Michael Bourn Drives In 1, Steals 2 And Scores From Second On An Infield Single

Remember a couple years back when Michael Bourn scored all the way from second on a Berkman sac-fly to deep center? I thought that outside of Wandy hitting a homer, that nothing could possibly be more absolutely kewl – well, maybe if Michael reached on error, then went to second on a WP, went to third on a balk then stole home. But this afternoon, I watched Michael reach on a ball hit off the pitcher’s glove (somehow, when the pitcher went to chase the ball, his shoe fell off – really, I swear it), get picked off but steal second anyhow and slide under the tag, and when Anderson Hernandez hit a chopper to third, Polanco picked it up, threw to first, not in time to get Hernandez – a little high, then he turned on the afterburners, flew home and slid in ahead of Ryan Howard’s perfect throw to Ruiz.

This is what makes Michael so exciting. I mean besides all the great fielding. He went 8 fer 20 with a HOMER!!! 4 runs, 2 RBI and 4 SB. And he really should have had another RBI but they held Castro at third when he could have scored – guess they figured Anderson Hernandez would drive him in?

Wandy didn’t have his best stuff today, but somehow he kept on mowin em down – gave up no hits until Werth singled to lead off the 5th. He went to 3rd on an Ibanez double, then tried to score on a fly ball to shallow center – but Pence was coming forward as he caught it and made a perfect throw to Castro and Werth was dead meat. I suppose he could have played Pete Rose to Ray Fosse, but he didn’t.

Wandy finally gave up a run in the 7th – Ben Francisco singled, then Jimmy Rollins hit a smash to third – CJ made another really great play, threw to Hernandez, who again couldn’t complete the DP. He’s not exactly a very nimble guy for a middle infielder – reminds me of Jeff Kent, except that Kent, for all his statue-like-ness was really good at turning the DP. I see why other Organizations keep getting tired of him – they’d usually put up with the lowe BA/OBP/SLG if he was a great glove, but he’s not. Anyway, Utley hit a ball into the RF corner and Rollins scored standing up and slowing as he reached the plate.

Since Castro started catching Wandy on June 24, Wandy hasn’t pitched fewer than 6 innings. He’s pitched 3 games giving up 0 runs, 6 games giving up 1 run (and has ND in 3 of those), 1 game with 2 runs, 1 with 3 and 1 with 5. I think the difference is that Castro is MUCH better framing pitches than Quintero – his weakness is blocking balls in the dirt, but he’s much better with the curve because it is slower and Wandy doesn’t throw a slider. Wandy’s ERA has gone from 6.09 to 3.87. His post ASB ERA is something like 1.70. Of course nobody notices…

And speaking of Castro, he singled and he doubled down the LF line today – good. I hope this might could get him hitting.

Brett Wallace is looking completely lost. His timing is off – he pops up, has weakass grounders, looks like Pedro Feliz (not good) except he is good at walking and getting HBP.

Angel Sanchez is not nearly as good with the glove as Manzella – I’d rather see him at second and Manz at short until Kepp gets back. I have no idea why Mills is playing Hernandez so much.

CJ was ofer again – at least he only swung at 1 pitch out of the zone and it wasn’t strike 3. He made 2 really REALLY good plays, and I mean good. I think his errors are him getting overeager to try to get an out, especially on a ball which really shouldn’t be thrown anyway because infield singles happen.

No stupid ump stuff – the HP ump only missed 1 pitch and there weren’t any close calls, except for Wandy getting thrown out at second on a WP – looks to me as if he was safe and he got his foot in ahead of hte tag, but the ball beat him and he’s a pitcher and well, that’s how things go. wandy was on first because he’d smashed a hanging breaker of some kind off the RF wall and unfortunately, it rolled straight to Werth and Wandy ain’t Michael.

Fulchino pitched a 1,2 walk, 3 8th.

Fernando Abad came in to mop up the 9th, got 2 quick outs, then gave up a single that Sanchez couldn’t get to (that Manzella would have had – I saw him make that play twice last night), then a single to left. And with a righty coming up to pinch hit, I fully expected Mills to pull him and send in some righty, but to my surprise, Arnesberg went out and Abad stayed in (although Lyon started warming up).

That AB took like FOREVER because Abad didn’t want to pitch what Castro wanted, or he couldn’t understand the signs, but he kept stepping off – and Castro went out to the mound THREE times before Ruiz finally flew out to Bourn.

But this was a 4 game sweep of the Phils – we kick ASS at their park, for some reason – they swept us back in April at the Box.

We’re off to see the Mets and Pelfrey (who gived us a whuppin a week ago) and we’ll see if Nelson Figueroa can beat his old team. Looks as if Figgy is gonna be our new Moehler, who re-injured his groin/abdomen – pulled muscle, bad tendon – something – and needs season ending surgery. I’ll go for that – he seems to be about the same kind of pitcher, only shorter and cheaper. My favorite kind…

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11 Responses to “Michael Bourn Drives In 1, Steals 2 And Scores From Second On An Infield Single”

  1. Christian says:

    Figgy, in fact, throws a little harder and more importantly has a little more movement on all his pitches than Moehler, which is why he strikes out a few more guys. I like him a lot as a sixth starter swingman guy. But I hope Paulino gets healthy.

