I know I keep telling the story of the Cardinals fan who told me last September in the midst of the Cards near fatal collapse – I honestly don’t know why I even bother to come to any game Roy pitches – we just CAN’T beat that guy. It’s wrong, of course, but I just hope Roy is in the heads of the Cards as much as he in the heads of the fans.
Husband had suggested we all go watch Roy tonight – he correctly guessed that with the bad weather and the bad team, we could score dirt cheap tickets. It was true all right – we ran into a woman who approached us before we got to the scalpers and asked us if we wanted some free tickets because the people who were supposed to join her decided not to come. I took this as a good luck sign.
And in fact, the Box was just a little more than half full – the least full I’ve seen for a Roy start and an Astros vs Cards game in a long LONG time. I wonder if Drayton is noticing…
Roy had said he was feeling fine and by the looks of him, he surely was, oh he most definitely was. For a baseball connoisseur such as my own self, watching a master like Roy pitch is an almost indefineable pleasure. He’s just good. (As Barry Lamar said, it’s talent and you can’t teach talent…)
He had said, when he strained his oblique a few weeks back, that something had clicked after the disaster at Wrigley (9 runs over 4.1 IP) and he was pitching the best of his entire career. True – he’s given up 5 ER over 45 IP since then for a 1.00 ERA. And tonight he gave up 3 singles and a double, no walks, and struck out 9 over 7 IP – 95 pitches, 73 strikes.
I don’t blame Cecil for not sending him back out there – I mean, even with his missing 2 games, he’s 4th in the NL in IP with 185.2, and he could easily throw 40-50 more innings in the remaining month and there is no reason to wear out his arm with a 5 run lead.
Anyway, the great thing about going to games with kids is that they are just so happy to even be there and they don’t know how bad the team is, so they are happy to cheer for Uncle grounding into a DP, for each K that Roy got (they wave their K cards happily), for Luke’s homer, for BGO’s 665th career double, which tied him with George Brett all time, for Brad Ausmus’ 33rd career triple, which FINALLY moved him ahead of Jeff Bagwell on the career triples list (in case all yall forgot, Brad made a BIG deal out of him being tied with Baggy for triples when he roasted Baggy in his retirement ceremony on Sunday) and of course, Lance Berkman’s 250th career home run, a no doubter 428′ over the RF bullpen.
And of course, the best hit of the night – Roy’s RBI single in the second. Pitchers hitting RBIs is very cool. And Roy finally got his OBP over his weight with his ROE in the 4th – also very cool.
Actually, I think TLR’s idea of having the pitcher bat 8th, with .300 hitting Aaron Miles batting 9th is actually a great idea and I’m not sure why a lot more teams haven’t tried it out (and yes I know if any manager not TLR or Bobby Cox did that, they media would be all OVAH their butts….) Of course, you need a decent hitter to hit 9th, or you really haven’t improved matters.
Cooper juggled the lineup again – what a surprise – and now he has Pence batting leadoff with Biggio batting second. Not that Pence is an ideal leadoff man – most of his OBP is BA because he seldom walks, but his .350 OBP is still better than Biggio’s .287.
And of course, we all have our Blue Star Hats – happy 80th birthday Milo Hamilton.
I’m so happy that Roy won that I’m not going to mention that we left a man on third with less than 2 outs twice – or that 2 of the 4 hits Roy gave up wouldn’t have been hits with Everett at SS.
Ah well, rubber game tomorrow afternoon – Matt Albers vs Joel Piniero, RHP
Pineiro’s name is vaguely familiar to me – checking him out – he pitched for Seattle for years, was a fairly good starter in 02 – 3.24 ERA and 03 – 3.78 ERA, who saw his numbers rise and his victories fall over the subsequent years – 4.76 ERA in 04, 5.62 in 05, and 6.36 both starting and relieving in 06.
He then signed with the Red Sox as a FA reliever this year and didn’t do very well, as he was injured most of the time and ineffective the rest. He was acquired by the desperate Cards at the July 31 deadline for cash and immediately inserted into the rotation and he’s gone 3-1 in 5 GS with a 3.86 ERA nd a .275 BAA – 6 HR, 4 BB and 18 K over 28 IP. Rightys hit him better than leftys – always have .281 vs .259, and it is even more extreme this year.
I wonder if Cooper wil repeat Phil’s mistake of refusing to check simple stats like these.