Archive for August, 2012

8/30/12: Hunter Pence Beats The Astros 2 Nights In A Row

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

I would have titled it Froddy Loses Lyles’ Game To Preserve Astros Losing Streak, but I think I’ve already used it 8 times this year.

Lessee – Dallas Keuchel gives up 4 runs in the first – Hunter Pence hits a 3 run bomb to put the Giants ahead for good and the Astros give up the rest of the game in spite of knocking Barry Zito out in the third. Dallas is punished by getting sent down to AAA to sit on the bench for the final few games of the season. Matt Dominguez in called up – see, he’s hit really well in his last 10 games, raising his average from .240 to .255 and they’re gonna start him at 3rd next year anyway because they traded for him so now’s as good a time as any to get started, right?

Meanwhile, they’re gonna call up Edgar Gonzalez (see Armando Galarraga) to take Keuchel’s place in the rotation until they go to a 6 man rotation to protect the young arms. OKayyyyy.

Tonight, the Astros took a 4-0 lead. I had this feeling it wouldn’t last real too long – I was right. Altuve led off with a single, Jason Castro doubled him in, then Jimmy Paredes got his first hit this year, singling Castro in. Fernando Martinez stranded Paredes. Fernando is making Julio Daniel Martinez look like Matt Kemp – and him not getting anywheres near Marco Scutaro’s double in the 6th led to the 3 run demise of Froddy, but hey, we knew he couldn’t field.

Second inning, Lyles loads the bases on 3 straight singles, then gets a K, a 3-2 forceout, then he catches a liner to leave bases loaded. Meanwhile, Matt Dominguez hits a triple and Bogu sac-flies him home.

Third inning, Jordan gets 1,2,3 out. Tyler Greene hits yet another homer, this one juuuust barely over the RF wall near the foul pole, but a 340′ homer is still a homer.

4th inning, Jordan gets 1,2,3 out. Dominguez doubles, then Bogu hits a liner to second, Dominguez is doubled off, and really, that’s IT for the Astros.

5th inning, Jordan gives up a single to left, an out, then a single to the pitcher (a BAD omen) then d RBI double down the 3rd base line that Dominguez doesn’t get, then one of those stupid choppy IF singles that Lyles tries to get and Greene gets too late to make a play on, then a sac fly to shallow left that Fernando can’t get a throw home in time to prevent an out, then a groundout.

6th inning – Xavier Cedeno gets 2 outs and a single, Froddy comes in and gets the third out. Castro walks, Paredes singles to center, tries to take second but is thrown out (and yes he WAS out) and naturally, Fernando Martinez strikes out for the 3rd out, stranding Castro at third. I suppose they are playing Fernando so much because Maxwell has a finger owie – hasn’t played in 10 days and you can’t do stuff like send him to the DL and call up someone else because there is an off chance that OKC might could win in spite of no pitching. Or something. Which is why you call up their only 3rd baseman.

7th inning – Froddy goes back out, gets 2 outs, then gives up a double to that nasty corner by the CBoxes that Martinez doesn’t get to, then a single that just gets by Altuve, who almost stops it, and stops 10 feet away so that Paredes can’t get it home in time to stop the tying run. Then a wild pitch/IBB to Posey, then Hunter Pence (yeah, him again) singles home the 2 runs.

Game over.

Naturally.

Bogu walks, steals second, is stranded.

8th – Rhiner Cruz gives up a solo homer.  Sgtros go 1,2,3

9th – Pence walks and Brandon Belt (who just lives to hit Astros pitching) doubles him home. Blanco singles to right and Paredes throws out Belt at home. I’m absolutely paralyzed with shock – first time I’ve ever seen Paredes make a good throw. Well, Pearce made one the other day, why not Paredes? I mean, sometimes the pitcher gets a hit. It’s baseball, youneverknow.

Javier Lopez comes in to finish (4 run lead – no Closah) and gets 2 outs, gives up a single to Matt Dominguez, then Bogu, so Sergio Romo has to come in to Close and gets Jason Maxwell swinging on 3 pitches.

So the Astros are managing to keep wins at bay and have clung to 40 wins now for 7 games. They have to cling for dear life because they failed to lsoe FIVE times this month, unable to repeat July’s masterful 3 win performance. Tomorrow night, Reds are comin to town and Abad is facing someone – doesn’t matter who, does it?

