws a walk, somehow, which is a miracle given the ump. Julio Daniel flies out. Scott Moore, ex-Cub, ks on a ball in the dirt.

Absolutely horrid game.

sigh

Oh yeah – Jose Altuve was in the on-deck circle apparently ready to pinch hit. Notice I said – apparently.

Tomorrow afternoon, Wandy faces Travis Wood.

If Wandy doesn’t want to get traded, he’d better suck as badly as Carlos Lee did today.

6/29/12: Cubs Set Off Bombs To Welcome Bud Norris

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Three of em. Over 6 innings. I suppose I should point out that he only gave up one walk, but then I’ll point out that he only got one K and that was the pitcher.

He gave up homers to Soriano – well, OK, Sori hits homers. But he gave up one to Luis Valbuena (who???) and a callup named Clevenger. Not good at ALL. He was pulled after 6 innings and 87 pitches and Fernando Abad and Rhiner Cruz, the only relievers (besides Wesley Wright) who are not currently sucking, mopped up.

Altuve is still benched but off the DL, don’t ask me why if it isn’t the hope that he’ll get picked for the ASG, and Lowrie had the day off and the remnants of the lineup didn’t do a thing. Including Chris Johnson who continued his lousy week by doing nothing with 2 out, bases loaded in the 9th.

I looked at the box score after I got home tonight, saw that the Astros “hitters” had 1 double, 3 singles and 1 walk over 9 innings. And Downs got caught stealing on a strikeout. All in all, not a game worth bothering to watch the re-run.

So which is it – he is still hurt, or he’s fine and just sucks?

Tomorrow afternoon, Matt Garza faces J Happ, who doesn’t have any more experience at Wrigley than Bud did.

Oh yeah – in case there are any fans left who still care, Crane is getting rid of the train next year because it will get in the way of the huge sign that is going up over the left field which now is obstructing some of the pennants. Money talks.

And speaking of money, Crane must be one seriously pissed off guy seeing as how his 3 expensive pitchers (Wandy, Myers and Lyon) are not exactly making a good case for themselves as trade bait, and the Phils have just made Jim Thome available for trade to a DH ball team – and he’s significantly cheaper than Carlos, who is not hitting for power any more, although he has the title of Hardest Guy To Strike Out In The Majors – something that thrills baseball media people to no end.

Unfortunately, teams aren’t that dumb any more.

6/28/12: Brett Myers Gives Up 6 Runs In The 9th And Padres Come From Behind To Win

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Here and I thought I was going to have to write about us getting no hit AGAIN. Cashner, not exactly a great pitcher like Cain, mowed em down 1,2,3 – except for one walk, to Jed Lowrie, for 6.1 innings. Lots of staring Ks, thanks to the HP ump’s large and ever changing strike zone, and grounders and lazy fly balls. One really well hit ball and that was a liner smoked to the first baseman.

Dallas Keuchel had managed to allow only 1 run over his 6 innings, a solo homer on a FB right down the dead middle of the plate. He didn’t have the stuff or control he had last game, walking 4, giving up 3 singles in 96 pitches over 6 innings. He just barely made it out of the 6th – got a grounder, then gave up an IF single that he tried to get a glove on. Then a 5 pitch walk – got one of those as a called strike, but it was one of the HP ump’s bad calls. Another 5 pitch walk with ball 4 being a pitch that was called a strike 2 ABs ago. Bases loaded. Then a 7 pitch called K on yet another of the HP ump’s crazy calls. Then, with bases still loaded, a flyout to center.

End of 6, Astros losing 1-0.

7th inning, Rhiner Cruz comes in, gets 1,2, E-5, 3 (and CJ had NO excuse for that ball under his glove) and for the first time in a LONG time, he looked like the Rhiner Cruz who pitched in April.

Cashner cruising, gets Lowrie out, then Carlos Lee hits a clean single to left center. What a relief. Then Bogu comes up, takes 2, fouls off 7, and hits the next pitch into the upper deck in right. Goo-bah nono, goo-bah shutout.

