I had hoped to talk about Carlos’ 3 run homer. Or the double steal pulled off by Lance/Miggy (this is the 4th Astros double steal of the year) and Michael Bourn’s 23rd league leading steal. And the Astros scoring SIX runs off ace lefty Cole Hamels – a game that Chris Sampson deserved to win.
Or even grouse a little about how the HP ump screwed up the call on what should have been a 1-2 run scoring double for Wiggy down the LF line that was wrongly called foul.
I was actually a bit surprised that Sampson was pulled after 5 innings. Why? Well, because SOMEone had to pitch and the bullpen guys who were available were Nieve, Borkowski and Villareal – both Byrdak and Brocail were essentially unavailable after all their work for the past few games and it was more likely that Wesley Wright, if used at all, would be used as a LOOGY for maybe 1 or 2 batters.
Which, by the way, is why, in retrospect, I am VERY surprised that Coop decided not to pinch hit for Towles with 2 outs, bases loaded with the Astros only leading by 2 runs and the Astros needing to put a LOT of runs on the board seeing as how Nieve, Borkowski and Villareal are NOT ideal bullpen guys when the Astros are ahead, you know what I’m sayin…
Which reminds me,
I was wondering yesterday who should be the pitcher who is sent down when Wandy re-joins the club in time for his Wednesday start. The choices are, of course, Nieve, Villareal and Borkowski. Let’s take a look at their most recent performances, including today’s:
Nieve: (called up 5/16)
TODAY – With the Astros leading 6-4, to start the 6th, he gave up a homer, a single, a double and another single and 2 runs and left with 2 on. His relief let that run score, so that is 4 runs given up without getting a single out.
5/22 – came in in the 8th with the Astros losing 6-5, none on, none out. He gave up a walk, a FC and a single, and he left with 2 on, 1 out. His relief allowed one of his runs to score.
5/19 – came in the 6th inning with the Astros losing 3-2, gave up 2 singles, a double and a run.
5/17 – came in with Astros losing 5-2, 7th inning, 1 out, runners on second and third. He gave up a hit that let one runner score, then got a GIDP and another scoreless inning.
Borkowski: has had 9 appearances over the past month: (ERA went from 3.38 to 6.86 – was 4.50 before today’s debacle)
TODAY: came in to start the 7th with the Astros losing 9-6, gave up 6 ER – 2 doubles, 3 singles and a homer. He did have some bad luck with 2 hits down the line and a certain infielder not bothering to throw the ball home to get a runner…
5/19 – came in with Astros down 4-2, 2 on 1 out, let an inherited runner score then got the 2 . Next inning, gave up a 2 run homer.
5/16 – came in with one on, 1 out, Astros losing 8-2. Gave up a single, no runs. Pitched another inning, 1 single, no runs. Got the first out of the next inning, and was pulled for a leftylefty matchup thingy with the score tied.
5/15 – came in with Astros losing 7-3, pitched a scoreless inning (single, DP, GO)
5/9 – came in for the 9th inning, Astros leading 7-1, gave up a run on a double and 2 groundouts
5/4 – came in in the 4th with Astros losing 3-2, 2 on 1 out and immediately gave up a homer, letting both runs score. He got the other 2 outs and pitched another scoreless inning.
4/30 – the infamous – “home run to the pitcher” game – came in with the Astros leading 7-5, 2 out, man on, and promptly gave up the game tying homer to Micah Owings “the pitcher” – then a double and an RBI single to lose the game
4/28 – came in with the Astros losing 5-2, 1 out, 2 on, stranded BOTH runners, pitched another scoreless inning
4/27 – came in with Astros losing 5-1 to start the 8th, gave up a single and no runs.
Villareal: has had 9 appearances in May (ERA has gone from 4.82 to 5.33 – was 5.79 before today’s game) He had 13 appearances in April, a 5.19 ERA in 17.1 IP with 6 HR, 12 R/10 ER, 3 losses and 4 of 6 inherited runners scoring.
