First thing I want to mention is that Miller Park has been pretty much full for this Astros series. FULL!!! You know, like the Box used to be when we had a great team and an owner who cared?
Not sure why I hate platooning so much. Since Wolf is a lefty, Brett Wallace and Michael Bourn are sitting – Jason Bourgeois is playing center and JMike is playing left and yes, I know that Brett Wallace was beat up physically yesterday and bench guys need PT too. I was surprised and actually pleased to see CJ still in the lineup.
Guys are wearing the traveling grays. I must be the only one who hatesHATESHATES the ugly brick red top/white pants combo. The white pinstripe unis are OK – but actually, I preferred the early 90s blue/gold unis. Not sure why they got rid of them…
1st inning: Stros go 1,2,3. I notice that Cowboy Joe West is not calling curves for a strike, which makes me nervous. One thing I really love about Jim Deshaeis and Bill Brown as announcesr is that they both are quite honest about plays and ball/strike calls, whether they go for us or against us.
Crew start off with 2 singles – Gomez comes with the drawn in IF expecting the bunt. Braun Ks on a nasty Unca Charlie. Prince GO. I’m sorry he’s gonna leave Milwaukee and go to some high paying team – I understand that he is wanting Ryan Howard’s contract and the Crew can’t afford THAT. I was sorry to see Sabathia leave for The Evil Empire as well – especially as he talked about how much he liked Milwaukee. I wonder sometimes if the ballplayers really ARE under significant outside pressure to take the largest contract. Or maybe they just really DO want more face and let’s be real here – the 4 letter ignores teams not in NY/Boston?LA if possible. One of these days, I’m gonna actually time – with a watch, I mean, the minutes/seconds spent on each team during each hour of BBTN. McGehee GO. 18 pitches.
2nd inning: Carlos GO on the first pitch. Hall Ks. Randy is throwing strikes, lots of em. And he’s locating, too. J Mike takes 2 called strikes, then pops up the 3rd – it was up and inside, but it might could have been strike 3 – with Cowboy Joe, youneverknow. 8 pitches. This gives Wandy PLENTY of rest.
Betancourt FO, Boggs (the off day RF) sitting on the 3-1 FB, sends it over the fence. And that FB was right down the middle, too. Yeah, I know he’s a rook, but just the same, a FB down the middle is not the best idea. Nieves pops up to Hall and Wolf Ks swinging. He’s already up to 32 pitches.
Crew 1 Stros nada
3rd inning: CJ goes to 3-2, not swinging at anything out of the zone and FO to right – just got under it. At least he didn’t look BAD. JR hits the FB almost over the CF fence. Wandy breaks up the nono with a solid single to right center. Fouled off a couple, didn’t swing at garbage – better AB than anyone so far except JR. Bourgeois singles to left. CMON ANGEL!!!! But he pops up to center. Boy needs to learn how to pull the ball a little more…
Weeks sends a ball over the CF fence then Gomez sends a bouncer up the middle which Wandy and Angel can’t get – Wandy picks him off 1B cleanly but Carlos has a noodle arm so he’s safe on second. Braun Ks again. Prince sends a FB to left, JMike can’t come up with it – tried to dive, but missed, Gomez scores and Prince goes to third. Jmike, sorry to say, is no longer a “defensive replacement” as he has gotten waaay too slow. McGehee singles Prince home. Next pitch in the strike zone called a ball. Wandy frustrated and Arnesberg out. Betancourt pops up, Boggs GO. Defense matters.
Crew 4 Stros uck
4th inning: Stros down 1,2,3 – at least Carlos got it to the warning track. Crew out 1,2,3 for the first time. CJ makes 2 solid plays.
5th inning: JMike pops up the first pitch. CJ pops up the second. JR takes 4 pitches to GO. 7 freaking pitches. Poor Wandy. Gomez singles and Sanchez can’t get it fast enough to get Gomez out. Braun singles to center and Gomez goes to third. Da Prince Ks and Braun steals 2nd. McGehee IBB. Bases loaded. Peachy. Out comes Arnesberg, tells Wandy – bullpen too tired from all the other guys sucking – you get yerself outta this, and Wandy does, getting Yuni to swing under and popup a FB after 3 straight curves and he gets Boggs swinging at a neck high FB. 19 freaking pitches.
