OK, so he hit one, walked 2 and loaded the bases before getting that last strikeout and limping off the mound. I haven’t heard an explanation from the Astros Organization as to why they’ve insisted on running him out there for no reason instead of shutting him down early and having his knee operated on. Pretty stupid. As usual.
Anyway, I missed the beginning of the game. I should have known something was wrong with Da Bull when I picked him up from preschool. He was unusually crabby and kept telling the twins to shut up, which is not like him at ALL. But when he didn’t want any chicken pie, his very favorite food, I KNEW he was sick. And since he didn’t want to hear any sound, I knew it was an earache. And I KNEW that if I just gave him some tylenol and benadryl and put him to bed, he would be up screaming at one in the morning and then I’d have to take him to the ER and if there is one place I don’t want to be in the middle of the night, it’s the ER. So as soon as Husband walked through the door, I told him that I was taking Da Bull to the night clinic for his earache and he could re-heat the pie.
Which is how I ended up having to listen to the first inning on the radio. Have I ever told you how much I hate the Astros announcers? I had been looking forward to checking out Homer Bailey, the Red’s #1 pick last year, a guy from LaGrange, the town that made Marvin Zindler and the Chicken Ranch (not dressing – hahahaha) famous.
Anyway, he plunks Josh Anderson, who promptly steals second, goes to third on a WP and scores on a Biggio sac fly with the first out. Small ball is pretty kewl, I do say. Paulino got through the first inning giving up only a solo homer.
Then, we left the clinic, heard a Hunter Pence hit a homer, then a 1,2,3 inning for both sides and I walked in the door just in time to see Wiggy lineout and Brunt tag up and run to third – heads up baserunning. Husband and twins were sitting on the couch and I gave Little Boy his medicine and ear drops and sat down in time to watch the start of the bottom of the 9th. I was absolutely STUNNED to see Lidge out there. What is the point about humiliating the guy? I couldn’t take it, got up and put Little Boy to bed and when I came back, it was over and somehow, no one had scored.
So I replayed the game to see how things went…
Homer Bailey – well, he made it through 5.2 innings, giving up 5 runs, 2 earned on 3 hits, 2 walks, a HBP, 2 ROE and a WP. Stuff didn’t really seem like anything special except he had a great curve, which he didn’t always throw for strikes. He is only 21, and there aren’t real too many really REALLY impressive 21 year old rookies.
Paulino? Again, he wasn’t very impressive. He gave up 4 runs in the second, but got therough the next 3 innings without trouble. He has a fast FB, but his command really isn;t that good and he has trouble throwing the change for strikes. The only regulars in the lineup were Javier Valentin the catcher and Brandon Phillips the second baseman. Everyone else was a bench guy or AAA callup. Dude does not look to me as if he’s ready for prime time.
Everyone but Wiggy and Ransom had at least one hit and Biggio hit #3056 and passed Rickey Henderson into 20th place on the all time list, where he will end his career.
No bad fielding, no errors and Towles and Anderson hit with men on base again.
Tomorrow, Juan Gutierrez will face Tom Shearn, a 30 year old right handed rookie who was drafted in the 26th round in 1996 by the Astros. And so far, he’s 3-0 in 5 GS – 6 HR, 11 BB, 16 K over 32 IP with a 3.94 ERA. 6 homers over 32 innings is a LOT of homers. `
UPDATE: MORE ON ED WADE
Check out THIS comment from Jon Heyman at Sports Illustrated:
Puppet regime ahead in Houston
While the Pirates at least appear to have a clue, the Astros just completed one of the most pathetic GM searches in baseball history by hiring Ed Wade, a proven failure.
Everyone who has ever worked could tell you that the best person often isn’t the one hired. But what’s remarkable about this search is that Houston interviewed a succession of retreads (plus a few logical young candidates who were spurned) and managed to pick the worst of the retreads. Not easy to do.
Wade’s record as a GM in Philadelphia wasn’t just poor, it was putrid. In a recent interview with Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wade cited his two great regrets as trading Curt Schilling and firing Terry Francona. But that is really the tip of the iceberg. As GM he gave Pat Burrell a $50 million extension, Mike Lieberthal multiple extensions and David Bell a $17 million free-agent deal. He also engineered what has to be one of the all-time worst two-steps, by trading Scott Rolen for Placido Polanco, then swapping Polanco for Ugueth Urbina.
Wade didn’t make the playoffs once in eight years in Philly, while Schilling, Francona and Rolen have won four World Series titles between them since leaving Philly.
But take heart, Astros fans, Wade — who is known to some co-workers as “the biology teacher” for an abject lack of charisma — is merely signing up to play puppet to club owner/head puppeteer Drayton McLane. Wade’s greatest qualification appears to have been that he once worked as the p.r. director for club president Tal Smith, and will say “yes” to Smith and McLane.
“The idea normally is to hire someone to lead,” one competing GM said. “They hired someone so they can direct him.”
If that was the Astros’ goal, they probably got the right guy.
I want to add that the reason that Rolen “had to be traded” was not because he turned down 90 mill of guaranteed money plus 4 club options, it was that Wade stood by and let both Dallas Green and that unpleasant bully Larry Bowa disrespect Rolen for several YEARS until the situation was frankly iuntenable. It wasn’t that he traded Rolen for Polanco, a very good player, it was that he played David Bell instead and left Utley, who was more than ready, in the minors, when he should have traded/released Bell and played Polanco and Utley. And Ugie Urbina is just one of many in the long long line of crummy middle relievers Ed couldn’t Wade to get his hands on at grotesquely inflated prices…