  2. Steve says:

    Only 12 back of the Wild Card lead — and 22 of our last 29 games are against teams with a losing record! Going undefeated in September could just about do it!

  3. Lisa Gray says:

    yeh, i hope paulino gets healthy too. he was just really starting to do well when he got hurt. figgy does throw a little harder, but he hasn’t been as successful as moehler, not sure why.


    it would be beyond any sort of belief if this here team got anywheres near the wild card. i know i always say youneverknow, but just the same, it sure nuff really IS a stretch because WB, wandy and happ are not oswalt clemens and pettitte, even if bud norris appears to be brandon backe all over again…

  4. WalterMc says:

    Lisa, Great detailed summary of the ‘Stros game today, as usual (I wish I had run across your BLOG years ago)! Keep up the kewl work! This is the Michael Bourn we all love to see playing the best game known to mankind!

    Brett Wallace does look lost at the plate, but he manages to get on base somehow. I may be biased, but if Millsey keeps trotting him out on a regular basis, I’m confident we’ll see the B-Wall hitting like he has everywhere else. Just hope he regains his stroke REAL soon!

  5. sceptor says:

    Castro did a real good job of blocking pitches in the dirt today, in fact he made one outstanding block of one that really got away from wandy. Thank Heavens that Castro is 6′ 3″ with quick reflexes and can get up high up quickly cause the last time he caught wandy he went high in the air and save him 2 wild pitches that no other catcher could of because of their height. He also save Happ a couple of times.
    Its not near as bad as some people make it look, he has been charge with 4 PB and the Houston staff have recorded only 41 WPs for the total season. A lot of balls a catcher can get in front that are in the dirt but hit way in front of them and it maybe hit anywhere on the chest protector and bounce no telling where.
    Its not near as easy as some people think. Over all Castro is becoming a very good defensive catcher and will get better at blocking all those WPS.

  6. Christian says:

    I agree sceptor. I feel like he makes some really impressive blocks/catches to make up for the ones he botches. It’s just a consistency thing. He will get it over time. All the other areas of his defensive game are great, and I think he has been a little unlucky at the plate.

    I bet he has a nice breakout season next year or the year after.

  7. sceptor says:

    Christian, I think you nailed it on the head. Castro is a talented young man and seems to have a cool head and will eventually become a very good all around catcher, I believe.

    I also think Wallace will come around with the bat..The report was that he was a poor defensive first baseman, but darn to me he has been a little less than spectacular so far at 1st base and posseses a very strong and accurate arm. He also seems to posses a good head and has not let his slump effect him defensively. I believe he stands a little to close to the plate because he can’t seem to get his arms extended and gets jammed with pitches on the inside part of the plate and even down the middle some.

  8. Lisa Gray says:

    catchers almost never get charged with passed balls – kind of reminds me of an OF not catching a really catchable ball that he doesn’t touch. like i said, the blocking is really the only part of castros defensive game he really needs to improve. and he’s young and CAN get better, so it is not like Q being lousy at framing pitches. and yes, he sure nuff has gotten to some balls, i mean, he’s very agile. as for the hitting, well that might could take a while – he most positively did NOT get enough time at AAA.

    but as all yall know, i’m not one of these – a young player gets 3 games to hit .300 and never K or down he goes – types

    same with wallace.
    darn few guys do NOT need to adjust to ML pitchers, who are incredibly better than AAA pitchers. from reports about his D, i was expecting mike piazza/mo vaughn/clank – i mean he LOOKS like a slow clumsy fool if he is just standing there. but he appears to me to be Bagwell quality with the glove even if so far he isn’t with the bat. baserunning smarts? well, we’ll see – not enough time to judge – but i don’t think he’ll be a base stealer unless he’s a clank type – goes when they forget he’s on…

  9. Lisa Gray says:


    thank you!!!

  10. sceptor says:


    that may be true,but its a wonder pitchers don’t get charged with more WPs. When that ball is thrown wildly into the dirt and the catcher may get in front quickly and block it but depending where is comes up it can easily ricochet off the catchers chest protector and bounce off no telling where. When a pitcher throws the ball wildly into the dirt and the catcher blocks it and the runners don’t advance in reality that was still a wild pitch, but no harm was done and of course the system doesen’t allow it to be called a WP. On the same token if a catcher cannot block a pitch so wildly thrown they don’t charge him with a pass ball in most cases.
    But i do agree that is the part of Castro’s game that he needs to work on and get better at it, and i believe he will.

  11. Steve says:

    Lisa girl, i wuz jokin ’bout the wild card, y’know. no team goes undefeated, though the rocks sure did give it a good go a few years ago. i’m just thrilled that we’re seeing as much of wallace, cj, castro, and manzella as we are, because these months of seeing big time pitching is the only way they’ll learn to hit it. i hope it pays of next year, or in 2012. i’m patient, even if mgmt isnt.