Astros 2 Pads 1

8th inning: Julio Daniel walks, Scott Moore, playing second, gets his first Astros hit, singles to right and JD is on 3rd, then scores on a WP for an insurance run. Which is a good thing because unless the pitch is down the middle, hitters don’t know whether it’s a ball or strike.

Astros 3 Pads 1

Brandon Lyon gives up a single, gets 2 outs, then Wesley Wright comes in and gets the 3rd out. Millsie-poo does NOT trust Lyon to get leftys out at ALL.

9th: the ol WB comes in to close, gives up a double off the scoreboard his first pitch. Not a good sign. Then gets a 6-3. Then a single and men on first and 3rd. Then CJ makes a REALLY egregious error on what SHOULD have been a 5-4-3 and the run scores. Then a single and bases are loaded. Then a bases loaded HBP to tie the game. Then a swinging K. Then a grand slam to Alexi Amarista.

Padres 7 Stros 3

Yeah, I know the inning shoulda been over, or at least there shoulda been 2 outs, 1 run scored if CJ had gotten that ball. But he didn’t give up the next single or the HBP and he CERTAINLY didn’t give up the grand slam. That’s on Myers himself, who has looked, uh, tired lately – the 5 runs given up to KC 5 games ago, the 2 runs he let score the other night, the 6 runs tonight.

Xavier Cedeno has come in after him and cleaned up 3 times. Maybe HE should close.

Huston Street mows down the Stros – hard to believe it has been TEN years since he was the closer for the WS winning Longhorns. What I remember from those games is that the announcers announced about 50 times per game that Huston’s father was a college football player on a winning team. And it doesn’t say much for a series when all i can remember is that the announcers were obsessed with some college FOOTBALL player.

sigh

Off to Wrigley, where Bud Norris, fresh off the DL, to face lefty Paul Maholm, who has a 5.38 ERA AND his lowest ERA this year has been 4.05. He’s always pitched well against the Astros, too. In fact, he’s pitched better against the Astros than every other ML team who he has faced at least 7 times – except the Braves. At Wrigley, over 130 IP, he has a 4.87 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP over 18 games pitched.

Bud has pitched twice at Wrigley, once starting and once in relief, giving up 5 R/ 2 ER over 9.1 IP with 11 H, 2 HR, 1 BB, 9 K. Small sample size, yeah. But tomorrow is gonna be hot and the wind is gonna be blowing out and Paul Maholm has already given up 7 homers in 7 games there this year.

6/28/12: Ex-Stros Qualls And Quintero DFAd

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

At this point, the Astros have been no hit through 5 innings by Andrew Freaking Cashner, so looking around, I see that both our ex-Qs are lookin for work:

Quintero, who was traded to the Royals and has his usual .598 OPS, but has been DFAd in favor of Brayan Pena and his .620 OPS. Quintero SHOULD be able to find a backup job SOMEwhere.

Qualls, he’s one of those relievers who, when he is good, he is veryvery good, but otherwise, he’s hanging sliders and losing. He had a REALLY bad year in 2010, an OK year last year for the Pads with a 101 ERA+ but EIGHT losses, and this year, he didn’t have any of the very good. But you know how it is with relievers, seems there is always someone SOMEwhere who picks up relievers off the scrap heap.

6/27/12: Lucas Harrell Pitches A Shutout To Beat Padres

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Maybe Dallas Keuchel has started a tradition in the name of “Astros pitcher least likely to pitch a shutout.” Which, seeing how tired out/lousy the bullpen is, sounds like a good idea to me. It has been announced that the Astros are going to stay with the 6 man rotation, not a bad idea, seeing as how seems to me that having 6 guys throwing 6-7 innings/game and limiting innings thrown by pitchers who sukc is a good idea.

It’s nice to be on the winning side of one of those 1-0 games, seeing as how the Astros managed exactly 2 hits and no walks over 8 innings. The one run came from a Matt Downs homer on a FB down the middle and he hit it to the second window over the LF bullpen. Only other hit was a Julio Daniel Martinez single and CJ immediately GIDP. That was it – no ROE, no HBP. Nada.

