Yessiree, Roy Oswalt has 15 hits this year – more than Backe, believe it or not, and not only has his BA greater than his weight, but over the Mendoza line.
And he pitched well too, except for the FB right down the middle of the plate that Corey Patterson, of all people, sent like 500′ to almost straightaway center – the left wall of the 3 Amigos bar. I remembered Corey hitting a lot of homers when he first came up with the Cubs, just not that hard.
(By the way, Dusty Baker had to issue a statement, after being asked by more than a few Astros players, that Corey, who is SMOKING hot, is definitely NOT dating Dusty’s 28 year old daughter. As one clever internet wag said – gee, he can’t even hit THAT.)
Roy had a tough time getting used to the ump’s postage stamp strike zone in the first 2 innings, but after Michael Bourn drove in 3 with bases loaded, 2 out, to give the Astros the go-ahead runs, he cruised. 6 innings, 2 hits, 1 HR, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 SB. And on 3 days rest, too. He’s now 24-1 vs the Reds. Duuuudddddddddddeeeeeeeeee.
Wesley came on to start the 7th, struck out the first 2, only Brad missed the strike 3 and the runner got to first as Brad didn’t make a good throw (I luuuuvvvv the boy, but he ain’t what he used to be), then Wesley hit the next guy, and Geary came on and shut it down. Byrdak pitched an easy 1,2,3 8th.
Then with the Astros leading 8-1, Coop sent in Arias to mopup. It wasn’t SUPPOSED to get, um, interesting. But Arias didn’t have that great snappy FB he had in the first 3 innings of his first ML start. FB midplate, mid thigh get hit. And here we go: double, 6-3, RB single, (out comes Dewey, sez “throw strikes” does NOT mean mid plate) advance to second on DI, single to R on FB down the middle (NOTE: Arias has only thrown FB since the second batter) RBI single (at least that pitch was outside). Out goes Arias, leaving 2 on, 1 out.
In comes Nieve, and immediately gives up a 3 run homer – remember what I was saying about mid-plate, mid thigh meatballs?
So now it’s 8-6 and Valverde has to come in and get the last 2 outs, which he does, giving up only a single to right. Interesting – he threw all FB, and almost every one of them was waist high or just a little higher.
Milo sure dislikes Michael Bourn, wants him to turn into Willy Taveras, bunting his way on, getting IF chops (like has anyone checked out Willy’s stats lately? The Rockies won’t even play him full time). He says it at least twice every time Bourn comes up to hit. In the first, Bourn managed to make the pitcher throw 7 pitches before grounding out. Milo was, um, not nice about it. You didn’t hear him say a THING when Blum grounded out on the first pitch to the same place. You don’t hear him say a thing about it when Tejada does the same thing. Just Bourn. It’s about the BA, baby. But he drove in the first 3 runs with a double into the LF corner to shut up Milo. So much for infield hits. And he singled to center to drive home another run – and the ball was NOT in the IF. Shut up Milo.
Actually, you never hear him criticize Tejada for leaving so many men on base, hitting into so many DPs and seldom having ABs of more than 3 pitches. Yeah, I know – it’s all about the BA, baby.
But back on the IF hits thing – Milo and his drones keep mentioning repeatedly that Pence has 37 IF hits. See how good speed is??? they squawk!!! What they ignore is that he ALSO has 33 doubles, 4 triples and 24 homers. Therefore, the fielders are NOT going to always play in to get the bunt/IF chop they way they do with Willy Freaking Taveras who has 15 doubles and 1 homer AND a .251 BA/.308 OBP/.259 SLG/.605 OPS – oh yeah, now THAT’S something Michael should aim for. I just do NOT get all the Willy Worship still goin on.
Matsui has been on fire since he came off the DL – too bad he’s such a total China doll. He’s been a LOT better with the bat than I expected, both home AND away. Tonight, he went 3 fer 3 with 2 walks, scored 2 and drove in 3.
Lance still had a few bad swings, but he draw a walk, singled up the middle and stole his 17th base without even drawing a throw.
Wiggy seems to be getting back on track. Swings have been a lot better since he got robbed of that homer yesterday – sent a ball to the warning track, hit 2 singles and struck out on a pitch that was a ball every other pitch.
So tonight, Mets beat the Cubs, Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh (Braun hit a walkoff granny in the 10th) so the WC possibility is looking kind of dim, you know what I’m sayin.
Fun fact – Reds pitcher Danny Ray Herrera, who is from Odessa, is not lying about his size – he SAYS he’s 5-7″ and 145 lbs. How cool is that??? My new favorite non-Astros player.