Yeah, I know it’s the Pirates. But fact is that he threw like last year’s Wandy – came out right away in the first throwing bullets, got 2 staring strikes, then a swing and miss on his curve, which is back. Next hitter, staring at a FB, fouling off a FB, then a swing and miss at a curve. My goodness gracious. Then McCutchen (the hitter) lined out to Keppinger. 8 pitches, 8 strikes, 3 outs. Da Wand Man ROOLZ!!!!!
He threw 7.1 innings, and gave up 4 singles, a walk, and a home run on the only bad pitch he threw all night, a hanging curve. In the 8th, he gave up a single to Cedeno, then got Iwamura to popup, and then Mills pulled him – I have like NO idea why – Crosby and McCutchen were coming up and it’s not like they are these great hitters. I haven’t heard anything – maybe he signaled that he was tired? Who knows? Lyons got the 2 outs.
Lindstrom made it INteresting in the 9th, got 2 quick outs, then had to face a bunch of lefty pinch hitters – looks as if he might have a Brad Lidge lefty weakness thingy goin on – gave up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases with 2 out, but then got Ronny Cedenoto pop out to Pence.
As for hitting, well, the bats came alive against the Pirates bullpen. I guess that’s a good sign. Bourn led off with a single, Kepp and Feliz popped out, then Lance hit a screaming liner up the middle which hit the pitcher, Chris Jakubauskas, who had just been called up for this start, in the head. He went down like he’d been shot and I screamed – he was kicking his legs and for a horrifying moment, I thought he was having a seizure, you know, like what fish do just before they die. The kidz were freaking out, asking if he was gonna die. Lance was pretty upset, too.
So when the pitcher finally sat up, it was an enormous relief – I told the kids he was gonna be OK. Of course, I got a whole lot of doubts – I mean, how can you get hit in the head like that by something traveling 100+ MPH and be OK? I remember when Ryan Thompson hit a liner that hit Bryce Florie in the face, like what, 10 years ago? (I can’t believe I still remember their names) Florie was never the same and neither was Thompson. But at least Florie didn’t have any brain damage and I pray that poor Chris doesn’t either.
After the game, Number #2 son asked me – Mami, how come he didn’t catch the ball? I told him it came back too fast and he didn’t have time. So he said – Lance didn’t do it on purpose, did he? I said no, he just hit the ball, he doesn’t know exactly where it is going to go – heck, he doesn’t even know IF he’ll hit it when he swings. He thought about that. Then he said, he’s gonna have a BAD headache. And I said – he surely will. And with any luck, that will be ALL he has wrong…
Anyway, to better news, every hitter in the lineup got a hit, even Wandy, who beat out a bunt and singled. Bourn got a walk, a single, and hit into his first GIDP in 2 years (a 4-3 tag the runner.) Tommy Manzella went 2 for 4, but stranded 2. Pedro Feliz hit a 2 run homer offn the LF wall just under the tracks. Even Cory Sullivan got into the act, getting a walk and a single on Carlos Lee needs a rest night.
But the best news was Pence – he hit 2 balls really well, not swinging at crap or getting luck dribblers or poking an outside 3-0 pitch past someone. He hit a double to the LF corner that scored 2 runs and also, he hit a solid single up the middle. I hope HOPE his bat is coming back.
It would be nice to sweep this series and get out of last place. We’re facing Charlie Morton who has had 3 starts this year and, uh, hasn’t pitched real too good (let me be nice here) giving up 8 ER/3.1 IP vs the Dbax, 6 ER/6 IP vs the Giants and (ulp) 6 runs in ONE inning vs the Crew. I mean, I feel for Charlie, but it would be nice if the Astros could really get their confidence back by teeing off on him…