5/22/08: Roy Oswalt Pitches Lousy, Lidge Beats Berkman And Phils Win

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

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22 Responses to “5/22/08: Roy Oswalt Pitches Lousy, Lidge Beats Berkman And Phils Win”

  1. Mark says:

    This just seemed like a game that the Astros were destined to lose. I really though they might have a chance when they came back and tied the score at 5, but it just didn’t work out.
    If Backe can pitch like he did in Arlington, he’ll win. Adam Eaton just isn’t all that good.

  2. Stephen says:

    Not sure I follow the logic in your response — Everett is hurt, so we can excuse his .189 average? If he’s hurt, he wouldn’t be much help to the Astros either. The fact is that Miggie has been better than average at short. In fact, his defensive range factor this season is 4.33 (the league average is 4.1), while Everett’s career defensive range factor is 4.3. And, before you go there, Tejada’s career defensive range factor is 4.56. Plus, Tejada is hitting almost 150 points higher than Everett, and has considerably more power. Oh, and he’s not hurt, has won an MVP and finished in the top 20 in MVP voting another 6 times. He’d be in the top 20 this season as well if we voted now.
    Keeping Everett would not have improved this team. As for your comment about Garner not playing to Everett’s strengths and his “excellence” in bunting, do you really expect a manager to bunt with the number 8 hitter when the pitcher follows? Are you suggesting that we should bunt twice in a row? If not, are you conceding that our pitchers were better hitters than Everett? I think your argument proves my point — Everett simply wasn’t as good as you think he was.

  3. George says:

    Give it up on Everett, that guy is a marginal MLB player at best.
    Ask Jimy Williams what “playing to Everett stregnths gets you. (in case you don’t remember the answer it’s – fired).
    Serious question – do you really hold yourself out to be an expert on baseball defense?
    Now Miggy is “average” when the stats say he is one of the best in the NL? Wiggy is “BAD” when it appears he is about average (and how important is it to have a good glove at 3B?)?
    Please move on, this team is much improved at the plate and in the field. Get on the bandwagon, there is still room for you.

  4. Lisa Gray says:

    yeah, i was hoping they could keep coming back against the bully, but hey, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
    adam eaton – first rounder.
    shows you that when it comes to draft picks, youneverknow
    and i’ll always remember him as the guy that the rangers traded for in the last half of his contract BEFORE free agency along with another reliever who only worked out for them for a year. AND they gave away chris young and adrian gonzalez.
    and not only did eaton not help the team, which wasn’t even anywheres near contention, but he spent most of the year on the DL.
    if the rangers were a higher profile team, that would have to go down as one of the stupidest trades ever made. i mean, along with the joe nathan/liriano for punch AJ trade. at least with the baggy trade, he was an untested minor leaguer and the reliever they got for him was a VERY good addition to a team trying to win the pennant. the rangers didn’t have that excuse…
    – and yeah, i ALSO hope good brandon shows up. if ONLY it was a nationally televised game…

  5. Kevin Bradshaw says:

    Watching Oswalt pitch like this is down right depressing. He had a lot of luck last year, but that and decline wouldn’t account for all this. I don’t know how to explain it. Out of the three huge contracts the Astros have entered into, only Berkman’s will come close to paying off.
    What concerns me is that over the last few weeks the team has scored plenty of runs, but Matsui and Tejada are getting all their hitting out of the way now- how polite of them! Couple that w/ the fact that reality is catching up to Backe and Chacon. And Brocail is not going to maintain that K/BB ratio (noone could).

  6. Lisa Gray says:

    we don’t know that oswalt can’t correct whatever is wrong. supposedly, he’s not hurt, so it’s not like he neds to be out for a long time with surgery or something. and this is his 3rd year of a 5 year contract and he’s been worth every penny for the last 2.
    as for clank lee,
    well, we all knew he was waaaayyy overpaid from the getgo, but drayton really wanted him, so there you have it. i’m not blaming purpura, like everyone else has, for going and doing exactly what the owner told him to do.
    and you know, there really aren’t that many FA contracts of 4 years or more where the ballplayer performed at an elite level for every year.
    – there’s the manny ramirez contract
    – there’s the 2 barry bonds contracts
    – there’s the randy johnson contract of 98
    – there’s the original a-rod contract
    – there’s the original reggie jackson/yankees contract
    – there’s the pedro/boston contract
    and i can’t think of any others offhand

  7. Kevin Bradshaw says:

    100% correct. Oswalt’s first two years were excellent, and I think some thought he would age poorly. He’s fought it off quite nicely. There’s alot of season left.
    But,as only you and I seem to grasp, the idea behind the large contracts is getting people to show up. McClane knew nothing about baseball when he bought the team, still seems to know little, and has little sincere interest in the sport. He, apparently defers to Tal Smith on actual baseball opinions. The Lee contract seems to be about getting people to show- given the local blood lust for the likes of Lidge etc. The Tejada trade too. That’s why they made the trade knowing he was in the Mitchell report and that he was 34; fans don’t care.
    Take, for example, the astros non-tendering Everret. Giving him 600+ PA was probably bad (the seasons he wasn’t injured), he’s better than all the reserves we have right now. Each is only marginally better w/ the bat. But Everett was unpopular. They added Matsui for his name. He’s about to implode, and it will be ugly.
    It’s that national conspiracy to annoy me at work!!