Oh yeah – Da Rojah is pitching for the Skeeters again in 8 days, and the Astros are “monitoring” the situation.

Announced attendence was 12,835 (translation – 1,234 Giants/Pence fans in the stands – the Crawford Boxes had maybe 10 people in them) and the Astros are desperate for any publicity and therefore, they are “monitoring” Rojah. Who would most pikely outpitch anyone on the Astros not named Harrell…

8/28/12: What If They Had A Baseball Game And Nobody Went?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The announced attendance was 13, 600. There couldn’t have been more than a few thousand people scattered throughout the stands. No wonder Crane wants 50 year old Roger Clemens. There were more Giants fans in the stands than Astros fans, and there were more than a few people welcoming Hunter Pence back home.

Bud Norris pitched great – he now has a 2.10 ERA at home this year and basically nothing to show for it – 3 wins in 9 games. Actually, he has only 4 really bad games all year, but it’s been enough to play heck with his ERA, and he’s had lousy run support when he has pitched well. Tonight, he gave up only a solo homer to Angel Pagan (remember when he was gonna be the next great Cub? Or was that Felix Pie? I get so confused…) Where was I? Oh yeah. He left in the 7th, was facing Angel Pagan again – threw a nice FB, a strike at the knees called Ball 1 (the ump had a zone the size of a stamp), then looked as if he lost the ball out of his hand, then he left with a blister on his finger.

Ball 2, Froddy comes in, gives up a walk, then gets the last out. Francie-poo leaves him in  in the 8th to face the meat of the Giants’ lineup and he gets em out 1,2,3. That was impressive.

Meanwhile, Matt Cain, who didn’t give up a hit until Brett Wallace’s double to the LF wall in the 4th, was left in to pitch the 8th after he was clearly tired out. That’s funny – the Astros tiring out Matt Cain. Jimmy Paredes, our new RF, who, by the way, looks to be having a little trouble getting jumps and reading balls off the bat (although he did make one nice running grab on Posey’s liner in the 8th), drew a 9 pitch walk – Paredes hardly ever walks, which should tell you that Cain wasn’t making pitches, then Brett Wallace hit a pitch a foot outside opposite field for a single.  Then Jason Castro, hitting cleanup, sac-bunts.

Really.

When’s the last time you saw a cleanup hitter putting down a sac-bunt? Mickey Mantle back in the 50s?

Then Tyler Greene is up, swings wildly at 2 curves out of the zone, and Matt Cain’t finish him off – and in fact, the Ball 4 is a WP and Paredes comes in to score the go ahead run. Froddy has the foolish idea that the guys are actually gonna give him a W for once. Cain is yanked, Santaigo Casilla, RHP is in to relieve, and it’s Greene on first, Wallace at third, Scott Moore PH, and Greene gets caught stealing – it isn’t a missed hit n run, neither. He’s thrown out by the PITCHER.  Roll eyes. Moore walks, Marwin grounds out to second – and if Greene had stayed put, it would have been another run on the groundout.

sigh

So it’s The Closer time, and to my shock, Wesley Wright is going out to get Belt, the lefty. Is it a case of the Loogy or is Wesley gonna close out the inning? It’s LOOGY-itis, but Belt singles, and Wesley is out and Wilton-ie is in. He can’t be trusted to get leftys out, I guess. And Wilton-ie immediately gives up a double down the LF line which rolls into the corner and bounces around. Bogusevic, replacing Fernando Martinez in left (when Bud had to come out) hits Greene, the cutoff man, who sends a weak-ass throw to the plate and Belt scores the tying run.

Same old, same old.

Crawford Ks, then PH Hector Sanchez hits a single to shallow center, but Barnes has to come in to get it and the go ahead run scores.

My oh my, this is like the third game in a row that Wiltie=poo has come through with a blown save/loss. Who does he think he is, Coco Cordero? Astros always find a way to lose, don’t they?

Giants’ closer Sergio Romo (they haven’t missed Brian Wilson at ALL) gets 3 outs on 6 pitches.

