Eric Munson, Lance Berkman and Luke Scott all wish to send their very worst wishes to Mr. Nook Logan and they are calling the police on him for robbing them of 3 triples and 2 doubles. Nook Logan really is the defensive CF that too many Astros fans wrongly think that Willy Taveras was.
Gutierrez got taken to the cleaners in the first inning, but then settled down and did a creditable job for the next 4 innings. I wasn’t particularly impressed – he has a 91-93 MPH FB, an OK slider and an OK curve. But then again, I was blown away by Taylor Buchholz and look how ordinary he’s done. So I would say that Gutierrez has OK stuff, OK movement and OK location.
He looked nervous when he first got onto the mound. He threw Felipe Lopez a slider for strike 1, then Lopez hit the next slider to flyout. One down, 26 to go. He threw Nook Logan a good FB and Logan laid down a nice bunt for a single and then Gutierrez had to pitch from the stretch with a speedster on first. So Zimmerman hits a low inside fastball just inside the 3rd base line into to corner for a double and Logan scored easily. Then Da Meat Hook hits a low FB at the knees into the gap in right center – another run in. Still only 1 out. Then with a 1-2 count, he hung a curve to Kearns, who hammered it to the RF bullpen wall and another run came in.
Three runs in, and really, only 1 bad pitch. And still, only one out. So Munson went out to calm down his pitcher – relax man, you throwing good, they hitting good pitches, you just fine, atta boy.
So Gutierrez takes a deep breath, concentrates and gets Ryan Church swinging on a slider away. OK. 2 outs, only 1 to go. And then Ronnie Belliard hammers a letter high FB almost onto the train tracks.
Nats 5 Astros zip.
My gawd, the poor guy has given up 5 ER in 0.2 IP which is an ERA of, like 75 or something. He’s flustered, throwing 2 FB way out of the zone before managing to get a slider near the strike zone, which Schneider fouled. He then threw a nice FB on the corner, which Schneider sent back up the middle for a single. Pitcher up – and FINALLY, the third out. ERA down to 45.
Munson settled him down after that and he scattered 4 singles and a double, giving up on more run on a double, groundout, single and a sac-fly. He gave up NO walks, got 4 Ks, gave up 11 hits and 6 ER over 5 IP. Honestly, I think it looks worse than it was and he might could be someone decent.
McLemore pitched 2 innings, giving up a run (turned out to be the game losing run) on 2 walks and a single. Borkowski and Moehler each pitched a scoreless inning.
As usual, the Astros stranded players in almost every inning. Same old story. Carlos Lee drove in 5 with two 2 run homers into the Crawford Boxes and a single.
And now for the Big News!!!!!!!
Troy Patton will be called up for the Saturday start. They sure know how to get people in the seats, hunh? Backe and Sampson are still making rehab starts and it will be interesting to see what happens in a week or so. I would bet money that Phil shoves Sampson into the bullpen to mopup or something. He never liked the guy from the beginning, that is more than obvious.
It will be interesting to see who gets called up on Sept 1 and who actually gets any playing time. Fortunately, since there isn’t any chance of winning anything except 4th place back from the Reds, the guys won’t be under quiiiite as much pressure.