Archive for July, 2012

7/31/12: Jose Altuve Has His 37th Multi Hit Game And The Astros Go 3 Fer July

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

All Yovani Gallardo needs to do to regain his stride is face the Astr0s.

Chris Snyder provided the only run with a solo homer.

This team is just sorry.

Dallas Keuchel had a lot of trouble finding the strike zone – 7 walks in 4+ innings, no K. And he was pulled with 2 on no out in the 5th, Fick came in and promptly gave up a 3 run homer. Earl Weaver’s kind of game.

Should I mention another wild pitch and another stolen base against Snyder?

sigh

Cordero really stinks (he’s officially been removed from the closer’s role) Fick stinks and Rhiner Cruz, who gave up 2 runs in the 9th, stinks. And the Brewers are complaining about THEIR pen?

Tomorrow it’s Jordan Lyles vs Mike Fiers, RHP, age 27, who was drafted in the 22nd round in 09. You don’t wanna see this guy’s numbers because he makes Yo Gallardo look like a minor leaguer. He’s a rookie at age 27, and if he had been called up before the Super 2 deadline, more people whold be hearing about this guy – but it wouldn’t make no nevah mind with all the attention on Bryce Harper.

Oh what the heck, I’ll post his numbers: 10 GS over 65 IP with 54 H, 2 HR (his first start, none since) 16 BB and 65 K.

Husby has even stopped teasing me about the team being so bad – we just have bets about how many hits we we get vs give up. How many SB allowed. How many homers allowed. How many plays not made/errors. Fun stuff like that.

Forbes is estimating that the Astros will have a 39 mill payroll next year. I can’t figure out where the extra 10 mill is coming from.

 

7/30/12: Can We End The Coco Cordero Experience NOW, Please!!!

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Chris Johnson hit a grand slam, first of his ML career and

oops, wrong team.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. Bud Norris was nails for 4 innings. Had trouble in the 5th – had to work around a 12 pitch walk to Nyjer Morgan for a grand total of 29 pitches, had a brief time out, came back for the 6th, got a flyout, a HBP, a FC leaving a man on second, eighty zillion pickoff throws to second, finally a flyout, then a blessed K. He looked exhausted and Bud hardly ever looks exhausted.

He hit for himself, bottom of the 6th, leading 3-0, which surprised me, then, to my shock, he was back out for the 7th. I guess I can’t really throw stones at Millsie-poo seeing as how our bullpen is not only awful, but really abused with his leftyrighty matchup obsession thingy.He walks Lucroy on a 3-2. Takes him like 5 minutes for the entire AB. But Millsie-poo leavies him in and Nyjer Eff Morgan hits a hanging slider into the RF bullpen. You give up a homer to Nyjer Morgan, honey it is time to GO.

I see Coco Cordero is the only one warming up. I feel sick. I don’t know whether or not Mills WANTS to use him or whether he was ORDERED to use him. But Bud is left in, gives up a double to the RF bullpen and then is yanked.

Cordero comes in. FB barely reaches 91 and he can’t control it well. He gets lucky with a bunt pop. Then a chop single that Scott Moore can’t get, then run comes in and Bud Norris doesn’t win again. BS number 3 for Cordero in 5 games. Another single. Another single. Then a double steal. Millsie-poo out. Then an IBB. Then a blessed GIDP – just as well because it’s Rhiner Cruz in the pen.

Crew 4 Stros 3

Only good thing is that the Crew bullpen is as bad as ours and for some reason, Jonathan Axford has fallen to pieces somehow.

8th inning is a giant fustercluck. Livan Hernandez, who the Braves DFAd a few weeks back, is out. I had heard that since Frankie Rodriguez was sucking as badly as Loe and Axford, that he’s in line to close. Oh man, how the mighty have fallen. Altuve singles, Marwin sac-bunts him over. Way to go, give up the out. Pearce, hitting third (no I am not kidding) doubles him in. Brett Wallace Ks, Julio Daniel walks and Scott Moore flies out.

Tie game Stros 4 Crew 4

Coco back out. OH NOOOOOOOOOO. Sure enough, Lucroy immediately doubles. Millsie-poo pulls Coco to send in Xavier Cedeno, the lefty to face Nyjer Morgan. Who sac bunts right back to Xavier who throws it to third and Lucroy has LONG since beaten the throw. Oh no. Next batter hits one of those infield rollers, Cedeno gets it but not in tim to get Lucroy at home or anyone else. Oh jeez. Next batter is ex-Stro Cody Ransom and Cedeno throws him a FB right down the middle and there’s a 3 run upper deck 450′ homer.

Crew 8 Stros 4

Yeah, it woulda been 7-4 if Cedeno had gotten the out at first.

Stros get back 3 in the 9th, but with men on first and third, 2 out, Julio Daniel hits a ball into the 5.5 hole and SS Cesar Izturis makes the web gem of the week to get it and get Julio Daniel out by a hair at first. He really was out – watched the replay. Too bad he runs so slow.

This team is so BAD.

Tomorrow, Dallas Keuchel tries to pitch a complete game to beat Yovani Gallardo, who is haveing a very un-Yo like year. But I’m sure he’s really looking forward to facing us because he always kills the Astros.

