Angel Hernandez was the HP ump – yeah, one of the 4 worst umps in baseball and one of the other 3 was the HP ump last night – what a crew. He didn’t call 12 pitches which were no question in the strike zone as strikes, and Bud had to throw more and more pitches. It And, by the way, it’s not as if Bud had exquisite command – he DID throw a lot of pitches out of the zone, but not THAT many. He went to six 3-2 counts and Frenchy, of all people, required 12 pitches to get himself out in the second.
But the blow to what SHOULD have been a scoreless outing happened when the maroon at second, Rob Drake, called David Wright safe, saying that Sanchez’ foot didn’t touch second (and the replay showed CLEARLY that his foot had most CERTAINLY touched it) which meant that the GIDP was just a FC with runners at second and third - and the subsequent groundout, which SHOULD have been out #3 scored a run instead. Then the 1B ump MISSED A CALL – called the runner safe when Sanchez had thrown him out (could it be that Clank looks clumsy or was it just that it was an unusually suckulous throw from Sanchez) and ANOTHER run scored.
Bud looked like one of those cartoon guys with steam coming out of his ears. And after that, filled with absolute seething fury, he set down every batter 1,2,3 through the end of the 7th – they couldn’t do NOTHIN. No more walks, only one 3 ball count and a K of the pitcher.
Meanwhile, the Astros swung early and swung often and easily got themselves out. They were looking like the Sean Berry All-Sucks instead of the supposed New Improved Jeff Bagwell All-Studs. At the end of the 6th, Misch had thrown only 62 pitches and it looked as if he would have a 90 something pitch shutout.
But then, a miracle happened. Sanchez hit a little blooper to right. Then Pence had a broken bat blooper to left that landed. The entire Mets team, just about and the pitching coach all swarm the mound - there hadn’t been a hard hit ball since Sanchez’ flyout and Pence’s double in the first inning. So after the powwow, Misch gets himself back into the stretch and first pitch Clank promptly Pujols that Lidged slider onto the tracks. Stros lead 3-2 and Bud is in line for the W – he CERTAINLY didn’t deserve that L.
Manny Acosta comes in and gets the remaining 3 outs. Then in the 8th, Pedro Feliciano gives up a 10 pitch single to Q, a single to Bourgeois and a sac-bunt to Bourn. He is pulled, in comes righty pitcher Iganshi and he gets Sanchez and Pence swinging to strand 2.
So Lopez has come in to pitch the 8th, gives up a single to Reyes, who goes to second on a passed ball, but gets the 3 outs, no sweat.
Lopez has been one of Ed Wade’s best pickups – he’s GOOD at getting relievers, that is fer SHER (well, except for Braves rejects – but with any luck, he’s learned his lesson)…
And Brandon Lyon comes on to close with a 1 run lead and gets Wright swinging, Davis grounding out to Blum at second, and then Frenchy hits one of those high pops which Pence, screaming IGOTITIGOTIT catches it in shallow right center on a sliding catch. A lil drama to end the game never hurts.
Should I mention that CJ has taken the sombrero for the last 3 games and is swinging at crap – looks as if he needs a day off…
So now we are off on a 10 day trip to the East Coast, starting with Miami. JA Happ faces Anibal Sanchez and his 3.38 ERA this year and his 0.96 ERA over 18.1 IP/ 3 GS vs Houston.
The good news is that we DON’T face Josh Johnson and his 1+ ERA. Then off to Philly, then to NY.