5/27/08: Hitter Pence Goes 5/5 To Help Chacon Beat Cardinals

Shawn Chacon pitched an excellent game. It’s so funny – when I was typing up my pre-game preview, I was going to mention that Uncle was something like 2 fer 15 against Chacon, but decided against it for fear of jinxing Chacon – guess my just THINKING about it was bad juju because Uncle went 3 fer 3 against him with 2 singles and a homer. I hate that guy.

He also gave up a double to Ankiel that almost went out, but hit the top of the yellow line. Then Glaus hit a single to left, Ankiel was waved around third and Pence nailed his ass with a perfect strike to Towles about 4′ before he reached the plate. No, it wasn’t near as close as the Erstad-Ausmus play. But hey, it was still kewl. And Chacon also gave up a solo homer to Brian Barton, the Cards Rule V guy from the Indians (wouldn’t they LUUUUVV to have him back, seeing as how none of their players are hitting worth spit this year…)

And there you go – 7 IP, 7 H, 2 HR, 1 double, no walks, 7 K, 2 ER – 104 pitches/62 s.
Miggy Tejada hit his first homer since May 2 – and, by the way, it was the very first homer hit by an Astro off Looper.

Towles didn’t get a hit, but he did get on base 3 of 4 times and he drove in a run with a walk. Hard to remember that last time we played the Cards, Pence wasn’t hitting even the Mendoza line and was swinging wildly at almost everything and had twice as many Ks as hits. Today, his average is up to .311 and I’m thinking it is about time that Towles turns it around, too.

Lance had 2 walks and a hit – he is still leading the league in runs scored and added 3 to his total tonight. No stolen bases though – you KNOW he’s thinking 30-30, which would be awesome – he’d be the first 1B since Baggy to do it.

Speaking of which, happy 40th birthday, Baggy. Man, it’s hard to believe he’s so old.

Anyway, Carlos Lee came up with bases loaded and drove in 2. I have to laugh because he was so worried that if he hit 5th, he wouldn’t have enough runs to drive in to make him happy – he’s right behind Berkman. So to speak…

Kaz broke out of his 4 fer 30 slump with a 3 fer 5 night. No stolen bases, but some very heads up baserunning in the first when Ankiel foolishly threw to third instead of second when Miggy flew out.
Michael Bourn went 1/5 and he was lucky on that hit, too, that Ankiel trapped. But there is a HUGE amount of luck in baseball and sometimes those line drives fall in and sometimes they don’t.

I hear that there is supposed to be this tremendous decrease in the number of home runs this year from last year. Well, let me assure all yall that the Astros pitchers are doing their very best to try to combat it. And I like how the mainstream media explains it as having anything to with no roid use THIS year, as if strict testing hasn’t been in place for 4 years now, unless they want to claim that somehow, all the home run hitters last year were using, but not getting caught and inexplicably, they decided to quit THIS year.

Byrdak continued his streak of scoreless innings, giving up a double to Uncle. I hate that guy.
Looks as if Villareal will be useful in mopup: he threw his third consecutive scoreless, hitless 1,2,3 inning tonight with the Astros leading 8-2 in the 9th. He can throw strikes as long as the game is either long gone or the Astros are 5 runs ahead.

And last but not least, the Astros announced that Sampson would go to the bullpen when Wandy returns. It’s so funny – they’ve wanted to shove him in the bullpen, where his ERA is historically about 2 runs higher than as a starter, since he was still in the minors. It’s a shame, because in the bullpen, he’s gonna make Villareal look like Mo Rivera. Ah well, dude better enjoy the few innings in baseball he’s got left. He won’t succeed at that elusive 7th inning guy position. He’s not a velocity strikeout sort of guy, he’s a finesse guy who needs a great infield defense.

And Wandy has his work cut out for him tomorrow as he tries to beat the Cards’ ace Wainwright. I’ll be wearing my homemade WANDY! Astros shirt that my kids gave me for my birthday.

