Roy sure nuff can complain about no run support. Then again, Ubaldo Jiminez either threw a lot of balls, or threw unhittable strikes. He still isn’t close to equal to the most unhittable pitcher I ever saw face the Astros this decade, who was Francisco Liriano, back in 05. Or maybe Pedro, still with the Mets in 05, when he pitched a CG 2 hitter – giving up a homer to Chris Burke and an IF dribbler. Or all KINDS of games by John EFF Smoltz/Maddux/Glavine back in the early part of the decade…
Anyway, THIS time Roy made his own trouble. He wasn’t concentrating – maybe took his eyes off the ball – when Lance was feeding him a ball, which was only underhanded about 5′ at most, but he dropped it and Carlos Gonzalez, the very first hitter was on.
Now I’ve been watching Roy since he came up in 01, and I’ll tell you that the boy, he gots hisself a temper. Not the Milton Bradley kind, mind you, but when he gets UpSet, he loses his focus. He came back and got the #2 guy swinging, but he was really timid approaching Todd Helton, who really hasn’t hit that well off Roy – 6 fer 25 with 2 walks. So he goes to 3-2 and walks Helton.
And then it happened. Troy Tulowitski is up. Roy throws 2 strikes, and then Tulo fouls off 2. Roy throws a ball, and then strike 3. He starts to walk off the mound the way he always does when he knows he’s just thrown strike 3.
the ump calls it ball 2 and the ump is pissssssssssssed off – comes around in front of Q to glare at Roy. (This wasn’t the first time Roy, uh, didn’t agree with the call. ahem. Shades of Wandy and Angel Hernandez…) So Roy throws a good slider, which Tulo fouls off. Then he throws him a pitch crotch high middle in and Tulo sends it onto the tracks and there, my friends, went the ball game. Roy didn’t throw a tantrum, but he must have been seething inside, knowing he lost the ballgame in the FIRST freaking inning.
Sort of like last week when Roy served up a cookie to Juan Uribe. One bad pitch and it is OVAH. (Roy gots to stop this homer stuff – he’s already served up 7 in 9 games.) It’s too bad, because except for that one bad pitch and 2 inexplicable walks to Helton, he pitched an absolutely superb game. Wasn’t real too happy with the HP ump more than a few other times. Wasn’t real too happy with Q, who trotted out to the mound more than a few times (shades of Towles – who, by the way, is out for 2-6 weeks with a broken thumb. When I said the boy needs a break, I didn’t mean it THAT way….) Thought he was gonna shoot Q when he dropped what should have been a foul tip strike 3 on the last hitter, but Roy got him to swing and miss.
I had this bad feeling that we were gonna get no-hit. But Quintero hit this weak grounder to third and the third baseman tried to barehand it, bobbled it, and Q beat the throw. I thought fer SHER it was an E5 and was very VERY surprised when it was called a hit. I was almost sorry – took the excitement out of the game, since I knew fer SHER we were gonna lose.
Pretty much everyone hit a weakass grounder to the 3B or to SS and Pence GIDP after Lance walked – keeping up the Astros tradition. But Q hit the only “hit” against Jiminez, who looks as if he’s gonna beat out Lincecum for the Cy this year.
I think that the only reason Jiminez didn’t get a CG is that he appeared to tweak something running out a grounder in which he reached on a Pedro Feliz grounder. Pedro, by the way, is not an elite defender – not by a LONNNNNGGGGG stretch.
Anyway, Manzella laid down a nice bunt for a single against reliever Matt Belisle, who I remember from the Reds a couple years back when he was a not real too successful spot starter, long reliever. Guess the thin air suits him these days.
And Bourn had the only good clean hit – a single through the hole to right against the closer, Corpas.
Gustavo Chacin pitched a good, quick 7th, the struggled in the 8th, giving up a double to Helton juuuuust inside the RF line, then a single to Tulo. With men on first and third, Hawpe hit a ball to left which Clank SHOULD have caught, but got a late jump on, lollygagged or something, so Bourn, backing up the play, had to play the ball on a hop and Helton trotted in. (Yall know about all the heck that Hanley Ramirez got for dogging it going after a ball he kicked – well, even without his acting the fool and dissing his manager for pulling him, interesting that he got a HECK of a lot more heck than Clank has EVER gotten for his lollygagging and dogging it and mailing it in on his throws. And Hanley makes plenty – can’t be the money. So why the double standard?)
So Wilton Lopez came in and got 3 flyouts to Bourn.
But really, it didn’t matter.
Fulchino came in for the 9th and struggled like heck. He walked the first guy, gave up a SB (Q’s throw was late and high) then struck out the batter, then walked the next guy on 4 pitches, which weren’t close. Why is he struggling with his control like this? Anyhow, with a lefty at the plate and a 2-0 count, the guy on second, Dexter Fowler, decides to steal third, don’t ask me why, but he got a late jump and Q nailed him easily. But naturally he walks the batter – so now he has THREE walks, a K and a CS, and he Ks Tulo staring and ohhhhhh, was Tulo Up Set with the HP ump. LOTS of guys were Up Set with the HP ump today. He had a tight zone all right, but at least it was the same for Roy as it was for Ubaldo and the same for the Rox that it was for the Astros.
And tomorrow, Gerry Hunsicker brings his team to town. The Rays are the best team in the MAJOR LEAGUES, and they went for massive suckage to AL pennant winners the year after he got there and made some outstanding trades and signings. Coincidence? I think not. They just finished mopping the floor with the Yankees and, well, although I detest and despise interleague play, you betcha I’m gonna watch and drink a nice cold ice tea to toast Gerry, the one who REALLY wanted to be a CHAMPEEYUNNN and who, the minute he got shut of Drayton and his idiocies, went right there.
Tomorrow night, we get a look at Matt Garza – one of Gerry’s outstanding trades in which he traded would-be STAH, who still hasn’t made it above mediocre, to the Twins who sent Garza, who has been a fabulous #2 guy (since he joined the Rays, has had ERA+ of 117, 199, 178) PLUS a great hitting and fielding SS, Jason Bartlett, to the Rays. Really made their team exponentially better. Gerry’s good at that.