Bud Norris was absolutely unhittable NAILS the first 3 innings – 32 pitches, 5 K, 1 double barely down the RF line. Every FB was perfectly placed, sliders were sliding, even an occasional changeup was changing.
Then it happened. 4th inning, he gives up an IF single to 3rd, Chris Johnson makes a bad throw instead of just holding onto the ball, runner on second. No big deal, he did fine with the runner on second LAST inning, right?
Next hitter, 3 straight balls, then a strike, then a strike called a ball (yeah, the zone was tight).
Next hitter, 2 borderline pitches, both balls, then another ball, then a strike, then another ball.
bases loaded, Arnesberg runs out.
Next hitter, 3 balls, sac-fly to left, runners advance to second and third on Clank, who can’t throw from the LF bullpen, naturally.
Next hitter, ball, strike, foul, HBP
Bases loaded again.
1st pitch (thank you, hitter) 6-2 FC, no run scores
Next hitter, 7 pitch 3-2 AB with single to shallow left, 2 runs score, because Clank casually lobs it into 3rd. Clank never cares if runs score or runners advance. Well, I shouldn’t say that. Every now and then he actually TRIES to catch a runner and every now and then, he actually, stunningly succeeds. It is hard for me to believe that he started his professional career as a SS, seeing as how much he hates to actually, you know, like, move.
Pitcher pops out.
33 pitches, 3 runs. Mostly walks, the only solidly hit ball was the sac-fly. It’s all about the strike zone problem.
Norris hands a slider in the 5th and Joey Votto (whose production is topping even Uncle this year) hits it out. Other than that, a nice, smooth inning. 6th inning, GO, another walk, GIDP. Dude seems to have these Big Innings in which he loses command every single game. NO idea why, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with how many pitches thrown, how many innings thrown, where he is in the lineup. Ah well, good thing this is a learning year in which he actually gets a chance to work things out seeing as how even Drayton has GOT to admit we ain’t gonna be no champeenzzz!!!
Bourn, of course, was seated against a lefty and Bourgeois got the start, and went ofer. But Berkman and Clank were the goats tonight – Berkman struck out with men on and GIDP with RISP. Clank hit a single and left 4 men on. REALLY sorry performances, to be nice about it.
Pence had a great night – went 4 fer 5 and yeah, he did flyout to end the game with 2 on, but Clank did the same right before him.
And, to my shock, Mills brought in Michaels to PH instead of Feliz, with man on 3rd in the 6th, 2 out.
I should also note that CJ did make up for his error by driving in Pence with a high popup to shallow right – GREAT, gutsy baserunning by Pence.
Angel Hernandez had his first PH – went ofer, and new pitcher Figueroa let his inherited runner score – not that it matters because Byrdak had already lost the game. But it is not like we just got 2 great pickups.
Tonight, Roy goes for his pimped win – to tie Niekro for the Astros franchise wins!!!!! OK. Then Drayton can trade him. I hear tell from all over that Fast Eddie and Drayton are being extraordinarily difficult to deal with – media are complaining that Roy wants his option picked up – although Roy is very straightforward in saying that he will work with any team about the $$$ to restructure a contract. The media always thinks that any player should just eat poopoo when traded, that no-trade guys should always have to agree to be traded “for the good of the team” and are selfish if they don’t want to give up their bargained for rights.
The fans always think that the other team should give up its best your players/prospects in huge quantities ( like the Teixiera trade between Atlanta and Texas) and ignore minor nagging things like money.
I also doubt that Drayton is going to get really serious about trying to trade any tradeable players we DO have, such as Myers, Lindstrom and Lyon. Not sure who he thinks is gonna take Clank in the offseason. Not sure who is gonna take Berkman THIS trade deadline (and Lance is now saying that he is gonna try to play next year – he KNOWS that he ain’t getting no 15 mill option picked up) and I don’t see Bagwell making this miraculous difference in the hitting of either Clank or Lance with his magic “leadership” maddd skillllzzzzz.
I am gonna mention, once more, that Douglas Arguello is still outpitching the Hyped Jordan Lyles down at Corpus, but you think he’s gonna get a sniff?