The Brewers are leading the NL in homers, so Dallas better watch out.

I see that the Cubs have ditched Maholm and Reed – sent them to the Braves – wonder if they got a better haul from them than we did for Michael Bourn. Best I can tell, they’re getting rid of anyone on the team they can except for Anthony Rizzo and Jeff Samardizjia. Big market Cubs are going bargain basement?

Speaking of Ex-Stros, Roy Oswalt got absolutely KILLT today by Albert Pujols and the Angels. Roy’s career ERA is taking a serious beating this year. His back must be really bad.

Things are getting interesting. The Nolan Ryans are really short on pitchers because Colby Lewis is out for the year, Feliz and Ogando are out and Roy-O appears to be on his last legs – so to speak. They haven’t gone after any of the pitchers who have been traded and they don’t appear to have anyone anywheres near ready in the minors. Wonder if they are gonna try for Josh Johnson, seeing as how the Marlins, unsurprisingly, are quite openly reducing payroll already.

Crane supposedly said that the payroll next year will be 50+ million. 11 mill of that, of course, will be for Wandy. Next year, we will have exactly 3 players who are arb eligible – Lowrie, who won’t get much seeing as how he was out most of the season, Wesley Wright, who is a LOOGY, and Wilton Lopez. That’s IT. One of the reasons they got rid of CJ is that he’s arb eligible and probably would cost them a cool mill and a half next year. EVERY player will be getting ML minimum or slightly more. That’s not much more than 20 mill. Say 25 mill. Crane will be pocketing the rest or maybe pretending to pay off debt like billionaires do. The other 30 mill is gonna be spent on who? Free agents? You mean like some retread reliever who might cost a couple mill? Nobody who is any good is coming to Houston, that’s fer SHER.

Ah well, not that there will be all these fans protesting…

 

7/29/12: NEWSFLASH: Brett Wallace Gets Called Up

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

And Brian Bixler gets sent down. Matt Downs is just one of those guys that a club clings to for some reason. Whatevs. Will be interesting to see if they put Wallace at first or third – and Moore plays third a HECK of a lot better than he does first. But I’m betting on 3rd cuz unless he hits like Mike Trout, Wallace ain’t stayin with this club real too long because of Jonathan Singleton. And by the way, you think CJ was bad with the glove at third, Brett made TEN errors in 130 chances.

It sure would be nice if the Astros minor league clubs had a way to click on a transactions list.

I notice that the Hooks are facing a little lefty pitcher named Carlos Hernandez. I thought noooooo, it can’t be – and it isn’t. This one is 25, not 35.

7/29/12:Lucas Harrell And Astros Snap 12 Game Losing Streak

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Lucas Harrell is now the staff ace, which tells you all you need to know about this here staff. He’s given up 1 or no runs in 5 of his last 6 games, but his last win was his CG shutout against the Padres in which he received exactly 1 run of support. He’s also lucky in that he doesn’t have to face McCutchen, who has the day off.


1st
– Lucas Harrell gets flyout, K, K. Not bad start for the Astros ace. He has a 1.89 ERA at the Box this year – reminds me of Wandy’s 2008. Or was it 09. Stros up. I remember Pearce from when he was with the Pirates – and I hope he’s better here is all I can say.

Altuve grounds to short. Marwin pops up to left. Julio Daniel is batting 3rd now, and he walks. Scott Moore is hitting cleanup. Sigh. He flies out to center. August is gonna be absolutely horrid, you think July is bad. Luhnow is playing Ed Wade and using all these ML/AAAA rejects to play. We now have exactly ONE major league infielder out there in Jose Altuve. I feel like I’m watching the 62 Mets only worse.

2nd: Garrett Jones pops up to Moore right at the foul fence where the ballboy sits – had to run a long LONG way. McGehee grounds out. Pedro Alvarez singles off the scoreboard, but Mchenry groundsout. Pearce Ks, Bogu grounds out on 3-0, Snyder walks. Mary Jane Schafer walks. Harrell is gonna have to drive in his own runs. But he Ks. NO, this is not an argument for a DH.

3rd: SS Jordy Mercer (backup IF) chops out 1-3. Pitcher Ks, Sterling Marte groundsout to third. Moore is a better fielding 3B than 1B. People always talk as if playing 1B is something any ballplayer can do and do well, easily, without much effort. Um, no.

Harrell better pitch a CG he wants ANY chance of winning. He’s at 38 pitches. Good. If Millsie-poo pulls him after the 8th for the closer because that’s what we do, Harrell has every right to outdo Shawn Chacon on Ed Wade. Altuve walks. We really need to start doing something with these. And Marwin singles off the SS glove on a hit n run and takes second as the SS can’t find the ball. Hey, he’s given a double. Not real too many infield doubles. Julio Daniel hits a sac fly to right, Altuve scores!!! We won’t get shutout!!! Moore walks on 3-2. We HAVE to do some more scoring or Harrell will have to pitch a complete 1-0 game. Pearce up. And he grounds into an easy 5-4-3. Not a good debut. Astros 1 Pirates 0

4th: Marte grounds out to 3rd. Walker walks. “Wild Pitch” – Snyder gives up a LOT of those. Poor Harrell. And sure enough, next pitch is a FB right down the middle Garrett Jones hits into the upper deck which must have gone 460′ if it went an inch. There goes the shutout and the game. It must be pure hell to pitch when you can’t rely on your catcher to catch anything not right down the damm middle and when your hitters suck. McGehee flies out and Alvarez Ks. But really, so what. It’s a little too late to do the right thing now.