Should I talk about all the Astros missed scoring opportunities, I mean, besides Greene’s stupid out in the 8th? Nah, why bother, it’s the same old story.

The Organization says they plan to move Jimmy Paredes to play center field. I say, are you KIDDING??? But the good news is that this means no more Jordan Schafer. They expect Jimmy to hit for average and power in the majors because he had a .823 OPS at AAA. Well, Moore hit better, as did Fernando Martinez, Brian Bixler and Brandon Barnes. We’ll just have to see. I’m sorry Barnes isn’t doing better – he’s an Original Astro and I was hoping he’d do well. But he’s comfortably fit into the morass of suckage, so he’ll be gone or back in AAA next year. At least he’ll have lifetime health insurance now.

Tomorrow, it’s lefty Barry Zito vs Dallas Keuchel. Will be interesting to see if Brett Wallace is gonna be playing.

8/27/12: Goodbye Steve Pearce, Hello Jimmy Paredes

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Mark Teixiera has an owie with his leg, so the Yanks needed a lefty bat to take his place right quick, so they bought Pearce from the Astros. No great loss. Then again, Ichiro has reached bout the end of his career, especially on the road, so Pearce can suck in RF too.

Anyway, the news is that since OKC is most definitely NOT in the playoffs, seeing as how they have no starting pitchers and no relievers, the Organization decided to bring up Jimmy Paredes. They transitioned him to the OF when it finally sunk in that he is TERRIBLE with the glove at third OR second (24 errors). Naturally, they are now crowing about how he’s gonna be a great center fielder. OKayyyy. He’s going to start in RF. Sometimes terrible fielding infielders are good outfielders (see Ryan Braun, who was a butcher at third, but a great glove in left.) I’ll give the boy a chance.

He is the other guy (besides Mark Melancon) who we got in the Berkman to the Yankees trade in 2010. Berkman, by the way, is most certainly NOT shutting up about what he thinks about the Astros OR the move to the DH league. Lance is most positively NOT a fan of the DH. My kind of guy.

Where was I? Paredes. He had his best ever offensive year in hius minor league career this year at AAA. Has a .383 BABIP, 507 AB; 28 doubles, 7 triples, 15 homers, 22 BB, 101 K, 37 SB, 10 CS. He had an .823 OPS, his highest minor league OPS by 50 points. But then again, this is the majors so we’ll see what he can do. He’s only 23, and youneverknow.

Tomorrow, Bud Norris opposes Matt Cain. You remember, the guy who pitched a perfect game against us in San Fran. I’m very surprised there haven’t been more no hitters against this team this year – we have the largest negative run differential in the majors (naturally) by 77 points. I’m so PROUD of the boyz – when they suck, it ain’t just a little sip, it’s a black hole.

Bud has done his part by losing 10 games in a row and even when he pitches very well, his hitters and fielders back him up by making errors and not hitting. So we’ll see if the string will be unbroken. Bud has a long LONG way to go to catch the guy who has the most losses in a row without a win, Anthony Young of some terrible Mets team, with 22. Yeah, over 2 years.

8/26/12: Astros Support 2 Straight Loss To The Mets By “Considering” Starting Pitcher Edgar Gonzalez

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Might as well have kept Galarraga if all you want is awfulness.

Fernando Abad threw 4 innings of 1 run ball, managing his first Loss as a starter – I’m so PROUD of him, which apparently has guaranteed him a rotation spot for the rest of the year. Francie-poo pinch hit for him with bases loaded 1 out top of the 5th, but Steve Pearce came through and hit into a nice double play to end the threat of runs.

Today, Lucas Harrell made a shameful attempt to win, throwing 7 innings of 2 hit 2 walk ball, giving up only a solo homer to Ike Davis. Altuve, who had the day off, led off the 9th with a single, stole second, Marwin Gonzalez hit a ball down the LF line that was just fair to tie the game. After Brett Wallace lined out, Ben Francisco hit a ball to shallow right and Marwin tried to score from second – could NOT believe StopSign Dave Clark actually waved him around, but he was positively out at the plate – Shoppach blocked the plate and Marwin did NOT get his hand in under the tag. He was mad, he was out, and he was tossed out.

