What a way to end the year. Against the best hitting team in the NL, playing ALL their regulars. Yes. Gomez, Weeks, Braun, Aram, Corey Hart, Lucroy. Didn’t none of em do NOTHIN. Un-freaking believeable.
Just got home, didn’t see the game, spent you don’t want to know how many hours in the ER with a certain really stupid son getting him Xrays, stitches and a BIG shot that hurt (tetanus.) Man I hate ERs.
And this is why I am just now watching the replay. Had to eat first, kid and I were starving. I had seen the 7-0 score and naturally thought it was the Crew who shut US out instead of us knocking them out of their last second playoff run. Never thought of Lyles as John Smoltz, but that was most positively a Smoltz game. He only needed 103 pitches for the 9 innings, 64 strikes. He gave up 4 singles and 1 walk and got FOUR double plays. Country Joe West was the HP ump, had his usual inconsistent strike zone. Of note – Corporan was catching Lyles this time.
First inning, Fiers came out looking like the guy who shut us DOWN last time, 2 Ks and a GO. Jordan came out, got a GO, then walked Weeks (yes they WERE out of the zone) and then Braun hit a popup to short and for some reason, Weeks was halfway to second, don’t think he was stealing because he wasn’t running fast, but he sure nuff was napping and he got doubled off first 6-3. SERIOUS mental error, really inexcusable in a 9 year ML vet.
Second inning, Fiers looks great, 2 Ks and a groundout. Jordan is back. Aramis Ramirez reaches out for ball 4, taps it dribblingly toward 3rd and has himself an IF single. Corey Hart swings on an inside low pitch for a nice 6-4-3. Lucroy Ks on a called strike and he knew it.
Third inning, Justin Maxwell Ks staring. Corporan walks – 2 of the balls are in the strike zone. Joe West is consistently inconsistent and is equal opportunity – at least in THIS game. Lyles sac-bunts, but Corey Hart makes a bad throw and so it’s men on first and third, no outs. Tyler Greene drives a ball into the LF gap and it’s men on second and third, one run in. Moore and Lowrie strand them. Jordan Gets 3 outs on 8 pitches.
Astros 1 Crew 0
Fourth inning: Dominguez and Wallace K, then Fernando Martinez, swinging at everything in site, connects on a pitch that, for some reason, Fiers throws in the zone and it goes 400+ feet to the CF backstop for a homer. He’s a crappy fielder and swings at everything in sight, but when he connecets, he connects – like Jordan Maxwell, who, at least, can field and field WELL. And run bases well. And speaking of Maxwell and swinging at everything in sight, he gets just under a curve and pops it up. Jordan back out. Aoki ROE when Wallace bobbles a ball (that boy better work on his fielding. It’s bad news when you don’t field as well as Carlos Freaking Lee or even Matt Freaking Downs.) Weeks grounds out weakly to Lyles, who gets a 1-6. Braun obligingly GIDP 5-4-3, Dominguez making a nice play.
Astros 2 Crew 0
5th inning: Corporan flies out. Lyles takes a mighty hack at the first pitch, which happens to be a fat one belt high down the middle and it lands in the upper deck in left field. Really. Truly. The only thing more awesome than a pitcher hitting a home run is the pitcher driving in the game winning runs. Greene flies out, Moore Ks. Apparently, Jordan’s hands weren’t bothering him real too much because he gets 3 outs on 7 pitches.
Astros 3 Crew 0
6th inning: Jed Lowrie up. Pitch one is a perfect strike, low, inside, called Ball 1. Welcome to Joe Westworld. Next pitch is mid plate belt high and is POW gone into the RF seats. Youda thought the pitcher woulda have learned not to do that after the opposing pitcher took him out. Matt Dominguez is up, takes a curve, then gets a FB in THE EXACT SAME SPOT that Lowrie hit out and guess what? POW, gone to LF. The boys sound like Kit Keller – I like em high. Yes I AM comparing them to a grrrl and yes they SHOULD be flattered. Fiers grits his teeth, quits leaving em high (although he did throw one right down the middle to Maxwell, who only singled) got a K and 2 groundouts.
You wouldn’t have thought Fiers did so bad – 10 Ks, 6 hits and 1 walk over 6 innings. Unfortunately for him, 4 of those hits were homers. Although I most certainly DO remember the time the Stros hit five solo homers vs Ted Lilly and the Cubs and they STILL lost.