Lucas sailed through 8 innings:
K, GO, GO
FO, single, 4-6-3
GO, K, K
GO, BB, PO, SB then BB, GO – 2 LOB
Single, K, PO, IF single, GO – 60 pitches at the end of the 5th.
K, PO, FO
Single, FO, K, GO
GO -3, lineout, bunt out. 5 pitches, 84 pitches through 8 innings.

Then it got interesting – first really kewl play was that first grounder in the 8th – Carlos knocked down a grounder, fumbled it all over the place, but managed to get the ball on the dugout side of first whiile stretching out to touch his toe to the bag just before Denorfia got there. He’s another guy I didn’t know still had a major league job – I remember him with the Reds like over 5 years ago – checked – yeah, in 06, then OOB for a year, then in the Oakland AAA club for a couple years with 64 ML AB, then with the Padres since 2010.

Where was I? Oh yeah – so of course, question was, would Millsie-poo let Harrell pitch the 9th, especially seeing as how hadn’t nobody in the pen actually pitched lights out in, like, forever. Myers got the save last night AFTER letting 2 runs score.

So yeah, Lucas is out to try to nail down the job. And first pitch, Headley leads off with a single to center. Then Carlos Quentin hits a grounder to short, but no DP, just a forceout at second – it’s Downsie-doo there and fielding isn’t his thing. Pinch runner Alexi Amarista goes in. 5-7 my ass. He looks smaller than Jose Altuve. Yonder Alonso walks on 4 pitches, ALL really WAAAAY out of the strike zone.

sigh

Like, pitch to  the guy – he’s got a .334 slugging and more walks than extra base hits. And 38 year old pitcher Jason Marquis comes in to pinch run for 24 year old Alonso. Honestly, when a pitcher old enough to be your daddy can outrun you…

Next pitch is hit into left, Julio Daniel scoops up the groundball, fires it to Chris Snyder – hits the ground for a very short hop, a little up the line, but Snyder reaches around to sweep tag Amarista, running as fast as his little legs can carry him (but I’m kidding – he runs faster than Snyder and JD and, I guess, lots of guys on the Padres, too.)

Two outs, men on first and second. Lucas walks the bases full.

STILL no sign of anyone warming up – how interesting. Lucas is gonna have to get em out his own self. And he does, getting a swinging strike on ball 3.

Game time, first pitch to last, 1 hr 55 minutes. Now THAT’S a ball game.

Tomorrow night, it’s Dallas Keuchel, NOT Bud Norris, vs ex-Cub Andrew Cashner, RHP. Andrew is a homie from Conroe, was the Cubs first rounder in 08 and was traded for Anthony Rizzo, who the Pads got from the Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez – and let’s say it wasn’t a good trade for the Pads.

This is Cashner’s first ML start for the Padres – he started in the minors and relieved in the majors. He pitched 54 innings for the Cubs in 2010 with a 4.58 ERA, and only 10 innings in 2011. In the minors, he had 8 hits/9, gave up only 3 home runs in 196 innings, but had 3.8 walks/9 with his 8.4 K/9. His problem in the majors has been walks, over 5 walks/9 IP – and the significnat increase in homers – 12 HR/96 IP, not insignificant.

He just might do fine because the Astros aren’t very good at walking. Youneverknow. Then again, Keuchel just might throw a no-hitter….

6/27/12: Jordan Lyles, Chase Davidson, Astros Moves, Astros Win

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

I was thinking about Chase Davidson today when I heard that HS SS Rio Ruiz and college SS Nolan Fontana (rounds 2 and 4) signed. They signed for way over slot, just like Lance McCullers did, using the money that the Astros DIDN’T give to Carlos Correa. Why Chase Davidson – and who the heck is he?