Yes. I am a Wandy fangrrrrrl. I say it loud and I say it proud – I’ve been out of the closet for years…

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13 Responses to “5/27/08: Hitter Pence Goes 5/5 To Help Chacon Beat Cardinals”

  1. Mark says:

    “Speaking of which, happy 40th birthday, Baggy. Man, it

  2. Steve Schramm says:

    We kept saying that Pence had to adjust or he would spend the rest of his short career striking out on low outside sliders. Wow, did he adjust, or what? That guy sure does look like the real thing…

  3. lisa says:

    but you know, i hate to be a party pooper, but i can’t find ANY team who got anywhere in the playoffs without an ace starter, regardless of the strength of the lineup.
    so at this particular second, unless wandy turns into sandy koufax (only shorter) i am not holding my breath…

  4. mark2 says:

    If you are going to hit below .150, don’t get picked off to end the inning with the pitcher up. How does that happen? You’re a catcher, you should know Molina has made a living doing exactly that. I’m all for letting Towles work his way out of it by playing him everyday, but he can’t make mental errors like that. At least it’s not costing us games……yet.

  5. Lisa Gray says:

    mark,
    i didn’t mean 40 is old. i meant it is hard to believe baggy didn’t stay 27 for the rest of his life. i know that sounds dumb but somehow i always picture baggy the way he was in the late 90s before his shoulder gave out.
    steve,
    looks like pence adjusted all right.
    mark2,
    yeah, it was a stupid rookie mistake. if i remember rightly, pence got himself picked off by molina last year.
    - grinning
    and so did lance…
    molina and pujols have that deadly move…
    lisa

  6. Travis says:

    I was listening to the radio broadcast when Pukejols came up, Raymond was complimenting Chacon on getting out 10 of the first 11 and 25 of his last 27 over two games, and no sooner did he finish that *^%$! hits a homerun. I can honestly say I have never hated a player in baseball as much as Pujols.
    I am nervous about Wandy’s start tonight, he is so crucial to this rotation. I never would have thought that at some point in the season I would think that Wandys starts were as important, maybe more, than Roys. But if Wandy cant get it done consistently then there isnt much of a chance for the Stros.
    One quick thing, how about this Outfield… i think they lead the majors in assists and I’ll have to look but I bet they are at least in the top five in fielding %

  7. August West says:

    The Magic Man is back! Here’s to hoping Wandy comes back healthy, focused and ready to keep improving.
    I love watching that scrappy little dude.

  8. Daniel says:

    Everytime I get the Pujols Nightmares, I just picture him falling to his knees striking out on an Oswalt high and tight fastball in Game 6. It tells me he is beatable, although he promptly gets on base anyway.
    I really hope Wandy is in form. It is amazing that the Stros are on pace for a 93 win year with Oswalt pitching badly, an inconsistent Wandy, and our 3rd starter out for almost 2/3 of the year so far.
    btw, Berkman and Lee are 2-3 in RBI, and Berkman, Tejada and Lee are all on pace for 100+ RBI seasons, and Pence isn’t far off. Best 3-4-5(-6) in the NL, I think so.

  9. Steve Schramm says:

    Don’t hold your breath – -you’ll turn blue! Just enjoy the run — the goal now is to get to the playoffs and that can be done with hitting. I’d rather have Roy scuffling in April-May than Sept-Oct. And Wandy being out means that takes some wear and tear off of him, so hopefully he can go deeper into the year and be effective. We’ll see, but it sure is fun to watch.
    As a side note, we won the first game of the other two series with StL and then proceeded to give away the next two each time. Let’s see if we can reverse that trend.

  10. Daniel says:

    The 2004 Cards lost their ace and went to the World Series. The Marquis, Suppan, Morris trifecta doesn’t spell ace. They did it with a great lineup. Maybe the Stros can too.

  11. Mark says:

    Roy will get it together and perform well for the rest of the season. He has had a couple of extra days off and a couple of extra bullpen sessions. Tomorrow, he’ll be lights out.
    I don’t hate Pujols. I like great players no matter who they play for. I wish he was an Astro. I’ll bet Lance would volunteer to move back to the outfield if the Astros had a chance to get Pujols.

  12. Lisa Gray says:

    steve,
    i HOPE roy stops scuffling…
    mark,
    - smile
    i’d take pujols on my team ANY time. ANY time. he’s the best baseball player i’ve ever seen next to barry lamar bonds, roids or no roids.
    actually, i wonder if albert could still play third – remember when he first came up he played third and he played it VERY well and he only moved to left because they got rolen…

  13. Jastro says:

    Funny, using Pujols and Berky in the same sentence, like using Ankiel and Bourn in one. Wandy’s stuff is ace.

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