Pirates 2 Astros 1

Bogu flies out. Snyder walks. McDonald is throwing a lot of pitches, but like so what. The Pirates pen is really really shutdown. And Schafer hits a 2-0 pitch into the RF lower deck and my GAWD the Astros take the lead again. Which hardly ever happens. My GAWD. Harrell Ks. Altuve hits the ball on a grounder to shallow center and stretches it to a double because Marte, playing CF, doesn’t throw it in well. Amazing how many OF can’t throw accurately. Or hard. Bogusevic really is an exception. Marwin Ks.

Astros 3 Pirates 2

5th: Once more, can Lucas Harrell hold a 1 run lead? McHenry singles up the middle on the 8th pitch. Cmon Lucas, it’s gotta be a CG. Grounder to short but Altuve makes a bad throw which Moore makes a great leaping catch on, and it’s just a FC. McDonald sac bunts. Infield single – chop was so high that by the time it came down, Marte was already on first. Oh jeeez. Stolen base – no throw. Presley up. After the 26th pitch this inning, it’s 3-2 and Harrell is looking nervous. But Alex gets impatient and swings at ball 4 and strands runners on second and third.  He’s now at 85 pitches, which means that unless he gets lucky, he can’t get that complete game and that is not good news.

Julio Daniel leads off with a triple to right. Moore singles him home. Lucas has a leeetle Moore breathing room. Pearce doubles over the bag down the LF line. Men on second and third, no outs. CMON Bogu!!!!! but he gets an IBB. Snyder is up with bases loaded. JD just says that Astros are batting .139 with bases loaded. I’m really surprised – didn’t think it was that high. I’m guessing that Pirates manager figures that Snyder is gonna K or GIDP, and whatever, he thinks their bats can come back against our worthless relievers.

But no, he hits a chop in front of home (at least it was in the strike zone)  and the Pirates catcher makes a web gem play in front of the plate and manages to get his glove across the plate and Moore is out at home. Schafer hits an infield chopper, run scores and he’s out at first. Harrell is gonna bat for himself. Which figures because there is no way that he’s gonna get pinch hit for with our really horrible bullpen.

Astros 5 Pirates 2

6th: Harrell better pitch lights out for the next 2 innings. Walker hits the ball 400′ but into CF and it’s just a long fly ball to the wall. Garrett Jones grounds into the shift and Altuve gets it in shallow right and barely gets him out. McGehee hits a bloop over Marwin. Alvarez goes to 3-2. COME ON Lucas!!! But no, he walks. Brocail out and the pen is up. Froddy is warming. Ohmigawd. Harrell better get McHenry out NOW or he can kiss this game goo-bah. Harrell is having trouble finding the plate. He’s tired and his stuff isn’t working. WAAAAAYYYY outside 3 times and a gift strike. Another walk and its bases loaded. Not good. 108 pitches. He hasn’t been able to do much for the past 2 innings, and he’s damm lucky he got this far. He’ll be damm lucky to get a win.

And it’s Froddy in to face SS Jordy Mercer. Nope. Andrew McCutchen in to pinch hit. Gee Millsie-poo, didn’t see THAT one coming. I feel sick and I bet Lucas does too. But Froddy gets him to popup to shallow right, Altuve is all over it and Froddy is back to his old ways of stranding runners. I’m afraid to see who will pitch the next 3 innings and unfortuunately, Coco Cordero has been deemed “ready.”

Kevin Correia in to pitch – he’s beated the Astros in both starts this year. He just got put in the bullpen with the Wandy trade. Altuve flies out to center. Marwin singles to right. Julio Daniel grounds out. Man on second, Moore up and hits an RBI single. A little Moore breathing room. Pearce grounds out to short.

Astros 6 Pirates 2

Only a 4 run lead. Man that is gonna be really REALLY tough to hold.

7th: Lucas Harrell must be swallowing zanax by the handfuls. I sure would be. Froddy still in. Josh Harrison (playing short, in for Mercer) hits a double down the LF line. Here we go. Marte pops up. Presley and Walker to get out. Good luck there boy. Presley goes to 3-2, fouls off a bunch, then Froddy paints the outside edge and gets the K. Brocail out. Froddy left in to face Neil Walker. Good luck there boy. Walker drives the first pitch to the RF bullpen and 1 run in. Froddy’s runs are almost all from him starting an inning and letting his own runs score. He hardly lets any other runs score as a fireman.

Astros 6 Pirates 3

Wesley Wright in to face Garrett Jones. Who flies out first pitch.

Correia back out. Bogu Ks, Snyder singles to right, Schafer Ks, Downs up (from double switch with Wesley) and he singles to left, whaddaya know and it’s men on first and 3rd, 2 outs. Altuve goes to 3-2 then walks. Lots of 3-2 counts in this game. You talk about all Jose’s  multi-hit games – this is his first multi WALK game. Bases loaded. Must be up to .140 BA with bases loaded now. Marwin up.