He was our 3rd round pick in 08 (Lyles was a 1st rounder same year) who turned down whatever money he was offered, probably wasn’t THAT much, and went to U of Ga for 3 years and got picked again in 2011 round 41 after 3 years of college. No degree, no college glory and no bonus. Anyway, he got put in rookie ball, killed the ball, and is now just starting low A short season ball at age 22. Sometimes gambles pay off (see Aaron Crow) and sometimes they don’t. Fontana, by the way, is starting at A ball.

Speaking of gambles, the Astros gambled that Jason Maxwell’s painful bone-chipped ankle would magically somehow just be OK, but it wasn’t, so off he went to the Operating Room. His AB last night was worse than bad – looked like it hurt as bad to walk as it did to swing.

So they called up lefty Scott Moore, 3B/OF, Detroit’s first rounder in 02, who is hitting .324/.409/.564/.974. He has a .640 OPS over 184 ML ABs, in case all yall curious. Travis Buck got DFAd (but asked to stay at AAA) and Fernando Martinez got returned to AAA. Which means that the Astros really don’t have any righty bat to come off the bench, unless you, for some reason, want to think of Matt Downs as a bat, don’t ask me why.

Jordan Lyles came out tonight, knowing he would HAVE to look really good in order to not get sent down instead of Dallas Keuchel on Thursday.  He was going to get to face the worst lineup in the NL, and he’s have to not suck. Plus, he would be facing Kip Wells, a pitcher who hadn’t been major league quality in years, and hadn’t showed any evidence that he’d be turning into Ryan Vogelsong.

First 2 innings, Wells didn’t look good, but the Astros hitters looked worse – Lyles couldn’t lay down the bunt for the squeeze with bases loaded 1 out – 2 walks and an IF single – in the second and Bixler couldn’t get anyone home neither.

sigh

Venable led off the 3rd with a homer off the top of the RF bullpen railing – the review was right. Single off Bixler’s glove (Altuve is still sitting – supposed to me “much better” – OKayyyyy), single to right, swinging K on a pitch at the neck, walk, groundout to short. 60 pitches already. Not exactly looking sharp.

Padres 1 Astros 0

Then Lowrie makes sure we won’t get shutout with a homer on a FB right down the middle over the RF bullpen fence. Bogu singles, but otherwise, no more. Ump, by the way, has an inconsistent strike zone. His name is DJ Rayburn. I disremember seeing his name before, so either he’s a fill in or a new callup. Or didn’t seriously piss me off before.

Astros 1 Padres 1

4th – Lyles must have heard my thoughts bout AAA because he gets 3 outs on 8 pitches.

Julio Daniel flies out – hey, where’s that new swing???!!! Schafer singles up the middle (just as I was saying how it’s time for him to go – you know that Michael Bourn has SEVEN homers already? That’s more than CJ or Carlos. And Michael hit one 422′ today. Yes, it’s a FINE contract year for the boy.)

5th – Jordan loses his grip – gets a popup on a pitch out of the zone, gives up a walk, flyout (on a pitch out of the zone), ANOTHER walk, then a swinging K. Jim Deshaeis is up front about how Lyles doesn’t have good command.

Stros get lucky – Lowrie singles, Bogu bunts back to Kip Wells, who whirls and throwa a DEAD easy 1-6-3 into CF and it’s men on first and third, no outs. Then CJ is up, Kip throws a WP and Lowrie runs home and Stros grab the lead as Bogu gets to second. Then CJ singles to left and Bogu runs home. Castro flies out, JD is up. Passed ball and CJ is on second. Julio Daniel fouls off a bunch of breakers and finally connects on one and hits it OFF the Conoco Pump – naturally it’s not on BBTN home runs even though it went a GOOD 440 feet. They didn’t even mention the Astros GAME on BBTN – spent at least half the time screeching about the ump who mistakenly thought a Yankees – you notice it’s the stupid Yankees – OF caught a foul ball when he leaned into the stands. The camera saw a fan get it and hold it up, so this is good material for screeching on and on about how umps make mistakes – not that it mattered in that particular game.

Where was I? Oh yeah -

Astros 5 Padres 1

6th – Lyles at 84 pitches. Let’s see if he’s any more confident with a 4 run lead. And yep – 6 pitches 3 outs, with a really good play from Bixler at second.

