8/17/08: Roy Oswalt Pitches An Ultra Ace Game On Biggio’s Day

Well, I was hoping against hope that on his Number Retirement Day, that Biggio would confess the truth to the world – that he isn’t 5’11” any more than Freddie Patek. You know, encourage vertically challenged athletes who are too tall to be gymnasts and not graceful enough to be skaters. (By the way, you can watch it on the official Astros MLB website.)

However, Roy about overshadowed the ceremony by throwing about the best game I’ve seen him throw since he faced Toronto – CG 4 hitter back in 05. He gave up one single and 2 walks , a LODP and an absolutely INCREDIBLE play at the plate by Bradley Smoking-Hotness receiving a throw from Hunter Pence. Even better than the play in which Erstad threw out that runner with 2 outs n the bottom of the 9th to win the game for the Stros.

Roy’s FB had absolutely OUTSTANDING movement – the best FB he’s had since Game 6 of the 05 playoffs (remember Uncle swinging at a FB around his neck?) and his curve and slider were working, too. You know it because he got SEVEN swinging Ks. AND it is even more of a tribute because the HP ump had a bizarre and inconsistant strike zone (Lance, um, scolded him for calling him out on a pitch waaaayyy up and out.) I was hoping Roy would finish up with a CG 1 hitter, but apparently not. Coop doesn’t think real too much of CG – then again, I don’t think real too much of Coop. And no, I don’t know whether or not it was Coop’s or Roy’s decision…

Wiggy, who is on the hottest of hot streaks, drove in the runs. Randy Johnson gave up 9 hits and a walk, but stranded 7 and got Miggy to GIDP. Miggy has the same number of GIDP as walks. He isn’t worth even 1/4 of his salary.

And tomorrow, we start a road trip. The boys “get” to face CC Sabathia, last year’s CY winner and a frontrunner for this year’s NL CY. Miggy and Erstad have seen him many times – Miggy is 9/28 with 2 doubles and 2 homers; Erstad is 9/28 with 2 doubles and a HR.

Randy Wolf will pitch for the Astros: he’s 5-3 in 15 GS vs the Crew. At Miller Park, he’s 2-2 in 6 GS over 35.2 IP – 21R/18 ER – 34 H, 7 HR, 17 BB, 26 K: 4.64 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, .252 BAA.

By the way, Chad Reinecke (remember him???) won his first ML start yesterday for the Padres – 2 ER over 5 IP….

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30 Responses to “8/17/08: Roy Oswalt Pitches An Ultra Ace Game On Biggio’s Day”

  1. Mark says:

    Roy was great. I’m just glad that Wigginton managed to go yard and put some runs on the board for him.

  2. zomgMatt says:

    Coop was probably just a bit gun shy from the almost-CG Moehler threw. He’s got a save situation going into the ninth in what is probably a bigger game than any of the Yankees and Red Sox games earlier in the year. Winning the Craig Biggio game means a lot, at least for fans. A CG would’ve been cool, but you can’t blame him for bringing in Valverde.

  3. Daniel says:

    I would definetely blame Coop. Roy had thrown only 23 pitches in the last two innings, and 105 for the game. I believe he was facing bottom order guys too. Roy coulda thrown a complete game, 1 hit, 10-K shoutout, which probably would’ve been his best regular season start ever. I would trust a guy who’s throwing a one-hitter to close out the door in the ninth. Valverde has been good since the beginning of the year hiccup, but Roy’s your ace. I would let him finish what he started.

  4. Will says:

    You are so predictable. Chad Reineke, remember him !
    As if you ever saw the guy pitch in Round Rock….
    Are you going to give Chad Reineke updates every time he pitches, or just those times when he doesn’t suck? Where’s Enberg these days? Or how’s your boy Chris Burke doing these days? And how ’bout that Wigginton guy who you’ve incessantly hated on?
    As an Astros fan and an occasional Express attendee, I hope Reineke does well and establishes himself as a MLB-quality pitcher, but from what I’ve seen, he’s just another guy. Bringing in Randy Wolf for Chad Reineke to help stabilize the rotation and take some innings off the bullpen was a perfectly reasonable move. Those who criticized Wade for it are the same bunch who repeatedly criticized the organization for a non-existent farm system. Before the trade, Reineke was a part of that same talentless system. After the trade, Reineke is suddenly a worthy prospect who the Astros never should’ve traded. Riiiight.