TODAY: came in to start the 8th, Astros losing 15-6, pitched two 1,2,3 innings, needing only 18 pitches. Best outing he’s had with the Astros. Ever. By FAR.
5/24 – came in with Astros leading 4-3 in the 8th, 2 out, none on, walked his only batter, who didn’t score.
5/22 – came in with Astros losing 7-5 to start the 9th, gave up a walk, a single, no runs
5/16 – the Texas Massacre – came in to start the 8th with Astros losing 10-8, gave up (are you ready for this) 2 singles, a walk, a triple and 3 homers – 6 runs, 2 earned. (Kind of like Bork today)
5/14 – came in with the score tied, 2 out, man on third, and got the 3rd out and the W.
5/13 – came in with the Astros with the Astros losing 4-2, 1 out none on in the 8th, got one out, gave up a single then was pulled and the runner stranded.
5/10 – came in with the Astros leading 5-0 in the 9th, 1 on, no out, got the 3 outs without letting the runner score.
5/8 – came in to start the 8th with the Astros losing 4-1, gave up a WP, 2 walks, 2 singles, 1 HR and 3 runs.
5/3 – came in with Astros winning 6-2, bases loaded 2 outs in the 6th, got the 3rd out stranding the runners, then pitched a 1,2,3 7th.
So what would I personally do?
Answer – send Nieve AND Villareal down right now and bring up Jack Cassel – and yes, I know he’s a starter, but he’s pitching lights out down there and seeing as how he is not going to start up here unless more than one guy gets hurt, why waste him? Put him in the pen, let him pitch one or 2 innings as there don’t seem to be real too many guys who can do that. When Geary is ready to come back up, I’d send Bork down unless he suddenly has gotten himself straightened up.
Oh yeah – all yall know how, um, disGUSted I am with all the people who blamed Adam Everett’s lousy bat for the Astros’ losing the past few years? Like the #8 guy is there for his bat? Well, we’re seeing the same sort of crap THIS year with JR Towles. I can’t believe how MANY people are screaming that he needs to be replaced by, of ALL people, Quintero. Yeah, the guy whose lifetime ML line reads .238/.275/.317/.592 and who is hitting .200/.231/320/.551 in AAA right now – with SIX errors. Yeah, in TRIPLE A – and even if he DID hit .238, that would mean approximately 1 more hit every 30 AB. Like that matters. When you decide to blame your #8 guy, who is the CATCHER, who is not there for his bat, for team losses and completely ignore your #2 guy, who went 1 fer Philly (and screwed up a critical DP with bases loaded) you got yourself a problem with priorities.
And what would I have done if I was the manager and I was planning to not send my pitcher back out no matter what, bases loaded, 2 out, ahead by 2? I would have sent Loretta up to pinch hit. Not Erstad, because then Manuel would have pulled Seanez and sent up Romero and Erstad can’t hit leftys. I suppose I could have sent Cruz up, hoping to get him to walk in a run, but I trust Loretta to get a hit more than I trust Cruz to draw a walk, and anyway, I would have had to send Loretta up for Sampson anyway.
UPDATE 9 PM:
Nieve has just been sent down and Cassel called up. Not surprised about either move. But the question still is – who will be sent down when Wandy returns? I hope it is NOT Cassel. Just out of curiousity, I checked with Cot’s on both Villareal and Borkowski:
Villareal has had 5 full years of service in the majors, so can’t be sent down without his permission. The Astros are on the hook for 2.85 mill, covering this year and next, so I think we gonna be stuck with him as I seriously doubt Drayton will agree to eat ANOTHER contract.
Bork has 3.1 years of ML service and is being paid 800K, so he COULD be sent down without having to clear waivers.
I haven’t made up my mind on which I thought should go down, but I got this feeling it ain’t gonna be the guy with the bigger contract.
Oh yeah – they CAN’T send Wesley Wright down, remember? They can either keep him on the ML roster or return him to LA.
Tags: Houston Astros