Nick Vincent, RHP, just called up from AA, is out. Lyles lines out, Bixler Ks, Lowrie flies out.

7th – Lyles at 91 pitches, back out. Walks Venable, then gets what should be a 6-4-3, only Bixler gets slid into and doesn’t turn the DP. Carlos Quentin singles to the LF bullpen and it’s men on first and third, 1 out instead of 2 out, man on first. Lyles has given up 4 walks, 6 hits and a run on a solo homer. He can feel good because he certainly outpitched Wandy, but not sure it’s going to be enough because he’ll be compared to Keuchel.

Lefty Abad is in to face lefty Kotsay. OOPS – righty Chase Headley in. And THE LEFTY STRIKES OUT THE RIGHTY!!!

You see that Millsie-poo? Can you believe it??? Leftys getting out rightys!!! Rightys getting out leftys!!!! It’s a crazy crazy world out there these days. What’s next, Dogs and cats living together???!!!!

Where was I? Oh yeah

Vincent back out. 1 walk, 2 flyouts, 1 K. Wonder if we can get 2 innings from our tired guys as good as the 2 innings the Pads got from Vincent.

8th – Abad back out, gets 1,2,3 out

LHP Alex Hinshaw, LHP out. 1,2,3 out.

9th – David Carpenter in to mopup. K, single up the middle, walk.

mopup FAIL

Closer in to face Carlos Quentin. Flyout to the Hill. Two run single to right. Another single. Men on first and third. HBP, bases loaded. Groundout, game ovah.

6/26/12: Brandon Lyon Loses It In The 10th And Kip Wells Returns

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Yet another game in which Wandy pitches lousy and manages to not lose. 5 runs/6.2 IP  He might could get traded, but he won’t get sent down. I notice that although Wandy isn’t walking many this year, he isn’t striking out many, neither. He went from one of the top 10 to one of the not top 10 – maybe he doesn’t want to get traded.

Bud Norris is DEFINITELY coming back to the team, actually even gonna start, sez the team mouthpiece, but they don’t know who is going to go down. They are going to HAVE to send down SOME pitcher because the bench ALREADY has 2 guys who can barely play because they are not healthy and 1 guy who stinks.

Hmmmmmm, maybe Wandy doesn’t WANT to get traded..

But the interesting news is that the Padres Organization is so short of pitchers that they are starting the likes of Ross Ohlendorf. And tonight, I read that “Wells Returns”, well of course, I thought they meant DAVID Wells, who, like Jamie Moyer is 49, and most likely in significantly worse shape. But no, it’s homeboy Kip Wells, the White Sox first rounder in 1998, traded to the Pirates for Todd Ritchie (one of the Pirates very few trades they won resoundingly – and I don’t mean just dumping salary) as Kip gave them 3 decent years of starting. But he slid down to join the rest of the team in uncaring suckage-hood, and he finally got to cost more than minimum wage and was traded to the Rangers for Jesse Chavez – man that guy has been around a LONG time – but did worse there.

He started 26 games for Saint Looey in 07, but the ol Dave Duncan magic couldn’t revive him and he posted a 5.70 ERA. I had thought that was it for him, after he came to Astros Spring Training and failed to get anywhere, but no, he pitched 37 innings for the Rox and Royals in 08 and 72 innings for the Nats and Reds in 09.

He pitched in the indys last year and this year, signed a minor league contract witht he Pads and he has thrown 7 games over 38 innings with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. He’s giving up 10.8 hits/9, walking 4.7/9 and striking out only 3.6/9 – which very seldom translates into success in the majors.

The Astros ballclub last faced him in 09 – first vs the Nats in relief – 1 ER/2.2 IP, then vs the Reds at the end of the year – then he started for the Reds in Sept giving up 4 ER/6 IP.

He’s always pitched a little better at the Box than he has in his overall career numbers: 4.56 ERA and a 1.45 ERA over 67 IP – 69 H, 9 HR, 29 BB, 49 K.