  5. Lisa Gray says:

    the astros certainly didn’t expect reinecke to pitch in the majors – and i’ll bet you didn’t neither. so i noticed that he had and mentioned it – sort of like i do the other astros prospects who were discarded – don’t worry, i’ll make a plus-minus table at the end of the year
    the astros lately have had a nasty habit of getting rid of young pitchers who have gone somewheres else and done better than the astros thought
    perhaps the astros actually do NOT have a talentless system.
    maybe they employ managers/coaches who aren’t able to manage/coach/teach
    looks bad when your supposed to be no good minor leaguers go somewheres else and excel
    – did you hear me say reinecke should never have been traded??????????????

  6. Will says:

    I have no idea what exactly Wade/Smith project Reineke to do as a MLB pitcher (and neither do you), but I do know that they thought just enough of him to protect him from Rule 5 by putting him on the 40-man roster last year, and also enough to call him up back in July. Ricky Bennett was on record as saying that he could be a bullpen pitcher in the bigs but that he needed to work on his command.
    perhaps the astros actually do NOT have a talentless system.
    Yes, maybe. Is it not possible that your statgeek friends who haven’t laid eyeballs on Astros prospects might just know less than you think they know? I’m not saying the farm is in good condition, but it may not be nearly as bad as you think it is.
    maybe they employ managers/coaches who aren

  7. Will says:

    On the topic of the talentless farm system:
    Former #1 pick Brian Bogusevic is hitting .358/.447/.605 with 9 doubles, 4 homers, and 21 RBI in Corpus.

  8. Austin says:

    “Like Chris Burke and Morgan Ensberg? Or the injured Troy Patton and Matt Albers? Or Dennis Sarfate?”
    lol. You criticize her for being reactionary and picky? Matt Albers was having a great season until he got injured. He WAS excelling but for an injury, and Troy Patton will be back. You can’t guess injuries are going to happen, so holding those over the organization’s head are absurd, especially when they’ve still got years left to excel. And how about Taylor Buchholz? I noticed you left him off the list when he’s excelling for the Rockies. You left off Luke Scott, who’s putting up better numbers than Tejada. You left off Chad Qualls and Dan Wheeler, both putting up better numbers than anyone else in our bullpen. Those aren’t really minor league cast offs, but they were people the organization decided we could do without, and they went somewhere else and excelled. I agree with Lisa. It’s a pretty bad pattern. And you don’t disprove that by listing a couple of guys that didn’t do well.

  9. Austin says:

    Oh, and if you had been following, you would have noticed that Lisa has commented on Bogusevic and asked why the Astros organization hasn’t promoted him yet. She didn’t say it’s a talentless minor league system. She said she thinks it’s mis-run, and I think that’s fair and consistent.

  10. Austin says:

    “Like Chris Burke and Morgan Ensberg? Or the injured Troy Patton and Matt Albers? Or Dennis Sarfate?”
    Frankly, I’d rather have that than the ditto-heads who think everything they do is a good idea. Like getting Wolf to ease the burden on the bullpen. WHAT!? Who are you afraid of wearing out? And you say that like Wolf ISN’T throwing too many pitches and getting pulled in the fifth inning of every game. That was just absurd.

  11. Austin says:

    Sorry, on that last comment the quote was supposed to be the one of you saying she was a reactionary who reflexively criticized the Astros.
    By the way, do you think she does it because she hates the Astros, or because she genuinely wishes they’d succeed? Just to put things in a little context, before you fly off the handle again. And, frankly, I’d say their record somewhat justifies what she’s saying. They’ve been making lots of moves and actually getting worse. What does that tell you? I think when you criticize their moves and are justified by them SUCKING, then people should hold their tongues on complaining about your criticisms.

  12. Will says:

    I’m a dittohead who approves every move? Hahahaha. Uh, nope. (Don’t get me started on Coop’s use of Bourn). I just don’t go whining unintelligible gibberish on the internet about it, nor do I bash the best owner the Astros have ever had with the demonstrably false “Drayton’s a cheapskate” line of crap. No, I prefer to take a step back and consider the reasoning behind the moves (whether it’s managerial or front office). Does the decision make sense? Do I have the same access to information the front office has? Could there be a key piece of information I’m neglecting?
    You all bitch about everything you can possibly find room to bitch about. When it came time to cut bait on the Ensburke experiment, Lisa and her sockpuppets blamed the Astros for not giving them enough chances to prove their worth! Amazing, simply amazing. Other than Jason Lane, nobody did less with more opportunities than Chris Burke and Morgan Ensberg. Does it get any more ridiculous than that?
    Fact is, Lisa is almost always wrong, because she’s a reactionary.
    Ensberg, Burke, Wigginton, Tejada (especially his defense), Astros don’t want black players on the team, the farm system is absolute junk, Drayton McLane won’t pay above slot (Troy Patton????) for draft picks, blah blah blah.

