Tonight I saw the most amazing sight I have seen this entire season including the return of Josh Hamilton, the return of Rick Ankiel and Barry Lamar Himself being polite to the media all year long – I saw the Pirates’ manager walk Orlando Palmeiro with Brad Ausmus on first and Eric Bruntlett on third – yes, an IBB with first base occupied – yes, an IBB to a guy hitting .230 with virtually no power, to face .327 hitting Hunter Pence and or Lance Berkman. And it worked.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Matt Albers WOULD have won if Biggio hadn’t cost him 2 runs (and Brad Lidge hadn’t coughed up a game tying homer, but I’m getting ahead of myself)… He booted McLouth’s easy ground ball in the first. McLouth, a guy who seldom steals, but carefully picks his spots and is quite successful when he does (11-0 this year, 22-1 lifetime) stole second, then came around on on a single to left.
I hope everybody notes that Carlos Lee, who is being pimped by the Astros Organization for the MVP (strictly because of RBIs) barely loped over to the ball, caught it on a bounce, let the run score and tossed it gently to second. He has the worst zone rating of any LF in the NL – and this means worse than Barry Bonds, who is 12 years older, and Adam Dunn, who has a reputation as a terrible fielder – the only LF with a lower range factor is Pat Burrell.
Biggio cost another run in the second by not getting near Jack Wilson’s grounder – it hurts to watch him now – I remember the days he would have been all OVER that ball.
You see, Matt pitched 7 great innings, and if he had had even league average defense behind him, he wouldn’t have given up a run. Defense matters.
You are right – I AM in a bad mood. I am tired watching a lousy team that management seems to believe is only a game or 2 away from making an end of the season run to the post season.
Ian Snell was VERY good, as usual, mowing down the Astros 1,2,3 in every inning except the second, in which a Munson sac-fly scored a run and the 7th, when he was suddenly tiring, when he gave up 2 runs on a Carlos Lee single, a Lamb double, a Loretta groundout RBI and a Munson RBI single.
Then Brad Lidge coughed up poor Albers’ win. Nady always kills us – Brad was stupid to throw him a ball down and mid plate and I wanna kick that guy for making this game drag on for 2 more hours. And in fact, it felt like the Atlanta 18 innings game without any of the excitement. Bases kept getting loaded and nobody could manage to get a run across.
I already talked about the 10th. Bases loaded 1 out – Pence Ks, Berkman GO.
In the 13th, Pence and Lance are on 1st and second, no out. Lee and Lamb get out. Scott IBB. Bases loaded, Eric Bruntlett leaves em loaded.
In the 14th, men on first and second, 2 out, Lance grounds out.
In the 15th, down 5, bases loaded, no out. Bruntlett Ks, Burke Ks, Ausmus Ks.
5 &*$^#@! hours long ball game and no cigar.
Hats off to Miller for a scoreless inning, to Moehler for 2 scoreless innings, including getting out of a bases loaded jam by striking out Freddy Sanchez. Travis Driskill came in, threw 2 scoreless innings. Then in his last inning, failure to make a play (an error, for those of all yall who care whether a play not made is an official error or not) by Mike Lamb, who muffed an easy DP ball, opened the floodgates. A 3 run homer, a double, a RBI single, a sac-fly and another RBI single. 5 runs right there. Goodbye ballgame.
Astros left 28 guys on base – only Munson and Biggio didn’t leave anyone on base. You can’t hit with MOB, you can’t take the extra base, you can’t steal, you can’t manage to hit even an RBI single with bases loaded 2 out, well, it’s gonna be pretty tough to win.
Can’t wait to hear Phil spin this one.
I know what a whole lot of fans will say – Lidge is mental, Burke should be released and Loretta signed to a 4 year contract.
It’s good to take a good long look at the Pirates because they are who this team is rapidly turning into.
Phil has announced that top prospect Troy Patton will stay in the rotation, I guess in Jennings’ spot, for the rest of the year. Both Backe and Sampson are rehabbing and are expected back in a week or so. Anyone want to bet that Backe will be put right into the rotation and Sampson will sit on the bench and will barely throw a few pitches in relief. Ah well, at least his elbow will get some more rest…d