It started in the first inning. Mike Pelfrey threw 2 pitch strikes on the upper outer corner, then couldn’t find the zone with a telescope and Bourn fouled off 3 pitches out of the zone, then walked. Anderson Hernandez, not exactly any good, was batting second. And for reasons I do NOT get, Michael was hugging the bag tighter than some big fat slug. He didn’t run on 1-0. He didn’t run even after he saw that Pelfrey and Blanco had NO idea where the pitches were going and he had THREE opportunities for easy steals, but noooooo.
So when Hernandez swung on a high pitch and flew out to shallow center, Bourn was glued to second, and when Pence singled up the RF line, instead of scoring, he ended up at third – and I don’t want to hear about Francoeur’s arm – for some reason, he has this Jesse Barfield rep which is totally undeserved.
Then Clank swung at THREE pitches WAAAYYY out of the zone – WTF???!!!! – CJ walks on FOUR pitches, and Brett Wallace is up with bases loaded, 2 outs. He swung at ball 3 – which was high, and what was probably ball 4 – but was at least borderline and almost unhittable.
And that was the HIGH point of the Astros night.
Figgy came out, and like Pelfrey, couldn’t find the strike zone with a searchlight. Well, after the first hitter, who flied out to Bourn. Then Luis Castillo singled up the middle – that wasn’t the problem. Figgy threw wildly to second, trying to pick off Castillo, who has long since lost his legs. Wallce fell over Castillo, had to chase the ball and Castillo ended up on second, then went to third on a VERY wild pitch (Brad Ausmus wouldn’t have gotten that one neither), Beltran walked and it was 1 out, men on first and third.
Then the absolutely bullstuff happened. David Wright hit a popup to shallow center. Bourn, a gold glove fielder, the fastest man in the NL, was running forward to catch the ball and Anderson Hernandez was running toward the OF and called for the ball – either he was called off by Bourn, ignored it, or Bourn had to pull up because he would have collided, but he would have EASILY had that ball. Hernandez was flat out STUPID to go and get that ball and call off Bourn because he was running toward the OF, he wouldn’t have been able to throw out Bengie Molina, he threw wildly to home – was so incredibly offline that the ball skipped by Castro and Beltran ended up on second. It SHOULD have stayed men on first and third, 2 outs.
I really would like to know why on earth Mills is playing Hernandez so much. He has absolutely NO redeeming qualities. NONE. He can’t hit for average, power, can’t play even average defense, can’t throw, can’t field, can’t steal, can’t run. And all this is worse than Tommy Manzella? Hernandez is not a rookie, learning how to play. He is taking valuable time from a rookie, and THIS year, there is no, and I mean NO excuse for this crap.
And then both pitchers just went up, threw strikes and the guys went down 1,2,3 in the second, and third, with the only excitement being Angel Pagan’s excellent running catch on Bourn’s shot to left – would have been a triple if he had missed it.
Figgy lost all control in the 4th, gave up a single and 2 walks to load the bases, then issued a walk to a guy who is 1 for his last 50 (or something like that) to allow another Mets run (actually, the winning run), then got lucky when the pitcher hit into a DP (guess they didn’t want to risk a squeeze, don’t ask me why – maybe Pelfrey can’t bunt well). Astros didn’t do well in out half neither, Clank lined out, then CJ doubled. Brett Wallace struck out on 11 pitches after taking 2 balls, 1 called strike and fouling off 4 which were out of the zone and was caught looking on a perfect pitch inside which was belt high. He’s not even having good fouls. Angel Sanchez then singled to shallow right and CJ ran right through the stop sign at third – and he slowed down as he passed the bag (seriously, WHAT???!!!) and was a dead duck. Not that he had any reason to think that Castro would drive him in, yeah, I know, but still, you have to be Bourn fast to pull that off.
In the 5th, with 2 out, Bourn singled and was caught stealing. He didn’t go early in the count, when he actually had a good chance – he went on a 2-2 after a few fouls and he got a BAD and late jump. He just seemed off it rtoday.
Figgy got lucky because he still couldn’t find the zone and the first 2 batters got themselves out on pitches out of the zone and Beltran hit the only ball actually IN the zone, but was just a little under it and flew out.
Only excitement in the 6th was Francoeur getting hit by an errant slider, then stealing second on a ball way outside. In the 7th, Wallace FINALLY broke his ofer streak – hit s single to left on an outside pitch off the end of the bat, but Sanchez and Castro stranded him needing only 3 pitches to get themselves out. Good grief.
No excitement until the 8th – Bourgeois hit a pinch single, then Bourn GIDP 3-6-3. That is his 4th one this year. sigh. Not a good day for the boy.
Melancon pitched a 1,2,3 8th.
Then in the 9th, they sent in Parnell, who gave up a single to Clank, who went to second when Angel Pagan booted the ball – even the best of fielders have effups every now and then. CJ singled, then lefty Takahashi came in (here and I thought he was starting – guess times change) and pinch hitter Michaels singled to drive in Clank. Angel Sanchez took 3 balls, then a borderline called strike, then fouled off one, then missed a fat one down the middle, fouled another one off, then popped up the last pitch – he had to swing, it woulda been strike 3 if he didn’t. Then Tommy Manzella was sent in – got called out on one of those strikes low and on the black – you GOTS to foul them off. He didn’t think that strike 3 was a strike, but it was. The ump only got 3 calls wrong all night – he did a VERY good job with calls, I thought – and he had the same zone for both pitchers and all players.
That was truly a sorry ass game – guys best show up tomorrow because we’re facing Johan Santana and yes I know we beat him a week ago back home, but that was then and this is now…