Then Francie-poo broke The Rules and brought in The Closer in a tie game on the road (don’t ask me what that is supposed to be a nono but apparently it is) and Wilton strengthened the bonds of team unity by serving a cookie to Ike Davis who promptly sent it into the RF stands. So I’m sure Francie-poo will hear it from those who thought that he shoulda done the send some righty to face David Wright, then pull him and send in the LOOGY to face Davis. But hey, your closer is suppsoed to be the best reliever on the team. If HE can’t get the heart of the lineup out, well, he sucks.

So anyway, apparently there is Some Concern about innings limits for our young pitchers and Luhnow is talking bout going to a 6 man rotation and calling up Edgar Gonzalez, a 29 year old righty who pitched most of the year in the Mexican League, and 1 game at AAA OKC – former Diamondback, whose last respectable year, as a starter/long reliever, was 2006 when he posted a 113 ERA+ over 42.2 innings. No I am not kidding. Next year, 2007, he had a 95 ERA+ over 102 innings, again as a swingman. You don’t wanna hear the rest of his numbers, because they are all bad.ERA in the majors over 325 IP is 5.90 with a 1.57 WHIP. No I am not kidding. His AAA numbers aren’t much better.

I don’t know about all yall, but I’d rather watch Roger Clemens lose than Gonzalez. I’m really getting a kick out of the old buzzard who will just not say die. Of course, all the writers are screaming how he just wants to pitch in the majors to push his Hall eligibility back 5 years, but hey, they can just not vote for him 5 years later, what’s the big deal?

Day off, then San Fran comes to town. I miss Barry Lamar. Then it’s Cincy. I know it’s gonna be tough maintaining that death grip, but I appreciate the boys tryin so hard. Still at only 40 W, and I understand the tremendous pressure they are under to lose. Sometimes they forget themselves and do stuff like make good plays or hit em where they ain’t, but it’s so tough to remember, it’s only ONE game they can win and still achieve that Sacred All Time Loss Record. I checked, by the way, and On Aug 26, 2003, the Tigers had won only 33 games – and they won 5 of their last 6 to reach 43 wins – and they almost made history too.

It’s true that the all time Road Loss record is still within the Stros’ grasp, but hey, that’s like the Sacred All Time Pinch Hits Record (now held by Lenny Harris, ah do believe.) I’m not even sure it’s still Lenny Harris, as Matt Stairs just might could have caught up.

 

8/24/12: Lyles Beats Mets So Magic Number Is Up To 1

Friday, August 24th, 2012

It’s been a looooooong week for the Gray family, so we-uns all went out for Vietnamese food because really, Mami was just too darn tired to cook and Husband didn’t want chickens from the Kroger again. Like I said, it’s been a looooooong week. So we got back and Husband sez, please Baby, tell me you are NOT turnin on the (swear word) game, I’m just not in the mood to watch another loss and yes I know ALLL about The Sacred All-Time Loss Record. So we watched Bugs Bunny instead, laughed (instead of cringed), so I didn’t get to check the game till late.

And well, that magic number is down to 1, as it seems that Jordan Lyles cares more about his own personal Win record than maintaining Team Unity. Yes, the Astros are now at 40 wins, and managing to lose all but 1 game now seems a forlorn hope, and that we will simply go down as yet another bridesmaid besides the 03 Tigers and the 04 Diamondbacks. We could try to push that number as close to 120 as possible, but unfortunately, close but no cigar ain’t gonna get us nowheres.

Jordan gave up 3 hits, 2 walks, 1 HBP and 1 run, on a homer to David Wright that juuuuussst made it to the very bottom of the foul pole in right. He was pulled after 6 innings, 91 pitches, and Wesley Wright came in and was allowed to face 2 rightys. Yes, you read that right, allowed to face 2 rightys. I don’t know what the world is coming to.

Froddy came in to start the 8th, got 2 outs, then gave up a walk, and it was David Wright up. So Froddy was actually pulled for The Closer. Yes, friends and neighbors, you read that wright. The closer was sent in to get out the opposition’s best hitter with 2 out 1 on in the EIGHTH inning. You know, NOT the correct designated inning for The Closer. Why on earth you would send in your best pitcher to get the best hitter out I do NOT understand. What a concept. I mean, I remember Phil Garner using Brad Lidge in the 8th back in 04, and I think that Jose Valverde was called in to get a hitter or 2 out in the 8th inning back in 08, but really.

