Brandon was just awful – hung sliders, threw FB in the middle of the plate -sure didn’t look like a guy determined to pitch for his job next year. And yeah, the ump DID have a constantly changing strike zone, but the middle of the plate IS the middle of the plate.
He started the game off in BAD style, giving up a leadoff homer to power hitter Josh Anderson, who sure does like hitting here at the Box. Then a single, then 2 outs, then a double to Jeff Freaking Francoer, who has been one of the 10 worst offensive hitters in the majors this year, then a 2 run double, then the 3rd out.
Second inning, a FO, a single, then NL leading home run hitter Josh Anderson hit ANOTHER homer – and that, folks, is
Brandon’s ML leading 36th.
Great. Tejada continues to pad his GIDP lead to 32 (but he won’t be able to break Jim Rice’s record of 37) and Brandon leads the NL in homers allowed.
Where was I? Oh yeah. One out in the second, Astros already down 5-0. Next batter singles on an 0-2, then a WP, then a single, then a walk to load the bases.
Coop has seen enough, brings in Jack Cassel.
Who promptly gives up a 3 run double, Francoering poor Backe. He gives up another run scoring single, then holds the Braves scoreless for another 2 innings.
But by then, it’s Braves 8 – Astros zip.
The Astros chip away, but leave men on base in every inning but the 5th and the 9th.
Borkowski managed to pitch 2 scoreless, Nieve pitched 1 inning, striking out all 3 batters and Wesley pitched a 1,2,3 inning, striking out 2. It was Geary, of all people, who gave up 2 more runs.
Pence hit a homer, but it was Berkman who reached on a swinging strikeout on a ball in the dirt!!! and promptly stole second for his 18th SB of the year who had the play of the game. Lance is REALLY swinging at a LOT of pitches not in the strike zone – something he didn’t used to do.
And tomorrow is Brad Ausmus Day. Of course I am joining the Million Woman March to the Box to tell Bradley that he is The Hottest EVAH!!!
Brad gets a lot of, uh, disrespect from a lot of Astros fans who really don’t think that a catcher does much of anything besides produce (or not produce) the 5 stats for a fantasy team. He does a LOT more for a reality team – ask Roy or Roger or Andy. I’m going to write up a Brad career retrospective either during the playoffs or after the season. And for all the people who have been wanting Brad gone and saying how they’ll take Quintero, might could I suggest you compare stats: Q has even worse stats this year than Brad did over the last 4 years when so many were complaining so bitterly about his BA.
And it’s Wandy’s last start of the year vs ex-Astro Mike Hampton, who has spent most of the last 4 years injured. I remember Mike Hampton VERY well. He was good. And he was traded because he didn’t like Houston and had informed the Organization that he was going to be a FA and Houston was not on his list of NL teams he would agree to sign with.
He was a great success in Colorado all right – remember the GREAT public skoolz his kids were gonna go to?
Root Root Root for the Wand mannnnnn.