Pence and his sore hand sat the game out, but Lance and George didn’t. So Phil put Bruntlett in center, and trust me, he is NOT a better glove than Burke there, and unfortunately this meant that Loretta was back at short and you KNOW that Sampson would be praying a WHOLE lot with Lamb at third, Loretta at short and Biggio at second.
Reminds me of why my doctor told me about not getting pregnant if I had sex without using birth control – prayer don’t work.
Thing is – if you are a GB pitcher, you just HAVE to have great infield defense. And Sampson had all around lousy fielders. Now I agree he didn’t help himself leaving up a fat one to Furcal the first inning for a single to right, then he got small-balled home for the first run. And I have to say that Carlos Lee dogged it to every ball (like he should have followed Luis Gonzalez’ example – and LuGo is 10 freaking years older, too) that Kent hit to almost the exact same spots all night, including the double he hit in the 4th that led to another run. And 4 piddly singles – one that Sampson didn’t field and one that Biggio didn’t, uh, get to, led to 2 more runs.
So Sampson was pulled for a pinch hitter with 2 out and no on in the 6th after 5 innings/74 pitches. Of course, people will say he can’t “last” very long, but obviously, he wasn’t tired.
Of course, it would have helped if the first 4 hitters had, like, hit. Five hits and 3 walks over 9 innings – Billingsly needed 109 pitches for a CG – and in fact, it looked as if he was only going to need 10 pitches an inning. He got a little tired in the 9th and left the 106th pitch up a little and Luke Scott hit it out – or we would have been shut out.
Trever Miller pitched a scoreless inning – whoa.
And of course Brian Moehler got to mopup for the first time in a few weeks and of course he did terrible and threw a nice fat FB down the middle and Houston’s own James Loney sent it over the fence. No I am not criticizing the Astros for not drafting him because he went 19th overall in the first round 2002 and we didn’t pick until #29 (which, in case yall curious, we wasted on Derick Grigsby, who was OOB only a year later.) But I do have to laugh at the Rangers’ writer who are urging the Dodgers to trade him for Boras Client 10 mill a year in his 5th year Mark Texiera.
Anyway, suppose I should talk about news – Backe is expected to start minor league rehab at Corpus in a few weeks and if all goes well, he will be back in the Majors around Sept 1.
And a moment of silence for former Zephyr/Express third baseman Mike Coolbaugh, who was one of those very AAA guys who couldn’t hit ML pitching. He died last night when he was hit on the head with a line drive foul ball. He was in his first year as a coach for the AA Tulsa Drillers. I hope he literally didn’t know what hit him – he died living the life he loved, doing what he wanted.
May he rest in peace.
click here to read Ben DuBose’s piece on Coolbaugh on mlb.com.