Best part of the game, though, is Jordan Lyles driving in what turned out to be the winning run with a double to left, scoring Brandon Barnes. Who, by the way, is a pretty good center fielder. I wish he’d hit more – I’d love to see him succeed. The most amazing sight of the game, however was seeing Steve Pearce actually throw out David Wright at second. I didn’t think the guy could actually throw to the correct fielder, let alone make any sort of GOOD throw. Hey, miracles happen.

By the way, Roger Clemens is starting for the Skeeters today, not the Astros, although it sure has been talked about plenty and is actually getting national coverage – Will Roger Come Back Again???!!! It’s Fernando Abad, no, I’m not kidding, starting. Good Lord. Yes, I’m talking about the lefty reliever who was good in 2010 until they decided he should play all winter as a starter and he was too tired to stand, let alone pitch, when he came back in 2011.

We’re facing RA Dickey, the knuckleballer. This should be fun. Dickey is 15-4 (on a BAD team) with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. This month, he gave up 5 runs/ 6 IP to Cincy and lost, 3 runs/7 Ip to San Diego and lost, 3 hits, 1 solo homer to Colorado (ND) and a CG 1 run win over Miami. He hasn’t had an ERA over 3 since May.

Dickey, of course, is a righty. Will be interesting to see if Francie-poo packs the lineup with leftys, just like Millsie-poo did.

8/23/12: Astros Hold An 11 Game Lead As Cards Sweep And Rockies Can’t Stop Winning

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Yes friends and neighbors and 2 dozen remaining Astros fans, it’s true. The Rockies have slipped away and have accumulated 5 straight wins, to raise their win total to 50, while the Twins, the next in line competitor, has 51.

HAH

They’ll never catch us now!!! The magic number still stands at 2, which will give us 41 wins on the year and earn us the title of Worst Team Evah In A 162 Game Season. Yessah, all we need to do is continue to suck just as much. Hey, EVER Body contributed this series. Bud Norris gave up the game loser with a wild pitch yesterday, while guys flailed away at Lohse, who gifted us with 2 solo homers. Bud gave up a lot of long fly balls and only struck out 1. Yeah, Bud, Mr. Strikeout guy, or at least he used to be. Wonder what Broakie is doing with him – fewer Ks, higher ERA and more homers.

Today, Dallas Keuchel was gifted with an appearance vs Jake Westbrook, the Cards’ worst pitcher. Even Fernando Martinez managed to hit the ball!!! When Keuchel came to the mound in the 4th, the Astros led 4-0 and the record was in danger. Keuchel came through, giving up a nice 3 run homer to make it close, and although the guys added another run, Keuchel went to the mound in the 5th, gave up 2 straight singles, then Brett Wallace couldn’t manage to throw the ball to Altuve and so Jon Jay reached on a sac bunt/E 1. Bases loaded.

Manager Tony De Francesco-ie doesn’t leave Dallas in to get slammed. Oh no. He pulls the boy (59 pitches) and sends in Hector Ambriz, newly called up from AAA, the only reliever left who had an ERA under 4.80. Armando Galarraga has been released and they’ll call up someone who sucks just as bad, but probably has a future of some sort, to take his place for an ass-kicking. Only this time, he won’t be surrounded by a high powered offense, poor guy.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. So Ambriz comes through to continue the fine tradition of suck and gives up an infield single, then a bases clearing double, to let all of poor Keuchel’s runs score. By the end of the inning, the Cards are up 8-5 and we all know the game is ovah, the question is only how many more runs the bullpen will allow.

Mickey Storey gives up 1, Xavier Cedeno gives up 1, then is pulled with 2 on, for Rhiner Cruz.

You see, my friends, the leftylefty rightyrighty stuff is continuing, business as usual, so it wasn’t Millsie-poo. Naturally, Cruz gives up Cedeno’s 2 runners.

Jose Altuve had his 45th multi-hit game. Fernando Martinez hit 2 doubles, which might unfortunately fool the FO into thinking he might could be a major leaguer. Steven Pearce has an arm like a noodle and he doesn’t know which base to throw to or what a cutoff man is for.