Jordan back out – gives up a single to Gomez. He goes on the first pitch, and Segura hits a comebacker to the pitcher and only gets the out at first. Jordan gets 2 easy fly outs. 11 pitch inning.
Stros 5 Crew 0
7th inning: Brandon Kintzler, RHP, is in. He throws a lot faster than Fiers’ 86-88 FB and he throws sliders instead of curves. He gets Lyles to ground out, Green looking and Moore swinging for the sombrero. I would have thought it would have been Maxwell or Fernando Martinez, as usual, but nope.
Jordan back out – Braun singles, but gets nowhere. 3 flyouts to Barnes – he’s REALLY good. I mean, he’s looking like Michael Bourn out there. Seriously. I thought Bogu was really good, but Barnes, that boy is definitely an elite fielder. Absolutely no excuse for playing him at any other OF position.
8th inning: Kintzler back out. Lowries immediately groundsout 6-4. Dominguez singles up the middle on a FB right down the middle. Wallace fouls off 5 pitches and walks. Fernando Martinez beats out an infield single to Weeks that he barely keeps from going onto RF. Don’t ask me how he beats it out because he runs like a Molina. Bogu comes in to pinch run. So it’s bases loaded, 1 out, and this being Astros, we expect a double play or a K or a popup. Sure enough, Maxwell flies out to shallow left and Braun has a GOOD arm and Dominguez has to hold. But then, miracle of miracles, Carlos Corporan shoots a grounder up the middle and it’s 2 runs in.
Brewers’ skipper doesn’t trust the pitcher to get the PITCHER out, so Manny Parra comes in a does the job.
Stros 7 Crew 0
Bout this time, I figure someone’s gonna come in, just because it’s what usually happens, but no, Jordan goes back out. Good for Francie-poo. The boy is throwing a shutout, his pitches are great, he’s getting outs easily, doesn’t look even a little tired. And there’s nothing to save him FOR.
I’m not sure why Crane wanted to get rid of Francie-poo for Bo Porter, it’s not like there would be this big salary difference or anything. Francie-poo seems to be doing really outlandish stuff like sending his closer in if it’s the 8th inning and he HAS to get outs because it’s the middle of the lineup, or there are men on. And like letting Lyles finish a game in which he’s cruising. And like making sure he has the best defenders on the field after the 7th. And the defensive OF of Maxwell, Branes and Bogu is really great.
Lyles goes back out – 3 outs, 7 pitches. Awesome. Crew look like they’ve packed it in and they are playing for their playoff lives, too.
9th inning: Manny Parra back out. Greene walks, Barnes Ks swinging at crap, Lowrie walks, Parra walks out. Josh Stinson, RHP, in. Dominguez and Wallace fly out.
Jordan back out to finish up. Pinch Hitter Tony Plush-less hits a blooper off the end of the bat that Justin Maxwell makes a nice catch near the seats on the first base line. Aoki groundsout. Weeks singles up the middle. Francie-poo DOES NOT PULL JORDAN or go out to the mound to ask him how he is. He also doesn’t get anyone warming up. And Ryan Braun goes down swinging at 3 pitches waay out of the zone.
So KEWL!!! I mean, we’d already lost The Sacred Road Loss Record, so Jordan finishing the year like this is teh AWESOME. At least, unlike Dallas Keuchel, he won’t have the coaches telling him “to get bigger and stronger” if he wants to be in the rotation next year. Someone needs to tell the coaches that steroids are no longer OK to use.
Off to Wrigley – 15 guys who are rookies – yes, we have 15 guys on the active roster who are technically rookies – got hazed – they had to wear Speedos and swim caps on the bus trip to Wrigley. Check it out. No Grady Sizemores. No Gabe Kaplers. There can’t be more than like a dozen guys who actually look HOTTTTTTT in a Speedo.
Last Astros series. Yes, I’m depressed. Cards are 2 games ahead of the Dodgers with 3 games to play for the second WC. I’m surprised the Cards have done as well as they have. Good thing they had Lance Lynn and Kyle Lohse.
And in the DH league, I wouldn’t NEVAH have guessed Baltimore and the Oakland Beanes would have made the playoffs. First time in, what, 6 years, that his gambles/trades have worked out. Would like to see Baltimore will win the next 3 games (and the Yankees lose) to win the AL East, which they haven’t done since I was a teenager. And Boston will finish dead last, like us. Anyone besides me notice that the fortunes of this team have (mostly) mirrored Boston?