AND HE DOUBLES TO THE LF CORNER!!!!! first 2 runs score easily and Altuve scores all the way from first, juuuust getting in under the tag. I noticed Dave Clark waving him around. None of this stop sign stuff with THIS bullpen.

I can’t remember the last time anyone had a 3 run hit. Probably last month, or May or something. Julio Daniel grounds out.

Astros 9 Pirates 3.

8th: Wesley left in to face a righty, McGehee. Imagine that. And he gets a 3 pitch K. Alvarez hits a bloop single to left. Wesley pulled. Coco Cordero coming in to face McHenry. Brocail better have backup ready, it’s only a 6 run lead.

McHenry Ks. Ex-Stro Drew Sutton (traded for Jeff Keppinger) in to PH. He goes to 3-2 and finally Ks. Well, whaddaya know.

Jared Hughes, RHP in. Moore grounds out. PH Ben Francisco hits a double into the LF corner. Bogu back up – cmon there boy, relax and hit. Flyout to the warning track. Snyder flies out.

9th: Chuckie Fick in to mop up. Millsie-poo better have some other guys ready. Josh Harrison singles to left. Marte singles up the middle. Oh (swear word) here we go. Mound conference with Brocail. Xavier Cedeno getting back up. Wilton Lopez might could need to as well. Pressley up. Wild pitch 4 (swear word) feet away from home. Harrison scores, no outs, man on second. Bouncer to first, Downs gets it but FICK WASN’T COVERING and Downs doesn’t get to the base fast. Jeezus keerist. Here we go again. Fick and Downs are both teh sukc and neither one has any business on a ML roster.

Astros 9 Pirates 4

Men on first and third, no outs. In comes Xavier Cedeno. Wilton better be warming up too. Only got 5 runs to work with.

Neil Walker hits a sac fly.

Astros 9 Pirates 5

Garrett Jones up. Groundout to first. Man on second 2 outs. McGehee up. Xavier Cedeno pulled, Wilton Lopez going in to face McGehee. And he strikes him out on 3 pitches.

Astros are now 3 fer July and have snapped that 12 game losing streak.

Off to Milwaukee.

7/29/12: Goodbye Chris Johnson

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

And you thought no one else would want him. One of the few players who DIDN’T want to be traded. I have heard that several teams have wanted him for several years, but they didn’t want to trade him. But he’s gonna be arb eligible next year and they woulda hadta pay him. We can’t have THAT.

He’s off to Arizona – not sure what they’re gonna do with him, seeing as how they just got rid of Ryan Roberts for their new callup 3B, and Paul Goldschmidt is too good at first to be replaced.

And CJ was already announced for today’s lineup, too.

We’re getting 21 yo Bobby Borchering, AA third baseman who was the Dbax first rounder in 09. He was promoted to AA a few weeks ago and he’s 10 fer 77. He had an .827 OPS at high A over 838 AB. From reading prospect lists, he doesn’t hit for average, just power and is a lousy glove at 3rd, so he’s most likely destined for 1B. He was on the Dbax Top 10 prosepct lists, but they had a younger 3B higher.

and Marc Krauss, age 24, LH, left fielder, the second round pick in 09, hitting 917 OPS over 283 AB. Krauss isn’t even mentioned in any Arizona prospect list.

So Steven Pearce is gonna play first and Scott Moore is gonna play 3rd. And Matt Worthless Downs is STILL on this team. Brett Wallace is officially toast, I see.

I hope they aren’t going to just use him to pinch hit because he’s a really terrible pinch hitter.

7/28/12: Armando Galaragga Doesn’t Lose, But Fernando Rodriguez And The Astros Do

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Fernando Abad was sent down today. Enerio Del Rosario and Aneury Rodriguez (who has a 6+ ERA at AAA) were taken off the 40 man and are now just playing at AAA. No one else wants em, for good reason. Not sure why we do. We added one of the Cards triple A rejects, Chuckie Fick, RHP age 26, and his 4.68 ERA/1.49 WHIP and 4.25 K/9 rate to the ML roster. Luhnow picked him up because he drafted him when he was with the Cards. This is like Ed Wade with the Phils/Phil Garner with the Tigers. Geez.

The place is almost full – guess it’s say goodbye to Wandy – night. Nah. Most people are here for the after game concert. Most Astros fans have absolutely no idea how good he was and for how long. He won’t be missed, except by me.

1st – Armando Galarraga trots to the mound wearing Happ-less’s old uni #30 and I hope it isn’t a bad omen. Sterling Marte Ks. Alex Presley hits an upper deck homer on the second pitch. McCutchen pops up, Garrett Jones hits a FB down the middle 420+ feet, Maxwell runs it down onto the Hill, catches it and then drops the ball as he trips over his feet (I absolutely HATE that damm Hill) and it goes for a triple. Jones hit the ball even further than Pressley did. Walker flies out to the LF bullpen.

Pirates 1 Stros 0

Wandy walks onto the mound in a Pirates uni.