  13. Will says:

    By the way, do you think she does it because she hates the Astros, or because she genuinely wishes they

  14. Steve Schramm says:

    Actually, Lisa’s job is to write about the Astros and get people to read and react so the site is interesting enough to drive heavy traffic and chatter; she does this through a combination of interesting stats, a good number of facts, and strong opinions that challenge the consensus and get people talking. Seems good.

  15. Austin says:

    I never said you were a dittohead. Once again, you’ve been caught putting words in peoples’ mouths. I was making a broad assessment of SOME Astros fans I’ve seen. I never leveled that accusation against you.
    I’m not getting into the Ensberg argument again. That’s old news and a fruitless argument. I agree with Lisa on it, you don’t. Time to move on.
    She hasn’t been wrong on Wigginton. He’s having an off-the-charts August, but other than that, he’s numbers have just been decent this year, about what you’d expect. His OPS has jumped a full 100 points this month. And she’d dead on when she talks about his defense. He’s miserable. Have y’all forgotten we went to the World Series on pitching and defense, not offense? Because Astros management certainly hasn’t.
    And she’s backed her criticism of Tejada at every turn. His offense has been worse than it was last year, when it was still just okay. And while his arm strength is great, his range definitely leaves something to be desired.
    I’d also argue against you saying they’re now playing to expectations. There have been points in this season when they’ve exceeded expectations thanks to people playing better than they are, like Chacon, Wigginton and most of their middle relievers. This team has played very well when people have played BETTER than they’re supposed to. But I would NOT say this team is currently playing to expectations. They’re only playing to expectations if you came in with unrealistic expectations of the talent of this lineup and pitching staff.
    You can argue all you want that this team doesn’t suck, but a 63-62 record and allowing 40 more runs than they’ve scored tells me otherwise.

  16. Austin says:

    Oh, and they’ve had to win 17 or their last 24 just to get up to .500. I’m not calling you a dittohead, but I seriously don’t know how you look at this team and see a solid team with a good foundation of role players that is really good when people play to expectations.

  17. Will says:

    Matt Albers was having a great season until he got injured. He WAS excelling but for an injury, and Troy Patton will be back. You can

  18. Austin says:

    “This is exactly the kind of mindset I

  19. Austin says:

    Luke Scott was made expendable by Hunter Pence? What kind of sense does that make? A 20-30 HR and 60-70 RBI guy with a great arm isn’t made expendable by ANOTHER good outfielder. A hole in the outfield was created by trading him.
    And I don’t know how you argue that getting Tejada was so brilliant when we STILL losing and still giving up way more runs than we’re scoring. No matter how you slice it, saying they were right about Tejada doesn’t hold water.

  20. Austin says:

    Wigginton has been better than Lamb, I’ll grant. But, here’s my point – third base has been a revolving door since Ken Caminiti left. Outside of Morgan Ensberg, who had three good years followed by an injury plagued season and a season when the Astros just decided to dump him, they haven’t even worked to develop a third baseman. Wigginton has played well, but the real complaint here is the idea that this team is somehow built to contend for a world title. Since it’s not, we think they should stop getting old guys and develop some players for a change. My main problem isn’t with how Wigginton has played, it’s what comes next. That’s a lot harder to say when you delude yourself into thinking you’re a solid team that can trade away young players like you’re making a run at the World Series this year.

  21. Austin says:

    By the way, even in that injury-plagued season, you know what Ensberg’s OPS was? It was .859. Your precious Tejada’s is .737 this year. Maybe the reason you constantly deride us using stats is because you’ve got NOTHING to back up your claims.

  22. Austin says:

    Perhaps, but again, this is what I said coming into the season when people were talking about how amazing our lineup was. I hope for Bourn to be successful, but people seemed to be misplacing expectations based on what he’d done in 127 at-bats spread out over 122 games.
    And Pence is a brilliant example of the problems with coaching that Lisa is trying to point out. Why did he kill the ball last year, and then have a season with with an OPS 159 points lower, a BA 60 points lower, fewer stolen bases, a higher strikeout rate and fewer RBIs? When you’ve got so many guys underplaying expectations year after year, you can’t keep chalking it up to bad luck.