  8. charles r cortines says:

    i did not get to watch the game last nite so i can!t really comment much on it, but like everyone else i am deeply concerned about roy o. over my many years of watching mlb i have seen some very good pitchers lose it all of sudden and a good number of them never gettin it back.I can!t say i know what is problemis cause i don!t.., but i think if he could get a down and out nasty slider it could really help cause he seems to still have that good velocity on is FB.
    also i can!t see how travis can say that matsui and tejada have got all their good hitting out of the way just because of a bad game or two. i for one don!t see the logic in that thought.cause if that would be true than couppled with roy!s decline the astros are really going to be in sad shape the remainder of the way. but i don!t see that happenning.

  9. Travis says:

    First good for Lidge. He was a good ball player for us for a long time. Looks like he is throwing FB’s for strikes and he is indeed Lights Out when he can do that.
    Oswalt. Man. I want to believe he just needs to make an adjustment, shades of Valverde I hope. I cant imagine the best pitcher in the NL over the last 5 or so years suddenly going down the toilet.
    One quick thing I noticed last night I wanted your opinion on LG was Bourn taking that outside called strike. Normally I dont consider striking out looking a positive HOWEVER it probably was a ball and in that at bat it looked to me that Bourn was sitting back looking for his pitch, and that means he might be improving on his patience at the plate. If Bourn can learn to walk more and get on base with in-the-hole-single pokes and loop some balls over the infielders heads he could become a VERY good leadoff hitter. Is this rise in batting avg. a fluke or are we actually seeing a young Astro get the chance to develop and improve?

  10. Stephen says:

    I can’t understand why people continue to assert that the Astros were wrong in letting Adam Everett leave. He currently is hitting .189 for the Twins. His career batting average is .246. His average has fallen every year since 2004. Sorry, but his glove just isn’t good enough to make up for his weak bat. On the other hand, Miggie has been solid at short, great at the plate, and an inspirational leader on the field. Can we please quit pining for a weak hitting defensive specialist?

  11. Lisa Gray says:

    i never EVER forget that with 1 exception, the owners are baseball owners to make money, make money make money. they don’t have to WIN to make money – they have to have marketable stars.
    tal understood very well that fans don’t give a rat’s ass about steroid use unless the user is unlikeable or set home run records.
    so when the “good guy” team ran its course, it was time to change the LOOK of the team. which is why they got rid of every single player the fans wanted gone.
    now they market miggy, pence and bourn – along with drayton’s fave.
    amazing to me that tons of fans STILL blame adam everett, the #8 guy who SAVED 30-40 runs a season, the guy who drove in the second most runs on the team in 06, for the team not winning. whatchu gonna do???
    roy already HAS a nasty slider. and it is one of the few pitches he’s got that has been working.
    i don’t blame bourn one bit for taking that outside called strike. it wasn’t hittable and it was borderline at best. unless he can foul off pitches there, and that is hard to do, better to not swing at a pitch you can’t hit that has a good chance of being a ball.
    personally, i call that patience. swinging at balls out of the strike zone almost never results in a hit anyhow.
    i guess he is working at getting the ball thru the 5.5 hole ala tony gwynn, and i HOPE he’s working on bunting. but i am not near as impatient as most, and i think you have to give young guys a good chance and i think that now that baggy and bidge are gone, that young guys are getting a much better chance than they have for YEARS
    adam everett has had shoulder problems all year long. this is the 3rd time he’s gone on the DL for that. and sorry, but during the time we had him, his glove MORE than compensated for his weak bat. you just don’t think that making plays, turning more DPs and preventing singles is worth a bucket or warm spit. anyway, complaining about his bat is silly – he’s the freaking NUMBER EIGHT HITTER. phil also didn’t play to his strengths – his speed and his excellence in bunting.
    IF adam hadn’t been hurt this year, it would have been a LOT more sensible to put miggy at third, not re-sign wiggy and leave everett at short.
    why on earth you think it is so much better to have an average glove at short, a BAD glove at third, good hitting at short and lousy hitting at third i do NOT get
    well, actually i do
    you don’t think that preventing hits or runs has anything to do with the fielders