I guess we’ll be facing Moyer next.

And before I forget, congrats to Jason Castro for hitting the game tying run (Froddy gave up a 2 run homer in the 8th to someone you’ve never heard of to give the Pads the go-ahead run. Too bad Lyon couldn’t hold it.

6/24/12: Chris Johnson And JD Martinez Homer To Back Happ In Taking The Series From Cleveland

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

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.

Um, yeah.

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.

NOT

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.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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.

vs

Well, that’s a very good question. Will it be Bud Norris or Dallas Keuchel? Stay tuned.

6/23/12: Dallas Keuchel Throws Complete Game To Beat Indians For His First ML Win

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

He pitched great his first time, but unfortunately, the Astros batters looked like little leaguers facing a college pitcher.

And sure enough, the Astros started off looking like 10 year old kids AGAIN this game going 3 up 3 down for the first 4 innings – and Gomez threw only 40 pitches. So I started writing an entry about how I was gonna be cursed to watch two no hitters against the Astros in one month. Keuchel is pitching absolutely great except for one hanging pitch that Asdrubal Cabrera hammered to the Conoco Pump.

Tribe 1 Stros nono

And then, a miracle occured. Bogu lined the first pitch of the 5th inning for a double to the RF bullpen. AW RIGHT!!! We’re not getting no hit, but this means I have gotta re-write the entry.

I did, by the way, almost go to this game, my resolve is weakening, my footing on the wagon slipping. I was given a ticket – so free game – but what actually helped me was not a sponsor leading me from temptation, but the realization that it is over 100 degrees out and finding parking on a Saturday afternoon downtown and then walking in the 100+ degree heat would be beyond unpleasant. Yes I know that the official temp (at the airport) is not 100 but trust me on this, downtown with all that concrete is well over 100.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Bog u sev ic CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP

Then Chris Johnson goes to lay down a bunt – no, I am NOT kidding – I don’t think the guy has bunted since he was a little kid, if then – and he fouls it off. Yes, this team has sunk SO bad we are having Chris Johnson sac bunt. And I don’t know whether or not it was his idea or Millsie-pooo’s. But anyway, next pitch is a VERY inside fastball and CJ pulls it into the LF corner for a double and Bogu trots home.

Stros 1 Tribe 1

So I’m re-typing the entry – Hey, Dallas will at least get a ND instead of a loss as long as he manages to keep em offn home plate.

Jason Castro flies out to center, then JD Martinez hammers a hanging slider almost to the tracks over the CBoxes for a 2 run homer. He’s still struggling with almost anything that isn’t mid plate, but hey, a hit like that is HUGE.

Stros 3 Tribe 1

So I’m chatting with a baseball buddy about the suckage that is Jordan Schafer and the guy must have read my thoughts because he hammers the very next pitch for an opposite field shot into the CBoxes. No, not kidding. Jordan Schafer hits an opposite field homer. Really. Honest.

Stros 4 Tribe 1

Keuchel grounds out, then Jose Altuve breaks a string of ofer with an infield single to short – the SS bobbled the ball, but it would have been a tough beyond belief play that you would need Adam Everett to make. Then Jose steals second, only the ump calls him out – replay clearly showed he got his foot in before the tag. Oh well, we’re still winning.

Top of the 6th, Gomez the pitcher leads off – Jim Deshaeis is intrigued, thinks the manager figures – hey, he got slammed in 1 inning, but maybe he’ll recover and do fine the next. So anyway, he hits a ball to right center. The OF were clearly startled, neither expected him to hit the ball at all (he CLEARLY doesn’t know how to bunt – his attempt in the second inning was beyond pathetic) so Schafer got a late jump but managed to put on a burst of speed and catch it at the last second. Then Dallas gets the next 2 outs no probs.

