I wonder if Paulino isn’t more than a little tired from his last few games – 3 games with 8 IP – 113, 120, 117 pitchers thrown. He wasn’t real too sharp to start the game – yes, 2 of the 3 singles were an IF single that Kepp couldn’t manage (and there were a couple more of those plus a Bill Buckner type error long after the ballgame had been lost) and one of those pop bloops to center, but he went to 3-2 counts on the first 3 hitters and it took him 29 pitches to get through the inning. He was lucky to give up only 1 run.
And he wasn’t sharper in the second – gave up a bloop double, over threw a pickoff for an error, then gave up a very hard hit double, 2 long flyouts (I noticed that they didn’t send the runner from 3rd on the flyout to Pence, but they sure did on the flyout to Clank, who didn’t even bother to throw to a cutoff man. I get so endlessly tired of that crap. Another 24 pitches to get through the second inning.
He got through the 3rd in 8 pitches, gave up another IF single and a walk in the 4th, but got out of that inning on 14 pitches without giving up a run.
The Stros scored 5 in the 4th to take the lead, 4-3, but then stuff happened. It wasn’t Quintero’s night, either. Paulino struck out Podsednik, then got Kendall to FO, gave up a single to DeJesus on a ball at his ankles, a 5 pitch walk to Butler, then Paulino, who looked almost completely out of gas, struck out Guillen. Only he didn’t because Quintero somehow reached forward and hit his glove against Guillen’s bat and Guillen got to first on catchers’ interference (a VERY weird thing because Keppinger hit the catcher’s mitt as he struck out so Bourn, running to second was also called out for catcher’s interference. Reminds me of the game in 04 where 2 guys made outs by physically running into the ball in play – a rare base running mistake for Bagwell…)
BAD sign. BAD sign. And sure enough, Callaspo hits the first pitch for a 2 RBI single. I thought fer SHER Mills would pull Paulino who looked tired. Nope. Why on earth not? Sure enough, Paulino then gives up a game tying single to Aviles, who hits a ball juuuuust past a diving Feliz (who is old and slow) and I though SURELY Mills would come get his guy. Or even go to the mound, slow things down.
Paulino is having a terrible time getting pitches over for a strike and his slider is gone and he gives up an 8 pitch walk to Maier. Does Mills come and get him?
I knew that would be bad. Paulino was completely gassed, looked absolutely exhausted, had thrown THIRTY FIVE FREAKING PITCHES already that inning, but Mills leaves him in some more.
So Paulino throws it down the middle to Betancourt, who promptly hits it off the LF wall, driving in 3 MORE runs.
Astros down 9-6. So NOW Mills comes in to get him?
You know, I’m not one of those pitch counts martinets, but when a guy doesn’t have his good stuff in the first place and he is OBVIOUSLY worn out, even if he didn’t get through 5 innings, you pull him.
Naturally, Byrdak Francoes him and the runner on second scores. He gets the next out, no runs to HIS record. He gets the first out in the 6th, then Casey Daigle comes in with no one on base, gives up a double to the CF wall, then lets that guy score with 2 wild pitches in a row. He gives up another run – and THIS time, they go on his tab.
Wesley Wright pitches a 1,2,3 inning on 6 pitches. Fulchino comes in and sucks again, gives up 3 runs and gets lucky and leaves bases loaded. Fast Eddie needs to go to the waiver wire and pick his self up some more crappy relievers because we are very quickly running out of guys who can get outs. And Fulchino doesn’t look anything like the guy who was so good last year.
Astros pitchers gave up FIFTEEN runs on 20 hits and 4 walks to the freaking Royals. Not counting wild pitches, 3 errors, failure to get ground balls, catcher interference x 2, etcetcetc. This is sorry. To put it mildly.
No wonder we are the laughingstock of the ML. We are. This team went to the WS only 5 short years ago, was an Organization praised for its excellence, and with Drayton in the GM seat, have fallen like a lead balloon. The Orioles and Pirates have sucked for so many years in a row that nobody bothers laughing any more.
I suppose I should be happy that the offense scored 7 runs. Something ironic here – usually when Paulino pitches, the offense scores zero or 1 run and he loses from lack of run support. Tonight, he lost from lack of manager support.
Tomorrow, Roy-O faces Bruce Chen. Yeah, that Bruce Chen, the guy who has pitched for what seems like every team in the majors over the past 15 years – including the Astros. Only when you face the Astros, can you give up 6 runs over 3 innings and not lose.
And I promise I’m gonna get that draft entry done one of these days – when I have a solid uninterrupted 4 or 5 hours.