I thought I would cry, but I don’t. But that’s like me. I haven’t cried at funerals, ever – somehow, even though I’m saying goodbye, it takes me a while to realize that they’re really gone and gone forever. I’m sure it will hit me and hit me hard sometime this winter that my favorite players have gone and my baseball team is dead. Hating the murderers doesn’t do anything because dead is dead. Revenge is a dish best tasted cold, as my daddy sez and Nolan Ryan proved, but even the pleasure of watching Nolan’s sour face as ex-Stro Lance Berkman beat his Rangers out of a WS didn’t do anything to cut the pain.

Astros go 1,2, walk to CJ, 3

2nd – Mondie?? Rahggie? finds a slider and gets flyout, then 2 swinging Ks. Wandy walks Maxwell. Still not sure what to call him – Maxie? Then Bennie Francie walks, too. Bixie, playing SS (uhoh) sac bunts em over. Corporan better squeeze. But no, RBI single men on first and third. Mondie gonna squeeze? I don’t think so – looks like he doesn’t know how to bunt. And he Ks swinging on 2 curves. Altuve strands em.

Stros 1 Bucs 1

3rd: Wandy grounds out, Sterling Marte hits a ball to shallow center that Maxie-poo makes a great running catch on. Remembering the 05 team and how Willy-T absolutely couldn’t make a play like that – could NOT come forward. You know that the pennant winning 05 team got shutout EIGHTEEN times?!  Pressley walks. McCutchen grounds to CJ.

Downsie-doo flies out (hope it’s him that Steven Pearce is replacing. Remember when Pearce was gonna be the Next Big Star for the Pirates? Didn’t work out real too good but he can play first or corner OF and Downs is teh sukc.) CJ hits a solid liner right at Neil Walker. Julio Daniel walks, Justie-poo lines out to short.

I was wondering why we aren’t calling up any actual young players, then realized that – hey, we can’t do that until September because otherwise we’d have to pay them, so it’s Old Guy retreads for us.

4th: Mondie hangs a slider and Neil Walker hits an upper deck homer. Otherwise, it’s 2 grounders and a K.

Pirates 2 Stros 1

Wandy gives up walk #5 but that’s it.

5th: Mondie gives up a single but strands him. 75 pitches. He better pitch all 9 he wants to be sure.

Astros have 5 walks, ONE hit so far. So Altuve singles, Downsie-doo gets an IF single to short. CJ flies out to center, Altuve on 3rd. Julio Daniel pops up to short right. Justie hits a fly ball to the corner of the RF bullpen that Pressley doesn’t get – 5 more feet and it woulda gone out and it’s a 2 run triple. Francie grounds out.

Stros 3 Bucs 2

6th: McCutchen singles. Millsie-poo out, but Mondie stays. Garrett Jones grounds to Downsie-doo, who tries to make a cute throw from his knees and his throw hits McCutchen in the back so no outs, men on first and second. Good bye Mondie. Well, you know this bullpen, so there goes the game and most likely, those runs gonna score. Wandy isn’t dumb – he knew all he had to do was hold on until bullpen time.

Wesley Wright out. Neil Walker hit by 0-2 pitch, bases loaded, nobody out. Alvarez chops one in front of the plate for a DP – out at home and first. He’s left (hahaha) in to face righty Barajas and first pitch hits Corporan on the hand – passed ball (JD says he was expecting a breaker and Wesley threw a FB). Tie score. Too bad Corporan hadn’t thrown to 3rd for that DP out. But he pops up to short right and Altuve makes a great sliding catch to end it.

Stros 3 Bucs 3

Wandy back out. Groundout, K. PH Scott Moore in – he’s a LEFTY (no righty PH) and he hits an IF single to second that Walker can’t make a clean play on. Jose singles to center. Men on first and second, 2 out. Pirates manager doesn’t even think about pulling Wandy because he knows that Downsie-doo sucks and sure enough, he pops up.

Thank goodness there are 3 more innings left to play because we haven’t won an extra inning tie game this YEAR.

7th: Chuckie Fick in to pitch. Could he possibly be worse than Rhiner Cruz/Enerio Del Rosario? We’ll see. Barmes singles. Wandy sac bunts. Then nice sliding catch by Maxwell. Then a groundout.

Well, Wandy won’t win, but he won’t lose neither.

RHP Chris Resop and he gets 1,2,3.

8th: Fickie back out. Since he’s already Chuckie, is he Fickie anyway? McCutchen walks. Single to right and it’s first and 3rd, none out. Millsie-poo out. Chuckie out. So much for him being a 2-3 inning long reliever. Froddy coming in. Walker pops up. Alvarez Ks. Barajas lines a single to left, McCutchen scores the winning run and Garrett Jones is out at 3rd on a 7-6-5.

Pirates 4 Stros 3

Froddy gets another blown save and goes to 1-9. At least I’m assuming he will, because the Astros are highly unlikely to come back against Brad Lincoln.

Bennie Frannie pops up. Bogusevic in to PH and he Ks. Corporan hits a bloop single to center and Schafer pinch runs – which really is bout all he is any good for. Scott Moore up and Schafer steals on the first pitch. Moore pops up.

9th: Wilton-ie Lopez in – should we call him Tunnie? He gets 1,2,3 out.

