Slugger Bourn stood at the plate waving his Thunderstick, his gaudy .298 average glinting off the Dome’s pristeen white. Stood ready, waiting, for one of those rare strikes thrown past a man of his feared, no, terrifying reputation. Senn Henn, he of large testicles and small brain, threw a juicy fastball, daring Our Beloved Sluggah to even TRY to hit it.
Oh yes, and with one casual swing of His Mighty Bat, that ball was hit SOOOOOO far, SOOOOO hard that when it clanked against the seats in right, TWO balls emerged!!!!!
Top THAT, Albert Pujols, you pretender to the Throne of incomparability!!!!
With the game not on the line, no one on base and the Astros ahead by 2 runs, banjo hitting Lance Berkman and his .241 average, managed to steady his quaking nerves enough to sneak a changeup over the fence. The RF was so shocked that a hitter of Berkman’s ilk could actually hit a baseball that far that he was frozen into stunned immobility and could only stare as the baseball soared 80′ over his head to clank off the signage.
Meanwhile, Brian Moehler threw very well, giving up only 3 solo homers, a double and a walk over 6 innings. He was pulled after the 6th after throwing only 95 pitches. This way, the Astros can go by that Book that Nolan Ryan hates so much and have The 7th Inning Guy pitch the 7th, The 8th Inning Guy pitch the 8th and The Closer pitch the 9th.
Miggy and Carlos again went ofer without a walk or RBI, but Pence and Pudge both picked it up for them – Pence getting 2 hits and Pudge driving him in.
Jason Michaels has managed to get his batting average up to just under his weight and actually got a PINCH HIT tonight, which drove in a RUN.
Yes, you read that right.
Well, they say that wait long enough and anything can happen…
But seriously folks – back to Michael Bourn - here are a few facts about his performance so far this year.
He has started in 62/66 games this year and is ofer 2 as a PH. In the 62 games he has started, he has reached base at least once during the game in all but 5 games.
That is a team best 92% reached base at least once/game started.
Here are his monthly lines:
April: .261/.354/.377/.731 – 11 RS – 18/69 with 10 BB, 16 K, 6 SB, 1 CS, 4 RBI
May: .303/.361/.385/.747 – 17 RS – 33/109 with 9 BB, 24 K, 10 SB, 2 CS, 8 RBI
June: .313/.405/.463/.868 – 10 RS – 21/67 with 11 BB, 14 K, 7 SB, 4 CS, 4 RBI
Pretty good for a guy that almost everyone wanted OFF this team before the year started. It’s too bad that just about everyone expects any rookie who is called up to play like a RoY.
More fun with stats. Let’s take a look at GIDP/PA. (I wish I could do GIDP/PA with man on first and less than 2 outs, but I just don’t have the time to search each game log and I can’t find that exact number and if one of yall can, please tell me where it is.) Also, plate discipline, meaning pitches swung at which are out of the strike zone, (PPSAOOZ) per www.Fangraphs.com. And yes, it is too bad I don’t have exact numbers on how many pitches out of the strike zone which were swung at went for hits.)
Berkman : 6/278 = 2.16% PSAOOZ = 20.3% about where it has been since 06. Before it was around 12%
Blum: 5/173 = 2.89% PSAOOZ = 29.2% and has been steadily rising every year
Bourn: 1/285 = 0.35% PSAOOZ = 20%
Erstad: 1/78 = 1.28% PSAOOZ = 33.7% – he hasn’t displayed his usual judgement since joining the Astros
Kata: 2/22 = 9.09% PSAOOZ = 38.9% (lifetime average of 24.5%, so I would guess small sample size error)
Keppinger: 3/142 = 2.11% PSAOOZ = 17.4%
Lee: 7/273 = 2.56% PSAOOZ = 24.1%
Matsui: 1/180 = 0.55% PSAOOZ = 26.9%
Maysonet: 0/67 = zero PSAOOZ – 27.4%
Michaels: 1/64 = 1.56% PSAOOZ = 28.6%
Pence: 8/277 = 2.89% PSAOOZ = 26.8% (down from 36% last year!!!!!)
Quintero: 2/51 = 3.92% PSAOOZ = 47.4%
Pudge: 10/202 = 4.95% PSAOOZ = 36%
Tejada: 12/283 = 4.24% PSAOOZ = 31%
Interesting about Keppinger – he seldom strikes out or swings at pitches out of the strike zone, just like Barry Lamar, although certainly his numbers aren’t NEAR Barry’s. He certainly can’t hit the ball as hard and he hits a lot more grounders. Contrary to popular opinion, hitting the ball on the ground (usually) results in a LOT more outs than hitting the ball in the air unless you are a Brett Butler type who beats out bunts and infield hits, and guys like him have decreased with the disappearance of artificial turf and the worship of the homer.