Bottom of the 6th, Lowrie, who had hit 2 flyouts about 30′ short of the right bullpen fence, drew a walk. Next pitch is a FB right down the exact middle and Carlos Lee hammers a line drive to the left bullpen and Lowrie scores standing up. Bogu and CJ fly out to right center. Then the Indians manager, Manny Acta (remember, he’s one of the guys that The Old Regime wanted for a manager, but Cleveland offered a better contract) pulls Gomez and sends in a lefty to face Castro. Interesting that he didn’t send him in to face Bogu, but I guess that would have meant that he’d have to face CJ, who eats leftys. Castro Ks

Stros 5 Tribe 1

Top of the 7th, Keuchel gives up a leadoff single, then strands the runner. Stros go 1,2,3.

8th, Keuchel gets 1,2,3 out on 9 pitches. JD mentions that only Wandy has managed to go 8 innings this year, and only once. Some of that isn’t the pitchers’ fault – some of that is Millsie-poo playing matchups with relievers in the 8th and 9th for whatever reason.

Jeremy Accardo, RHP, in for the Tribe. I didn’t realize he was still in baseball – I remember him pitching for the Giants back when Barry Lamar was still playing. Checking bbref, I see he was traded to the Jays in 06 for Shea Hillenbrand – you talk about a controversial guy, not sure why, but the fans hated him along with his clubs’ management.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Altuve leads off (I like this by the way – him leading off, Lowrie batting second and Schafer batting 8th) takes a ball, then hammers the next one into the Crawford Boxes. So much for you have to be a Josh Hamilton looking guy to hit home runs.  Accardo has this shocked look on his face – something like – how’d the ballboy get in the lineup and what is he doing hitting a home run?

Stros 6 Tribe 1

Then Jed Lowrie doubles off the scoreboard almost didn’t make it because he didn’t slide, Bogu grounds him to third. Carlos slams a pitch off the LF bullpen fence and Lowrie trots home. CJ doubles to the RF bullpen fence – 5″ higher and it would have been a homer. Carlos trots home. Castro and Julio Daniel ground out.

Stros 6 Tribe 1

9th inning – Millsie-poo is letting Keuchel finish up. Hard to believe, but then again, not so hard to believe, seeing as how the pen isn’t that good and the guys there are pretty tired from overuse and Millsie-poo’s leftyrighty fetishes.

Shin Soo Choo doubles to left – I’ve noticed that he’s a lefty who likes to go the other way. Cabrera grounds back to Keuchel and Choo stays put. Kipnis singles to shallow left and Choo can’t go past 3rd. Jose Lopez flies out to Bogu on the RF line and Bogu throws a bullet to Castro – Choo stayed put. Just as well, he would have been dead meat. Brantley flies out to right and there’s the ballgame.

Dallas Keuchel pitches the Astros first complete game of 2012. As Jim Deshaeis reminds us, first time a rookie has thrown a complete game since Taylor Buchholz shut out the Rangers with a 5 hitter in 06. Too bad he hurt his shoulder. And too bad that either he didn’t tell them because he didn’t want to be considered a wuss like that no good Luke Scott, or that he DID tell them and they told him to pitch through it.

Speaking of hurt and playing through it – apparently Justin Maxwell has a bad ankle with bone chips floating or something, but he’s not getting it fixed or even going on the DL, but he’s gonna play through it. What a great idea.

9 IP, 4 singles, 1 double, 1 HR, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 K.

Wonder if Bud Norris is worrying he’s going to be Wally Pipped. Me, I think that if anyone should go back down, it’s

Houston hitters had 1 walk, 10 hits. Every position player in the lineup had a hit except Castro. Of the 10 hits, 6 were doubles, 3 homers, 1 single.

Tomorrow, it’s J Happ vs Derek Lowe, groundballer – over his last 5 games he’s given up 8, 1 7, 1 ,7 ER. And he won the last game, too – Mat Latos gave up 7 runs too.

Bad news for Husby-doo. Alyson Footer is leaving the employ of the Astros and going back to write for mlb.com, only she isn’t going to be the Astros reporter any more, so no more Alyson on TV. She’s going to be covering all the teams, but not a columnist like Justice. Not surprised, she’s not a Selig apologist.