Jason Grilli in to close because Hanrahan is unavailable. Doesn’t matter – he gets 1,2,3 out.

Twelfth loss in a row and we are almost halfway to the ML record of 23 straight losses (since 1900).

sigh

Altuve gets his 36th multi hit game, Astros make 3 really nice defensive plays and also don’t get shut out.

Oh yeah – Chuckie Fick is not better than the guys he replaced.

Tomorrow, it’s Lucas Harrell, now the staff ace, vs James McDonald. Lucky 13.

7/27/12: Chris Johnson Kills The Ball And Rhiner Cruz Kills The Win

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Eleventh loss in a row – and again, this was a winnable game and was lost by the bullpen.

Jordan Lyles was unhittable for 3.1 innings, especially with his 3 run lead, then he hung a ball and Alex Pressley hit it into the Crawford Boxes. McCutchen doubled to the LF bullpen, but then Lyles got the next 2 outs.

Teh kewl was Jordan Lyles laying down the bunt and Jason Maxwell avoiding the tag coming home from 3rd on a successful squeeze. Not sure it was SUPPOSED to be a squeeze, but hey, it was awesome anyhow. I luuuvvv the squeeze and sure would like to see it used a lot more.

Ben Francisco hit a ball juuust over the railing into the Crawford Boxes, next inning, McHenry hit a 2 run job. It was 4-3.

In the top of the 7th, McHenry led off with a double, Froddy let him score with a sac bunt then a sac fly.

sigh. Here we go again.

Bottom of the 7th, CJ triples, Julio Daniel singles him in. Justin Maxwell singled, Francisco Kd, Snyder walked, then pinch hitter Downsie-doo grounds out on the 3rd pitch. It’s the bases loaded curse.

The 8th was kewl – Wesley Wright came out for the 8th, got the lefty, then went to play RF (remember Roy Oswalt playing LF right after he got traded to Philly in that extra inning game we lost?) and Wilton Lopez came in and gave up a double to righty McCutchen, then Wesley came back to pitch, Bogu went to right and Wesley got out the lefty, then the – get this – righty!!!

He stayed in the 9th to get the lefty out, then Rhiner Cruz came in and walked 2 guys to load the bases. But the Pirates aren’t the Astros and know what to do with bases loaded. Xavier Cedeno came in, gave up the tying sac fly, then the go ahead wild pitch (Snyder ain’t Corporan with the glove) and there went the ballgame.

Naturally, we didn’t come back against Hanrahan.

I suppose I should be happy that we didn’t get no hit and were actually in a position to win the last 3 of 4 games, but hey, that all important Loss Record is still within reach.

What was good was Chris Johnson hitting the holy heck out of the ball – another homer, a triple and a double and a walk. Everything else was uck. Including Bogu making the last out of the game the second day in a row, swinging wildly.

Wandy will be on the mount in a Pirates uni tomorrow night facing old re-tread Armando Galarraga. So much for the youth movement.

7/26/12: Astros Continue To Surge Toward All Time Loss Record

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Dallas Keuchel threw the first pitch of the night right down the middle of the plate and it was POW gone and the Astros lost right there. Neil Walker then hit another meaty one 425′ to the Hill, but that is where baseballs go to die, so Keuchel got lucky. But then Andrew McCutchen singled, then Keuchel threw another FB RIGHT down the middle and Garrett Jones hit it out.

Pirates 3 Stros done fore

Oh – half inning not over, sorry. Keuchel found some movement and got out the next 2 hitters.

AJ Burnett got 1,2,3 out. His ERA would be 2.68 if it wasn’t for that 12 run 3 inning game to start the year. Guess he didn’t like Noo Yawk real too much.

Next inning, first hitter walks, then Clint Barmes golfed a knee high pitch (mid plate) into the Crawford Boxes. At least it wasn’t right down the middle. He then gets 1,2,3 out – took 15 pitches, but he did it. Stros go 1,2,3.

Pirates 5 Astros nohit

Keuchel got 1,2,3 in the 3rd and 4th – the last of those outs being a very long FB by Barmes to the LF bullpen – 50′ to the left and it woulda been another homer.

Meanwhile, Corporan singled in the 3rd, so that took away any impending excitement of a no hitter.

The 5th was fun though – with one out, Sterling Marte singled, Walker walked, then Andrew McCutchen hit what looked like a perfect 5-4-3. CJ was on it in an instant, made a perfect throw to Altuve who made a perfect throw to Moore, only McCutchen beat it out and it’s men on first and third. So with Garrett Jones up (is he a FINE lookin White Boy or what?) and at 0-2, McCutchen takes off for second, only Keuchel has him picked off. Scott Moore notices Marte headed for home, throws to third and CJ fires a bullet to Corp-ie and Marte is dead meat.

Very kewl that the Stros have a good fielding play for ONCE instead of the horse-stuff misplays and errors.

Keuchel had a good 1,2,3 6th. Too bad he had a horsestuff first.

And except for a walk to CJ (yes, a walk) Burnett kept guys off bases through the end of the 6th and gave up a single in the 7th. Enerio-ie (or do we call him Dellie or Rosie or Sorry?) gave up a single to the pitcher, but got 1,2,3 out. For ONCE.