Day off tomorrow, then it’s off to meet the Mets, greet the Mets.  Who are eagerly looking forward to a sweep. I mean of the Astros, not getting swept their own selves. The Mets have problems of their own, namely a lousy team and a penniless ownership and an 18 mill sunken cost useless OF in Jason Bay (watch him get a hit every AB vs the Astros) and a 15 mill star face of the franchise third baseman who is a Good Guy and who they can’t figure out how to get rid of or bad mouth so that he sounds bad and they sound good (they should go take lessons from Boston.)

We won’t be facing Johan, who was flogged like a dying horse after his no hitter until his back gave out and he was finally put on the DL – like they couldn’t tell that a 5+ ERA over his subsequent starts might could mean something was wrong. I guess they figure that if they gonna pay the sumbidge 18 mill a year, if he can breathe, he gonna pitch, seein as how they don’t care about his future and they ain’t goin nowheres anyhow.

So, the only question is – can the Astros manage to keep the death grip on last place to get Stephen Strasburg out of the spotlight for even a minute? You know how his GM (and agent) have INSISTED that they are shutting him down, pennant or no pennant, WS or no WS, after 180 innings or so, and the sportswriters are saying stuff like if Strasburg were any sort of man, he would be throwing a temper tantrum so they could have something more funner to write about.

 

8/21/12: I Hate It When The Game Is Over Before The Second Out Is Made

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

As I’ve said to a lot of folks I chat with about the Astros, it’s very difficult to win with a team which only has 2 or 3 major leaguers on it, unless the other team trips all over its own feet. Millsie-poo is gone without much of any ado, seeing as how Luhnow cleverly sneaked it in on Saturday night. DeFrancesco-ie or whatever his cutesy-poo nickname is, isn’t gonna do better with THIS bunch. Take tonight’s game – look at the BA in the 2 lineups:

Thems: .308; .310; .301; .309; .294; .321; .303; .267; .120

Weuns: .303; .241; .284; .232; .249; .248; .128; .237; .198 (and the .128 does NOT belong to the pitcher)

You don’t wanna compare OPS, trust me on this.

I heard they were starting Brett Wallace today – no surprise, Wainwright is a righty. I had faint hopes that something might could go right for the Stros with our only ML starting pitcher, Lucas Harrell, on the mound. But I walked in to Mama’s about 10 minutes late and Harrell had already given up a double, GO with runner going to 3rd, a balked in run, 5 straight singles with 4 runs in and only 1 out.

My God, it’s been 10 minutes and the game is already over. I think I’ve told all yall that Mama has divorced the Astros and has converted to her childhood team, the Cards. It’s not about the losing. It’s about Jim Crane selling us down the river and instead of telling Bud Selig to shove it, that no other fool would pay an extra 150 mill for this fustercluck of a team, he took some dough to go to the DH league. Where Nolan Ryan will pound him to kingdom come for decades.

I look at the lineup – anyone worth watching, or anyone I’m curious about? We have Altuve, our ML position player, then Scott Moore (AAAA) then Brett Wallace (we’ll see if this team is serious about seeing if he can play in the majors by whether or not they pull his ass anytime a lefty comes near the mound. If he gets yanked, we’ll know it was Luhnow’s decision, not Millsie-poo. And Brett is gonna be a glorified pinch hitter, if that.) Then Justin Maxwell batting cleanup (jeezus – homer or strikeout and decent glove – a reserve at best). Then Jason Castro ( who is The Future, but can’t catch or throw worth spit – he’d be a backup at best on any other team), then Ben Francisco, who is a 5th OF – at best, then Fernando Martinez, who can’t hit or field (BAD jumps on the ball, inacccurate throws), then Tyler Greene, Cardinals discard, who is at best a utility IF, then Lucas Harrell, who is the only Astros starter with an ERA+ over 100 (it’s 105). Hey, 2 actual major leaguers in the lineup.

Not that it did any good.

When you have a terrible team, and the starter gives up 4 runs before the end of the first inning, the rest of the team packs it in. You can tell, you can read it in their body language. They look like some fat, ugly, pimply, poor guy with bad teeth trying to pick up a cheerleader. Why even try.

