First, I guess I should mention that the Organization put both Loretta and Lamb on waivers, they were both claimed and they were both pulled back. Such a waste – all I can say is that I sure do hope Drayton heard the LOUD booing on Biggio’s Day when Purpura’s name was called. He didn’t trade either one at the deadline – couldn’t get ANYthing decent?! wouldn’t extend Lamb, who wanted to stay here, earlier this year when he could have and he didn’t try to get anything for either player now, either. I suppose it is just more of Drayton pretending that this team can make some sort of more-than-miracle comeback.
On the other hand, maybe it is a sign of hope that he is FINALLY recognizing that the farm is bare, Timmy couldn’t trade a dollar for a dime, and that at least he can get 2 draft picks for Lamb and Loretta at the end of the year.
Where was I?
Oh yeah. Brad Lidge needs an operation on his knee, but the team has decided to keep him on the team instead of having him shut it down before he hurts his elbow/shoulder trying to compensate (remember Gagne???!!!) which is even more of this – oh, we can surely go 40-2 the rest of the season to pull it off as we do every year – bullstuff.
And now, to the game. Dodger Stadium had not exactly been pitcher friendly to Roy – he was 1-3 with a 6.87 ERA before today’s game. But Roy has been absolute nails since the 9 run debacle in Chicago on July 14th, has given up 3 runs over the past 33.1 innings and has won his last 5 games in a row. He’s getting into his post ASB groove. He’s won more games post ASB since he came up in 2001 than any other ML pitcher.
He was just great tonight – gave up 6 singles, 3 of them bunt hits to Juan Pierre. He only got 3 Ks, but all of them were looking – and Nomar was unhappy about his (yes, let’s call it unhappy, and in his misery, he related tales to the HP ump about – I guess – his sexual escapades with the ump’s mother and wife. Or perhaps, he expressed some sort of desire to get to know the ump better and, um, in depth, you feelin me here…) Anyhow, he got the old heaveho. And he looked pretty silly. The ump had a VERY wide strike zone, but that strike was CLEARLY inside the plate and above the knees.
Interesting that in spite of the generous strike zone, that Roy got so few Ks. He threw mostly his fastball tonight, located it VERY well, and threw about 12 curves in there.
I knew that Billingsley had lost his past 2 games, both 1-0, so I figured he’d be tough. But even with the swing at the first pitch Astros, he needed a lot of pitches to get through each inning. And in fact, he got 4 Ks in the first 2 innings, but gave up 2 walks and was at 55 pitches by the end of the second. Of course, he WAS helped a LOT by the ump’s VERY generous strike zone.
And the Astros, as usual, weren’t very good with getting the runs home. They left 1 on in the first, bases loaded in the second, 2 on in the 3rd, 1 on in the 4th, then FINALLY Lane cleaned the bases with a 2 run homer in the 5th. Burke and Scott also drove in a run each.
As for defense – I was impressed with Lamb tonight – he made 3 tough plays, plays he used to miss. Burke and Bruntlett turned 2 DPs tonight. Amazing what you can do when you have quick guys. (You notice Kent still has the range of a statue – can NOT get near any ball not hit right at him. Some things never change.) Berkman made a stupid throwing error on Furcal’s grounder in the first, and fortunately, Ausmus was backing up first and got to the ball before it headed into the dugout. And the first base ump DID miss the call on Loney’s grounder to first. Lance’s foot DID in fact touch the bag before he threw to Bruntlett for the DP that didn’t happen – and Brunt didn’t make it either. But Roy got Kent to GIDP, so it didn’t matter. BUT, it could have gotten bad.
And the kick in the butt REALLY lousy defensive play goes to the usual winner (or should I say loser) Carlos Lee. Slow Mark Sweeney on first, speedy Juan Pierre on third. Furcal hits a sac-fly to Lee, who is so slow getting the ball to second that Sweeney has time to go back, tag, then advance to second.
Roy was so angry about that that Brad had to come out to the mound and calm him down. I can tolerate someone who really tries and doesn’t do a good job a LOT better than a lazy dog like Lee. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
Qualls pitched a great 1,2,3 inning for his third save.
Luke Scott is lookin gooooood. I hope Drayton and Timmy boy can try to work to overcome their foolish prejudice against him. Scott told Alyson Footer that he really has always been much hotter in the second half, and we’ve seen this 2 years in a row. Actually, he only really had a lousy first 6 weeks, but it is tough to get into a rhythm when you are being platooned for no reason except Philishness. As for his defense, he is visibly better than he was last year. Berkman is the guy who takes very bad routes to the ball, not Luke, who DOES have to do a lot of chasing because a WHOLE lot of balls have headed to the bullpen corner. Hardball Times has their RZR – Scott .906 and Berkman .857 – Randy Winn is tops with .932.
I know Lance did a decent job in center 6 or 7 years ago, I know he has a very strong and accurate arm, but he is no longer really good enough to regularly play RF.
Tonight, it’s Matt Albers vs Brett Tomko.