  23. Will says:

    Luke Scott was made expendable by Hunter Pence?
    What kind of sense does that make?
    A 20-30 HR and 60-70 RBI guy with a great arm isn

  24. Austin says:

    I agree with Matt 100%. Contention is the whole issue. And they’re not contending. No matter how you slice it, they’re not contending. And you’re right, it is because we don’t have a leadoff hitter or good pitching. Which is what people like Lisa and I screamed coming into this season. I never said we were losing because of our offense. I said we were losing because the front office is focusing too much on offense instead of pitching.
    And sorry Will, but you’re not going to convince me that one good outfielder makes another expendable. I believe there’s room for 3 good outfielders.
    And you continue to make comments without backing them with any actual facts. You keep saying Tejada’s been solid at shortstop without backing it with anything to rebut my stats showing he’s not, AND that he’s playing worse than Scott. Also, I don’t think we’re paying $15 mil a year for “solid.” He needs to be better than that.

  25. Will says:

    Outside of Morgan Ensberg, who had three good years followed by an injury plagued season and a season when the Astros just decided to dump him…
    Poor Morgan Ensberg, he just never got a chance. Would you all stop with this nonsense. The problem with Ensberg was one of consistency. Sometimes he looked like a perennial All-Star, but most times he disappointed. His year-to-year numbers, like his many batting stances, were all over the place. His failures are his own, not the Houston Astros.
    …they haven

  26. zomgMatt says:

    Will, the issue is that the Astros are not contending, and it was unreasonable to think that they would be able to. Faced with that fact, the goal of the Astros probably should have been to cut the Major League payroll and invest in player development.
    I don’t think the Wheeler trade was bad. We got a good 3B for a good bullpen arm.
    The problem was things like the Tejada and Valverde trades and the Matsui signing. Tejada is being paid $15 million to be a below league-average SS. Matsui is being paid $5.5 million to be a league-average 2B. Valverde wasn’t worth trading Qualls and the associated pawns. And we’re paying Valverde roughly 3 times what we paid Qualls for fewer IP. The Lidge trade looks worse by the hour.
    If we bought older, veteran players from the market – unspectacular, washed-up guys like Blum, Loretta, and Erstad (who we are paying a COMBINED $4.85 million/year), we can field a losing team for significantly less. The difference can be invested in Latin America, the draft, and the farm system. Anything not provided for in the market can be solved by calling up minor league replacements.
    The cost is a few years of pain and heartache, but we save tens of millions of dollars a year on payroll.
    Really, there are only a few of the “big” players earning their keep: Lee, Berkman, and Wiggy. Oswalt is having an off year (though it should be noted that he is now at league-average ERA again), but will probably be fine next year. It’s cool if we have to pay them big piles of cash – they’re more than worth it, and are all still fairly young. But I think Wade’s going to need to do a lot of work to fix the damage caused by the offseason trades.
    Nonetheless, I can’t wait for September callups. I really hope they call up Bogusevic – he’s doing really well at AA and Bagwell gave him a good endorsement on Sunday.

  27. Lisa Gray says:

    see what i miss when i don’t stay up after the game?
    1 – ensberg never came back after injuring his shoulder. that’s what the “it’s macho to play through injuries” mindset of biggio/bagwell does
    2 – it is silly to have expectations of old players on the downside of their careers that they will continue to put up the same numbers that they did when they were younger, stronger, and taking B-12
    3 – i am a big believer in watching players and evaluating them with my eyes – which is why i plug tango tigers’ FANS scouting reports every year. and why i asked some orioles FANS their opinion of tejada’s glove.
    at the end of the season,
    i’m gonna do a 2 year evaluation of the players we’ve traded away and the players we’ve gotten and see where we are…
    as for drayton being el cheapo in the draft,
    well, it certainly isn’t just MY opinion. check out BA, check out BPro, check out THT, check out the local reporters – justice, mctaggart, footer
    the astros Organization has NOT made an effort to acquire good young players over the past 5 or so years
    as for bogusevic –
    now HOW many years did the astros try to turn him into a pitcher?
    – remember that he was always a better hitter than pitcher in college
    personally i hope he tears the cover offn the baseball and joins the team SOON

  28. Viejito says:

    I tend to agree with Will on most of his arguments