Mama sez, he got singled to death, you wanna stay and watch, there’s chicken n biscuits on the stove. She doesn’t rub it in, she’s not like that. Besides, it’s like having a wrestling match between a 200 lb guy and a 105 lb guy. No contest a tall.

Altuve gets the first hit, in the 4th, so it won’t be a no-hitter. You can see Wainwright visibly disappointed.

Geez, what is there to say? They swung and missed a lot, got 5 hits, 1 walk and 12 Ks over Wainwright’s CG?

Well, there’s a lot of Pirates, Royals and 02/03 Tigers fans who managed to stay and watch, so I guess I can last out the season, too.  De Francesco doesn’t have anything more to say than Millsie-poo did. Uh, guess we run into a great pitcher having a good night. Um, yeah. Uh, they boys tried hard and fought em tough blahblahblah.

Tomorrow night, Bud Norris, who just ain’t been the same since he got hurt back in May, faces Kyle Lohse and his 2.61 ERA – and Lohse has been the Cards ace this year. Bud has a rep as a Cards killer, but that hasn’t been true for a while, now and it’s just a question of which inning is it that he’s gonna suddenly lose command and the game.

Folks say – remember 94, when Drayton bought the team, how bad they were? And I say – yeah, but the MAJOR LEAGUE team was full of great young rookies, not AAAA guys and other teams’ rejected 5th OF and utility IF.

sigh

 

8/21/12: Roger Clemens Is Going To Pitch!!! For The Skeeters, That Is

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Hey ever body, have you heard the news? Roger Clemens is gonna pitch for the indy league Sgar Land Skeeters this coming Saturday. He’s 50 years old, yes, older than Jamie Moyer even, and he’s feeling good enough to pitch. Why not? Satchel Paige pitched into his 50s. I bet the Skeeters draw more than the Astros. That Skeeters team has ex-Stros Tim Redding and Jason Lane, as well as the remnants of Scott Kazmir. The Chron had more stories about Roger pitching in some indy league game than stories about the new Astros manager and about Luhnow’s plans to Fix Things Up and his new manager hunt in the confines of current/ex Cardinals personnel.

Seems like yesterday that Andy Pettitte signed, to come back home (Yankees didn’t kiss his butt thoroughly enough) and all the talk was RogerRogerRoger and would/could Andy get his BFF to sign, just for one last year. There are so few real STARS!!!! in baseball – I mean, yeah, Biggio and Bagwell and Berkman were great players, but they were just character actors next to the STAR!!!

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were the last of the STARS!!!! somehow almost larger than life, and really, no one has replaced them. Josh Hamilton’s rule at the top was too brief. Albert Pujols has no more charisma than a table, and every other top player has vanished into a corporate PR world of careful to not offend anyone with anything ever – not saying anything, being boring, blah, bland.

You might could suggest that Derek Jeter is a STAR!! but fact is he has no personality and even though he is supposed to be the first guy to ever get unanimously elected to the Hall, no one goes to Yankee games, or even went to see Yankee games to see Da Jetah, like they used to go to see Da Mick – now HE was a total STAR!!!!!!! Maybe Bryce Harper or Mike Trout or Strasburg could grow into a STAR!!! but that is very hard to do in a button down, censored, corporate world that is modern MLB.

sigh

Roger hasn’t pitched in 5 years now, and I seriously doubt he could get actual major league hitters out any better than detritis like Armando Galaragga, but I would bet that he’d draw a bigger gate than Fireworks Night. Astros are, by the way, last in the NL in attendence, no surprise.

We’ll get some of our gate next year because our designated NL rival is the Cards (yeah, I’m surprised they were torn from the Royals) and it is gonna be painful to watch my mama root for the Cards to beat the Astros.

Right now, watching the Stros is like watching a wrestling match between a 180 lb and a 105 lb wrestler. There isn’t any contest and the lil guy’s only real hope of winning is that the big guy trips over his own feet, falls flat on his face and the little guy can jump on his back fast enough to pretend it was all him.

And speaking of Cards, Saint Looey tonight.

8/19/12: Goodbye Brad Mills, Hello AAA Manager De Francesco

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

All yall,

so sorry I haven’t posted for a while – we’ve been moving and I haven’t hardly had time to check the scores, let alone blog. I see that since I last posted, the Stros managed to win 1 game and got swept, as usual, by the DBax.

