Today, the Mariners fired manager McLaren the day after they fired their GM. They decided to override Bavasi’s decision to continue with Johjima as the starting catcher – AND this is a guy to whom he just gave a 3 year 16 mill contract extension. There are rumors that they are going to release Richie Sexson, who has been simply awful since being signed as a FA 3 years ago, Jose Vidro, who has not been a very good DH – and even more changes. Absolutely none of their FA signings have panned out and they have a poor minor league system and traded their best good young player for Erik Bedard, who has, um, not been exactly ace-like.
So exactly why am I talking about some AL team?
Because the Astros are 3 fer 13 in June. Because they are 3 fer their last 20. They aren’t hitting for spit with men on base – that is, WHEN they get men on base (left 8 on tonight and had 2 GIDP.) I very seriously doubt that Ed Wade is getting fired, mostly because the fans aren’t angry with him YET and I very seriously doubt that Cooper is getting fired, as he’s Buddy’s boy and you know how Drayton feels about doing whatever Buddy boy wants.
BBTN says that the Reds are putting basically everyone except for Votto, Bruce and Volquez on the trading block. Will be interesting to see what Drayton does. At this point, I have a very hard time believing that he will tear down the team and rebuild. I think he’s going to have to be a loser and be booed for being a loser for quite some time before he comes to his senses and understands that you can’t even compete without a farm. And that he will NEED a Chris Antonetti/Grady Fuson/Dan Evans/Mike Arbuckle to run things.
Ah well. Do I need to re-cap Chacon’s poor performance – he couldn’t find the strike zone and he did NOT get squeezed. When you give up a homer to Alex effing Cintron, you suck. Do I need to point out that once again the Astros left men on base in every single inning in which they got men on base? Do I need to point out that the homers were solo ones? Do I need to point out that Carlos and Miggy are back to their GIDP ways?
So this weekend, the Astros – or, should I say – what happened to the Astros after Drayton threw Gerry out in a dumpster because he was SOOO sure he could be a better GM than Gerry with his hands tied behind his back – face Gerry Hunsicker’s new team. Yeah, I know that some other guy has the GM title, but since Gerry joined the team as “senior vice-president” in 06, this team has picked up VERY good players and gotten rid of its lousy ones: they picked up Dan Wheeler (remember him? he had a bad year last year and is now back to being Dan Wheeler. Guess Jim Hickey was juuuust the ticket…) and Troy Percival and Jorge Cantu and Carlos Pena and – well, they got pitcher Matt Garza (and starting SS Jason Bartlett) for†Delmon Young†and traded Elijah Dukes (Dukes, the Quicker Knocker-Upper) for some minor league guy. And these here Rays have kept their good young pitchers. And DRAFTED INTELLIGENTLY!!!!!!!
And at this time, they just swept the ML leading Cubs and are 1 game behind the bandwagon leading Red Sox.
Coop has announced that born DH Carlos Lee is going to DH this series (yeeeeee HAH!!!) and Lance will be back at first – just hope he doesn’t hurt himself more on that turf. And I’ll bet that the Ray’s owner turns on the AC in THEIR Dome even though they attract 1/3 to 1/2 as many fans each game!!!!!!!!!
where was I? oh yeah
Fun with stats: guess which team has the fewest walks in the majors? Yep, the Astros. Guess which team made the fewest errors? Yep, the Rays. And speaking of errors, who would thought that Kaz Matsui would have the same number errors (11) as Wiggy (5) and Miggy (6) COMBINED???
Anyway, here are the scheduled matchups for this weekend:
Friday, it’s Roy Oswalt vs Matt Garza
Too bad Roy can’t talk to his old pitching coach. You know, the one he had before someone decided Roy should “pitch to contact” with the gawdawful defense. Anyway, Roy has had significant trouble with both slider and curve this year, as we all know, as well as difficulty locating the FB, especially when squeezed by umps with respect to the upper inside corner. And IF McLane is shopping Roy and IF Roy happens to want to be traded, (which he might could, as I get the impression (putting it nicely) he doesn’t care for the pitching coach or the manager) then he best look like the old Roy because won’t nobody pay 14 mill a year for a sub 100 ERA+ pitcher.
Matt Garza, age 24, RHP, was the first round pick of the Twins in 2005 (the Astros first rounder was Max Sapp – looks like the Astros who were the saps in that one, but I digress…) Anyway, he was called up for a cup of coffee in 06 and started 9 games, threw 50 innings with a 5.76 ERA. Did the Twins completely give up on him? Nope. They called him up again the next year and he threw 15 games over 83 IP with a 3.69 ERA, but with a 1.54 WHIP and a .294 BAA. This offseason, they decided they needed a big bat more than a #4 or 5 pitcher, so they traded him to the Rays for Delmon Young – a deal which, so far, has been better for the Rays.