6th inning: Wandy leads off, hits a solid single to center. You notice it took him SIX pitches and HE wasn’t swingin at no curve outside the strike zone. Bourgeois GIDP 6-4-3. Great. Sanchez FO. Like, hey HITTERS, Wandy can’t be expected to be doin all the offense, you know.
Wandy gets Nieves and Wolf both swinging, walks Weeks, who steals 2nd on a curve, but next pitch, Gomez GO to CJ, who doesn’t rush, but makes sure he plants his feet and gets a good throw. He did very well fielding all the GB hit his way all game. Hope THIS part of his game stays good.
7th inning: Cmon guys. Pence takes strike 1, fouls off 2 balls outside the zone, lays off a lowball, flies out. Clank pops up – also swung and missed at a pitch shoulder high. Bill Hall Ks swinging on the 3rd pitch – also high and out of the zone. He took the sombrero tonight.
Wandy’s back out – and he’s at 106 pitches. Wonder how long he’s gonna be left in – doesn’t look like anyone is warming up. Braun and Da Prince GO. Then he walks McGehee on 4 straight pitches, none of em near the strike zone. Uh oh. Yuni Betancourt singles up the middle on a FB down the middle. Arnesberg out, long talk. Men on first and second – Wandy gonna face the last guy, Boggs. And he goes to 3-1, then gets him swinging on 2 straight curves. He trudges off the mound.
Wandy didn’t have his ace stuff, but he shut em down and got the outs he needed with MOB after the 3rd – 10H, 3 BB, 9 K, 2 HR, 7 IP 4 ER. Threw 126 pitches (career high – Coop or Garner woulda pulled him in the 5th for a PH) so only 2 innings for the pen – hopefully.
8th inning: JMike takes 2 balls, then gets a FB down the middle, but only flies out to left. Hard to believe this is the same guy who hit .380 in ST. CJ hits the 3-2 FB with a grounder to the hold between first and second, but Weeks makes a great play and he’s out. At least this AB was better. JR times the curveball VERY well and it flew 400+ feet to deep left center. Downs, pinch hitting, GO.
JR BREAKS UP THE SHUTOUT!!!!!
Crew 4 Stros 1
Enerio Del Rosario is in. Nieve singles, PH Counsell GO, Weeks GO. With Gomez batting, Angel Hernandez (ahem) calls a balk – Deshaeis can’t call it horsepoo, but is suspiscious that he can’t find any time where this righty didn’t come set just right. But Gomez GO, so it didn’t matter anyhow.
9th inning: Axford in. ERA 7.36, 2 BS already, but last night, he looked like Da Mariano out there. Bourn in to PH – not sure why – just like last night, 3 swing n misses. Sanchez singles up the middle, then a WP moves him to second. CMON Hunter!!!! But no, Weeks gets the grounder and throws him out. Clank up. Foul. Strike 2 looking. Bounced ball. Foul. Foul on shoulder high inside pitch. Takes strike 3 RIGHT down the middle. And I mean RIGHT down the middle.
Astros hitters were teh sukc – when your pitcher gets 2 of the 4 hits and NOBODY walks, you uck-say. And even if JMike had caught Fielder’s ball, Wandy STILL would have lost 2-1, yeah, I know…
By the way, Astros pitchers combined are hitting .357 and that is better than any DH over in The Inferior League!!! (and no I do NOT wanna hear about OPS/SLG/RBI – tell your stats to shut up…)
Tuesday, Lance Berkman, last week’s NL Player Of The Week and his 1.15 OPS (BA .377 for those of yall who prefer that) comes back to town. I just might spend the $2.oo to go and watch him hit one of his patented CBox opposite field homers. Or one of his usuals into the RF bullpen. Or maybe I’ll get to see him hit one over the 435′ sign and see it land on that patch of fake grass. Or even steal 3rd on Quintero. Or hit for the cycle. Youneverknow…