Millsie-poo is gone. We all KNEW he was a goner at the end of the season as Luhnow wants all his own people everywhere. There’s only so much blame to pile on Mills – it’s not like he had anything good to work with, mind. I also don’t know how much freeedom he had to play who he wanted when he wanted – all the platooning crap very easily could have been marching orders from Luhnow’s stable of stat geeks. Only difference between Millsie-poo and Cecil Cooper is that best I can tell, the players/pitchers didn’t HATE Millsie-poo and there wasn’t nearly open rebellion.

The AAA manager was promoted – he won’t have to be paid much – as interim manager. Most of the guys on the team know him because he managed them at AAA, so that will work out. The hitting coach is byby and a guy who was the Oakland Athletics hitting coach from 07-08 (go look up THOSE stats, I dare you) and the new first base coach (goodbye Bobby Meacham ???) is another Luhnow petsie-poo ex-Cardinal named Dan Radison who was a special something or other in player development. What that has to do with coaching first base I can’t tell you.

Interesting that Brocail, the pitching coach, hasn’t been fired yet. It’s not like he’s done anything to help improve anyone.

You want to know, of course, if De Francesco was a winnah at AAA. I will tell you that he did fine as long as his lineup was packed with the AAAA guys who are now mostly up here. He has a pitching staff whose starters have ERAs over 6 and relievers who suck. Over the past 2 weeks, they’re something like 2 -12 and have long since fallen out of first place. It’s not that hard to be a winner when your entire lineup has a BA of .300 and OPS over .800 – unless, of course, your pitchers give up 8 runs a game.

It will be interesting to see if De Francesco continues with all the platoon crap – if he does, we’ll know it’s an order coming from Luhnow, not manager’s decision. Amazing how few managers these days have bout any liberty at ALL to make decisions. The Billy Beane Moneyball characteriztion of Art Howe as a robot who is just there to stand on the dugout step and carry out the orders of the stat geek squad seems to be coming true more and more.

Day off tomorrow, which is good, seeing as how tomorrow will be pure heck for me. Then the guys go to Saint Looey and then the Mets. We’re clutching onto those 39 wins and the Rox and Cubs are falling further and further behind in the great struggle to lose. In fact, but Rox and Cubs have already passed the 42 mark, so they won’t get the record – we still can, especially when we have these pitchers who are so good at giving up 5-9 runs over one inning. And lots of errors and misplays, too – that helps.

Will be very interesting to see who Crane and Luhnow can lure with their miserly ways, to come and manage this team next year. They’ll find SOMEbody, seeing as how there are tons of guys who would gladly manage in the Bigs even if it was a team full of GRRRRLs.

8/13/12: Brandon Barnes Hits His First ML Home Run!!!

Monday, August 13th, 2012

I had watched 5 innings of Astros suckage – GIDPs, Castro making a throwing error (welcome back) and Galarraga hanging sliders twice and watching them fly over the wall – two 2-run homers.

I was juuust about to go do something else when Brandon, who has had his butt glued to the pine while Fernando Martinez, who absolutely sucks with bat and glove has been given endless playing time, don’t ask me why – hit the second pitch he saw from Samardjzia over the LF wall!!!

Fernando is wasted space – Barnes has a chance to do something besides suck. And the guy is a good fielder, too. What’s with all the Fernando hype? Even the Mets fans got over him right quick when he came up and looked lost at the ML level.

Here and Cubs fans are trying to insist that their team sucks worser than ours – honestly. I think we showed them that they don’t know the meaning of true suckage.

Best of all, the Rox are winning as I write this here little note, so we’ll widen the loss gap to 4 games.

Forgot – GET THIS – the Astros AAA club starting pitchers, featuring the likes of Brian Bass and Jake Buchanan is SOOO bad (now hit 10 straight losses) with ERAs over 6, that they have decided to put Fernando Abad back into the starting rotation. No I am NOT kidding. They are pointing out how great he was over a year ago as a starter in the Dominican winter league, forgetting how TERRIBLE he was as a starter in 2011 – actually, as a pitcher, period. Brain trust – uh hunh…