Roy Oswalt once again had a great deal of difficulty locating all of his pitches. He had a nice quick 1,2,3 first inning, but after that, oh Lord, he couldn’t get control of any pitch. The pitches that were in the strike zone were mid plate and up. The Phillies hit him all OVAH the field – deep to left, deep to right, singles through the 5.5 hole, singles through the right, heck, even a single to the PITCHER who only had one hit for the entire year, popup homer into the Crawford Box – 11 hits and 2 BB with 4 K. And it wasn’t lousy defense letting hit happen, neither.
In the second, he gave up 2 singles then a 4 pitch walk to load the basesSomehow, he managed to get an infield fly, a run scoring single, a FC and a ground out: 29 pitches. In the 3rd, he gave up an infield single to short, another walk, a RBI double, an RBI single and there were 2 runs in without any outs. Dewey went out to the mound, had a little chat with Roy. He then gave up a sac-fly (because Bourn made an absolutely HORRIBLE throw as Howard should have been a dead duck) and 2 grounders.
In the 4th, he got 2 Ks and a double. In the 5th, he gave up a popup homer into the Crawford Boxes, a double and a K. He got through the 6th with 2 singles and a GIDP. But nobody got a hit off a “good” pitcher’s pitch.
I have no idea why Roy has struggled so much this year – I suppose he could have lost it – it DOES happen to pitchers, but hopefully it is like Lance last year – it took him 2 solid months to start to come around from his curious inability to get comfortable at the plate. I don’t know if it is mechanics or what, but he hasn’t lost velocity on his FB. But when your ace’s ERA is just barely ahead of your #5 guy and his ERA is just under 6, you have a problem.
Wesley Wright was nails in the 7th – 7 pitches = 3 outs. Cooper sent him back out in the 8th to face Pat Burrell, a righty, mired in a 6 for 28 slump. Was that smart? Well, on a 3-2 count, Burrell hit a high popup to left that went about 330′ and bounced on top of the yellow line and went into the Crawford Boxes. So the Phils went ahead by one.
It so happens that Burrell got a cheapo homer instead of a popout, as it would have been in in every other stadium in the majors. But Wesley is not a LOOGY, threw 7 pitches, and it is silly to say that a pitcher can’t throw more than 7 pitches if he has to wait 5 minutes in between batters. I personally don’t think that Coop should stick to a rigid rule that Brocail must ALWAYS come in in the 8th unless the Astros are losing. And Brocail and Valverde are going to be significantly overworked if Coop can’t be using any bullpen guys besides Byrdak, Brocail and Valverde.
Hitting? Well, Matsui and Lee and Ausmus were ofer, although Ausmus did lay down 2 perfect sac bunts and he drove in a run with a sac-fly. But Lee, Oswalt Berkman Pence and Bourn all left runners in scoring position with 2 outs. Bourn went 2/5 with a stolen base. He didn’t go when he got on in the first, and Milo was almost hysterical about it. Honestly, the guy has to pick up a good read on both the pitcher and the catcher. Looks like he picked up just fine by his second hit. And, by the way, he’s raised his average from 180 something last week to .215. We aren’t talking silver slugger here, but, he’s starting to swing at decent pitches and he’s starting to get hits. Not sure if he’s getting bunts down any better in practice, but maybe he ought to take practive with the pitchers.
Wiggy came back, went 3/4 with 2 RBI and 1 really good leaping catch.
Lance seems to have recovered his swing – he went 3/5 with a double, but popped out when he faced Lidge with the tying run on first.
Lidge looked like he did in 04 and actually, last year, between mid-April and late August, when his knee was bothering him. Actually, I went back and read a lot of my old entries from 05 and read what I had said about Brad at the time – he had a LOT of difficulty after the ASB. Interesting. But folks who are booing the guy now for his years of work as an Astro should get a good swift kick in the butt. But booing any Phillie is fine.
Tomorrow is Brandon Backe vs Adam Eaton
Backe did OK last start – in fact he was nails for 6 innings straight, then got tired. Hopefully he can do the same with the Phils – because let’s say he hasn’t done well against them before – 2 GS, 7 innings – 13 H, 9 R, 2 HR, 5 BB, 6 K.
What’s that old song – a change, a change, a change, will do you gooddddddd. Either that or a nasty curve and slider. And Brandon had best get those homers under control because he’s already given up 10 in only 55 IP.
Adam Eaton we last saw 6 weeks ago in Philly – he went 6 innings, gave up 3 runs.
This year, he’s 0-2 in 9 GS: 48 IP – 52 H, 5 HR, 23 BB, 27 K: 5.59 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and .287 BAA
Lifetime vs Houston, 3-1 in 7 GS: 44.2 IP – 43 H, 6 HR, 17 BB, 41 K: 4.43 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and a .251 BAA