8th, he gave up a single, got a K, then was naturally yanked for a lefty to face Garrett Jones, who can’t hit leftys (see first inning homer offn a lefty) and then got him out. I was beyond shocked that Millsie-poo left him into face righty McGehee and somehow, he managed to get him out too. Will miracles nevah cease?

Burnett goes back out, throws ball 1, then CJ takes the next pitch, an inside high FB for a ride to the Crawford Boxes. Hey, there goes the shutout. Bogu grounds out, then Corporan homers into the RF stands. He can play defense (more on that later) AND he can hit? Imagine that. We should keep him up here instead of Snyder when The Catcher Of The Future comes back. Goo-bah Burnett. I thought fer sher he’d get a CG here. Brad Lincoln, former first rounder – 4th pick of the 06 draft, who is now a middle reliever, comes in. Downsie-doo walks, but Altuve and Marwin strand him.

Pirates 5 Stros 2

Imagine that.

Funny thing about drafts – Lincoln was the 4th pick, Andrew Miller was the 6th that year, and neither one of em turned into anything resembling a good starter. At least Lincoln is useful for middle relief – which, by the way, is something useful. Luke Hochevar was the first and he is still starting for the Royals, don’t ask me why, because his ML ERA since he started starting in 08 is well over 5. Youneverknow. Our first rounder, in case you’ve forgotten, was HS catcher Max Sapp, who never got out of A ball before catching spinal meningitis.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. So Rhiner Cruz comes in to pitch the 9th. He’s throwing in the high 90s and some of those throws are ridiculous – 2 feet in front of home, 3 feet to the left, to the right, above home. And Corporan CATCHES EVERY SINGLE ONE. NO (swear words) wild pitches/passed balls. Been a long time since we’ve had a catcher who can, like, you know, CATCH. He gives up a single, but somehow manages to get 3 outs.

Are you ready for this shock? THE BULLPEN GIVES UP NO RUNS.

I know – I can’t believe it neither.

So in comes Joel Hanrahan – the Astros are one of the few teams that caused him to blow a save this year. But it was a tie game then, so naturally we lost. Moore walks, goes to second on a WP, CJ singles him in!!! But thatttttt’s all folks.

We’ve now lost 10 straight and are 2 fer July. Really. we’re still at 34 wins and are on pace to easily break The Record.

Tomorrow is Jordan Lyles vs Jeff Karstens.

They’re calling up Armando Galarraga (TOLD yall) to face Wandy on Saturday. Arm-ie (I guess) hasn’t pitched worth spit except for that perfect game, since 2008. Had a 5.91 ERA for the Dbax last year in 8 starts over 42.2 innings. I can’t wait.

Wandy has thrown a few shutouts, but never a no hitter. I’d actually root for that.

Quote of the day, from soxaholix.com (WARNING – NOT G-rated)
” If Josh Beckett was any more wild, he’d be on display at Whole Foods between the harpoon caught swordfish and the hand-harvested Peruvian quinoa”

7/25/12: Coco Cordero Loses The Second Game In A Row

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

He didn’t just get unlucky in Toronto with a few balls that sneaked through. And here in Houston, I’ve watched him for 3 games and he has nothing. I knew he was going to go back tonight for a save because The Geenyuss Jeff Luhnow had brought him here to close, and I knew Millsie-poo had no choice in the matter. The Astros had a 1 run lead and I just knew he was gonna blow it again. He barely threw a pitch in the strike zone – first one got hit for a double. Brandon Phillips fouled off a few before walking. 2 on no out.

Husband looked at me – betcha they hit 3 runs before he gets pulled, he said. I didn’t know whether to take the over or under, so I figured Heisey would hit a 3 run job then Cozart would hit one out too before Stubbs could get back up. So I took the over. And, like my Astros, I lost. Only the tying and the losing run, then he got pulled for Abad, who let another one score. Husby feels too sorry for me to gloat but not to sorry to collect.

The SOB threw exactly TWO good pitches – curve balls that actually you know, like, curved.

Sigh

And this after Bud Norris pitched his first ace game in like forever – 5 hits, 1 walk, 7 K, 1 run. His teammates didn’t do spit for him. What a shock.

Enerio Del Rosario, fooling around with a new delivery, came in for the 8th and I had a little bet with husbay about how many runs we were gonna give up – we’re gonna have to pick a number and do the over/under thingy because this arguing about who came closest to the correct number thingy is silly. Anyway – what do they call the guy? Enerio-ie, Nerie, Dellie, Rosarario-ie, Rosie? walks the first guy on 4 straight balls, then gets the next guy to hit into what should have been a DEAD easy 1-6-3, only Marwin drops the ball and the ump for some reason, gives an out call even though Marwin was 3 feet from the bag – ridiculous. For some reason, the Reds don’t protest. So Enerio-ie is yanked, in comes Xavier Cedeno-ie? Ex-Zayvie? to face Jay Bruce, who singles. In comes Fernando Rodriguez to Save The Day, but Snyder, in for Corporan, drops a pitch and it’s a double steal. So Ludwick is IBB, bases loaded, then a single to right – one run scores and Bogu guns down the second with a perfect bullet to home.