This year, he’s 5-3 in 12 GS over 68.2 IP – 64 H, 8 HR, 26 BB, 37 K: 4.33 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and a .233 BAA (looks like maybe we shouldn’t have gotten rid of Jim Hickey, who Gerry immediately went out and acquired, hunh?)
Saturday, it’s Wandy Rodriguez vs Edwin Jackson, RHP
Edwin Jackson, age 24, RHP, was selected by the Dodgers out of a Ga HS in the 6th round of the 01 draft by the Dodgers. He was called up as a 19 year old in 03, where he threw 23 outstanding innings, and unfortunately, people thought fer SHER he was the next Dwight Gooden (minus the cocaine.) But no. He struggled in both AAA and in his 20 something innings in the majors with poor command – gave up more walks than Ks/9 IP and after the 05 season, the Dodgers just gave up on him and traded him to the Rays for Danys Baez and Lance Carter (gee, THAT worked out well, hunh?)
In 06, Jackson continued to struggle with control at both AAA and MLB, giving up too many walks and too few Ks, BUT lowering both his hits/9 and his HR/9. Last year, the Rays decided to leave him in the majors to sink or swim, pitch or pitch himself out, and he struggled all right – 5-15 with a 5.75 ERA, a 1.76 WHIP – BUT he lowered his walk rate from 6 to 4 and managed to average almost 5.2 innings/GA over 161 IP.
This year, he’s 4-6 in 14 GS over 82 IP: 84 H, 8 HR, 39 BB, 54 K: 4.46 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and a .267 BAA.
He’s faced the Astros before, when he was with LA – Berkman is 1/5, Tejada is 2/9, Ausmus is 0/4 and Abercrombie is 2/3.
Sunday, it’s Brandon Backe, RHP vs Scott Kazmir, LHP
You talk about an unfair competition. Kazmir is the best lefty pitcher in the AL – probably THE best pitcher in the AL (you talk about the worst trade of ALL times – the Mets got rid of him because some of the veterans didn’t think he was obsequious enough or something – for Victor yeccch Zambrano, about whom Rick Peterson, the now deposed pitching coach of the Mets supposedly said – I can fix him in 10 minutes…)
Backe was actually drafted by the Rays in 1998 in the 18th round, as an infielder, but was converted to a pitcher when he couldn’t hit well enough to be a position player. He was traded to the Astros in 04 for Geoff Blum, converted to a starter, and the rest is history.
Brandon, best I can tell, is trying to break Jose Lima’s homers given up in one year Astros record. Or maybe even the ML record. He has given up at least one homer in every single game he’s thrown this year except one. He hasn’t thrown an ace game since May 23, back when the Astros were still winning. Then again, that ace game was against the Phils, so maybe he can get it up for the Rays, you never know.
This year, he’s 4-8 in 15 GS (5 QS) over 83 IP (5.2 IP/GS): 94 H, 19 HR, 37 BB, 57 K: 4.99 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and a .281 BAA (his worst ever line as a starter, by the way…)
He hasn’t pitched at the Trop since he was a reliever there back in 03, so I’m not sure that those numbers really have any relevance. He didn’t give up many hits or homers, but he walked a lot of guys.
Scott Kazmir, local boy, was picked in the 1st round in 2002 (15th pick) by the Mets. No the Astros didn’t reject him because they picked 29th and they chose Derick Grigsby. Round 2 was Mitch Talbot. Round 3 was Rory Shortell. Round 4 was Mark McLemore (who has spent most of his minor league career hurt – and he’s the only guy drafted and signed in 02 who spent as much as one day in the majors). Round 5 was Pat Misch, who did not sign. And you get my drift.
where was I? Oh yeah.
So Al Leiter and John Franco wanted that insolent little **** the heck offn their team and so his ass was shipped off to the Rays. And here is what he’s done for them since: 41-31 in 106 GS (and remember that until this year, that team routinely lost a minimum of 90 games) over 627 IP – 3.47 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and a .242 BAA – and 9.2 K/9 IP. That is a 128 ERA+ just in case you’re wondering.
In case you’re curious, Zambrano threw 201.2 innings over 2 1/3 years, started 35 games and relieved in 4 more, went 12-14 with a 95 ERA+ which is what all yall just might could call a seriously dumbass trade. And it is what you get for letting self-important knowitall vets run your ballclub.
Anyway, this year, Kazmir started the year on the DL, and since he came back, is 6-2 in 9 GS (7 QS) over 56.1 IP (6 IP/GS): 37 H, 2 HR, 20 BB, 61 K: 1.76 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and a .181 BAA.
I just hope the Baseball Gods will have a sensa yuma and let the #4 guy beat the AL’s best.