Michael Bourn didn’t start the game off with a bang, he started it off with a bunt, which the pitcher didn’t handle quiiite right, missing the tag, then Angel Sanchez laid down a bunt to almost the exact same spot – they weren’t expecting that neither and Hunter came up and singled and, well, the Astros never looked back. Poor James Russell, the Cubs reliever making an unexpected start, almost never knew what hit him. And of course, after that, he got 2 outs, then Bill Hall drove in 2 with a single to right that I unfortunately missed seeing as it was a comedy of (2) errors in which Bill overran the bag, Soriano threw to second to try to get him and somehow, the Cubs screwed up the rundown and Bill ended up on second when CJ flew out. Astros up 3-0, Cubs all flustered.
Brett Wallace was benched in favor of Carlos Lee, right at the Mendoza line, so that Jason Michaels could get a start in LF. Lemme guess, in spite of his hitting better, it’s the leftylefty thingy – grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I will say that Carlos looked better with the glove at first today then he did last year, in spite of the fact that he hasn’t really been practicing fielding there.
Carlos and CJ are both slumping badly, although CJ made 2 really outstanding plays. H got charged with an error when he and Q raced to the LF stands to catch a foul ball – CJ thought that Q was going to get it and Q thought CJ was going to get it and it fell; the batter was out on the next pitch without the runner advancing, so I don’t think the error will stand – or at least it shouldn’t, as JD said.
Angel Sanchez is hitting the the heck out of the ball and hitting for power – he’s leading the club in RBIs. He went 4 fer 5 with a double to the gap, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. He’s improved his fielding and if he keeps this up, I think that Clint Barmes will find himself out of a job. As he should, 3.5 mill or no 3.5 mill.
Michael had himself a great night – bunt single in the first, run scored, FC with RBI in the second, followed by a steal of second, then a steal of third on the very next pitch – the boy was over halfway to third by the time the pitch left James Russell’s hand. Soto barely bothered to turn. Angel popped out, his only out of the night, then Hunter beat out an IF single up the middle and Michael scored. Next AB in the 4th, he doubled to the LF bullpen, then Angel singled him in. He Kd in the 6th, reached on E6 (bobbled ball – guys rush) in the 8th then scored when Pence doubled him home – and that was a smash to the top of the RF fence. Only negative was him not getting to Reed Johnson’s double in the 5th – not an error, just I expect Michael to never miss catching any fly ball.
Pence had himself a great night – going 3 fer 5 with 4 RBIs and a run scored.
Quintero swung the bat very well, going 3 fer 3, a walk and a run scored - he tripled to the RF bullpen – thought he was gonna get a double, but turned on the, uh, jets, when he saw that Johnson hadn’t played the ball right – and if the throw hadn’t been errant, would have been out at third, just like yesterday. He also smashed a double to left and was just a homer short of the cycle.
Bill Hall got a hit, drove in a run, just missed having a double to the RF bullpen, just missed having a double to deep left, and made 2 outstanding plays – he somehow managed to get a ball deep in the hole to get Starlin Castro, but the ump ruled him safe – replay showed him to be out. But he didn’t score, so it didn’t matter.
Jason Michaels got his first hit of the year, a single to right. Jason Bourgeois singled and scored.
All in all, the Hit Parade continued – the Astros have at least 10 hits/game over the past 5 games, something I can’t remember since that winning streak back in August 08, and then before that, maybe back to 04.
As for the bullpen: Fulchino pitched the 8th, giving up a double to Tyler Colvin – that man has a beautiful swing – and getting 2 Ks.
Eneury Rodriguez mopped up in the 9th, giving up a single, a walk, a double and 1 run with 1 K.
Just think – if Figgy had pitched today, he would have won. Well, he would have had to finish the 5th inning without giving up 6 more runs, but he just might could have, youneverknow…
Tomorrow, rubber game – the Wand Man vs Big Z, who LIKEY pitching here. Should be a good game.