Will someone PLEASE explain Luhnow’s LUUUUVVV of the crappy Jordan Schafer, who has a noodle for an arm? Put Bogu in center and keep him there plz. Thx.

I hate BBTN – they’ll show Josh Ex RedSox Reddick gunning down a runner at third, but will they ever show any of Bogu’s great throws? Oh, noooooooooo.

In comes 7th inning guy Logan Ondrusek, who gives up a double down the LF line (Rolen can’t move like he used to) to Altuve, who, by the way, had his 35th multi-hit game, going 3 fer 4 with a walk, a SB. Wonder what Luhnow is gonna get for him – probably is gonna pay his salary for the next 5 years in return for more minor leaguers.

Which reminds me – I don’t have a problem with rebuilding. But it’s kind if like the 3 little pigs – these guys they got remind me of the house of straw – not even the house of sticks. AND the other team got a major league player without paying TOO? Luhnow ought to look at the Marlins – that is how you do it, you get the OTHER team to pick up the salary.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. Then CJ hits his second hard liner of the day, unfortunately, again, right at someone. Then Scott Moore hits a double into the RF corner. Then teh kewl happens.

Julio Daniel hits a Little League homer – a double to the LF bullpen wall – the fielder makes a terrible throw and JD goes to third, and then there’s a terrible throw to third, which goes into the bullpen and Julio trots home with the go ahead run.

and you know The Rest Of The Story.

Pirates here for the weekend and Dallas Keuchel goes tomorrow.

No word yet on how long this crappy “closer” is gonna be kept.

Paul Clemens and his 6+ ERA got sent back down to AA – remember how he was so fer sher gonna be here by now, just like Brett Oberholzer and his 6.44 ERA were gonna be here by now, too. Jose Cisnero, who actually is pitching very well and getting no pub because he wasn’t someone they spent millions of dollars to trade for, got promoted as did pimpee Jarred Cosart, who has pitched well in 5 of his last 6 games.

WHERE THE HECK IS JASON STOFFEL? WE NEED RELIEVERS WHO GET, LIKE, YOU KNOW, OUTS!!!

Jake Buchanan and his 5 ERA/1.50 WHIP also got promoted from AA to AAA.

You wanna bet that Armando Galarraga gets called up for Saturday? It’s gonna really hurt seeing Wandy in a Pirates uni on Sunday. you know, even with all these years with the Astros, Wandy never had a shirt or jersey with his name for sale in The Shed. No respeck.

sigh

Oh, and Luhnow – with all these supposed planned roster moves, you mind getting rid of Schafer – I promise you, nobody else wants him, and Downsie-doo? And Corporan is better than Snyder, too.

7/25/12: Lucas Harrell Is Excellent, Coco Cordero Sucks And Astros Lose

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Just found out that the Astros are paying the Pirates 12 mill to take Wandy. Jeezus – that’s next year’s salary. For the Pirates’ 8th ranked prospect – the AA OF, not center fielder. And the 2 A ball leftys. 12 effing million.

Well, they’ll have a payroll made up of pre-arb guys next year.

Yeah, I know – ooooooh, all the A ball prospects who are gonna be on the team in September. We already GOT a team full of A ballers. Yeah, I know – these are YOUNGER A ballers.

Jose Altuve had his 38th multi hit game. We should get tons of A ball guys when we trade him and then we can have Jimmy Paredes. Yeah, I keep hearing that Altuve is high up on the trade list. Right next to, believe it or not, Chris Johnson. Of course, Altuve also got CS and failed to turn a 5-4-3 DP, which led to a run scoring. But he’s the best player we got left on the team. Jeez.

Marwin Gonzalez didn’t have a good night neither – getting thrown out at third on CJ’s bloop popup to CF, hitting into a 3-6-3 DP.

CJ had 2 lucky singles – that bloop pop into center and an infield squibber off Aroldis Chapman that wasn’t fielded well. Sometimes you’re good, sometimes you’re lucky.

Justin Maxwell hit a 2 run homer into the Crawford Boxes and reached on error – but he’s certainly better than Jordan Schafer, whose time really REALLY has gone. Couldn’t even lay down the bunt. He’s hitting his ML averages in BA/OBP/SLG, his SB% is 74 and he’s not a particularly good fielder. He’s striking out 95/325 PA. Cmon – at least Bogu can field really well. And run bases better. And don’t bring up Michael Bourn (who, by the way, is 11th in the entire NL in offensive WAR) and his first year and low BA because Michael stole more bases and was a Gold Glove out there – he NEVER dogged plays the way that Mary Jane does.

sigh

As for Coco Cordero – please. He can’t close his eyes. We faced him for like 3 YEARS before we ever beat him. I know who he WAS. And who he IS is cooked. 1 run lead – long flyout, single, 2 run homer = BS/L, groundout??!!, walk, WP (and yeah, it really was and not another passed ball the umps blame the pitcher for), another walk, RBI single. Crappy stuff, crappy location – and it wasn’t the ump (except for one ball 1 that shoulda been strike 1). Call up one of those million dollar A ball pitchers we just traded for.

Bud Norris goes tomorrow. He better pray that he gets a 15 run lead.