  12. Lisa Gray says:

    seems that every time i talk about a player’s glove, someone brings up batting average. it is ridiculous to point to batting statistics when strictly talking about gloves and it is what leads people to give guys like derek jeter multiple undeserved gold gloves. or worse, to give gold gloves to guys who had a total of 43 AB for that year.
    let’s separate the 2 of them, shall we?
    – before i go any further, is it your contention that during the years that both men have played, miguel tejada has always been the superior to adam everett as a fielder? and you are basing that on range factor alone? am i correct here?
    before i respond, i want to make sure i understand you correctly. and again, we are talking ONLY defense, not batting average, not numbers of claps on the way to first base, OK?
    – when i originally posted my opinion (months ago) that the team should have non-tendered wiggy, kept everett and put miggy at third, i based that on the following:
    defensive evaluation of wiggy (ONLY at third), defensive eval of miggy over the past 3 years – as, lets be honest here, projections do NOT use a 33 year old guy’s entire career at defense, as middle infielders generally decrease, and in fact, miggy had clearly undergone a 3 year decline with the glove as well as the bat.
    – grinning
    and i DID, by the way, get my nose out of a spreadsheet and watch a few ball games – i watched the old tapes of miggy as an oriole from 07 before he was hurt. (on mlb.tv archives)
    naturally, when i made that original judgement, i didn’t know that everett would hurt his shoulder – i guess in or just before spring training.
    on no planet is wiggy even a league average defender at third, although he’s a damm sight better than he is at second.
    miguel is certainly better than he was last year, which kind of surprises me – maybe the field is better, and DEFINITELY berkman is incredibly better than millar. but he is no everett. not by any stretch of the imagination
    and again, i AM still limiting this to glove only

  13. Kevin Bradshaw says:

    I wanted Everrett to stay as a reserve. Meaning: he can have Blum’s roster spot, or Loretta’s, b/c the former is a neverwas, and the latter a used-to-could.
    BTW, why does everyone insist on quoting a player’s BA in may, when he’s got 70 AB?

  14. Travis says:

    What planet do these AE-Haters live on?? Ask any Big League Manager what they would rather have in a SS and 90% of the time they would pick leather over lumber. A SS with presence at the plate is great but your infield is anchored by the 6 spot!!!
    That being said I must admit I am more impressed with Tejadas defensive work than I thought I would be. His lack of speed is adjusted for with that cannon on his right shoulder and fine positioning. Again, that said why wouldn

  15. Kevin Bradshaw says:

    Oh and BTW, keeping everett and moving your 34 year old SS to third would be a net gain over Wiggy at third and Miggy at short. Do the math!

  16. George says:

    OK, now you don’t want to use the stats for defense, just your “expertise”. Everyone looks at RF and your dismissal of it simply makes me question your ability to be objective.
    Facts are facts – Miggy (3rd in the league in RF) is a better player than Everett. Matsui is better than a 41 year old Biggio. and Wiggy, while not close to an all-star, is an adequate 3B (and his fielding stats are above average as well). Also, if you hadn’t noticed, our 1B is hitting now that he has some protection around him.
    Basically, you need to admit that your instincts have been proven wrong. Nothing wrong with that, unless you want to hold on to the fallacy that we would be better than second in the NL in wins with your dream lineup.
    (Uh, I think you transposed some numbers, AE was hit .248 not .284 – doesn’t help to bunt when you hit 8th.)

  17. Travis says:

    George Im not sure what “facts” you are using… but which do you think managers use to make most thier decisions? Stats. or thier Expertise? I think most baseball people use thier expertise and knowledge from watching the game to make determinations. If you watched the Astros while Everet was there you would know his D is sparkling. Why else do you keep a poor hitter on the starting lineup? Or why would another team take him in a trade.
    Maybe you should admit YOUR insticts have been proven wrong since profesional baseball management has continued to play Everett… but hey maybe you DO know more that they guys who get the fat checks.
    ONCE AGAIN why is AE still a topic? Puma’s hitting homers off the face of the moon, most of our new players are exceeding expectations (yes… george your right… Kaz is better than a old BGO) and our new manager has a winning record in the portion of the season that has plagued us in the past. Lets dwell on our old SS though……………….

  18. Lisa Gray says:

    i said what i said because as soon as i start quoting john dewan and david pinto and chris dial and chone smith everyone tells me i need to just LOOK at the players.
    if you truly think that miguel tejada during his career, let alone the last 3-4 years, has been a better defender than adam everett, you are not exactly an expert in defense evaluations. even by such standards as RF defenders like – errors, and assists and DPs, tejada lags FAR behind everett over 162 game seasons.
    might could i suggest you check out UZR, RZR, PMR, to name a few.
    there is a very good reason why john dewan, who the ML clubs pay a LOT of money to for his statistical expertise, stated that everett was head and shoulders the best defensive ss in the majors and why chris dial’s data also echoed this.
    as for everett’s batting average, it was your position that his batting average got jimy williams fired and i pointed out to you that everett had his best year at the plate with jimy as manager during 04, the year he was fired.
    someone brought up adam everett. wasn’t me. i just object to him being tarred and feathered and pointed to as THE reason this team didn’t win over the last 2 years because if only he had hit 270 instead of 240 it would have made all the difference in the world.
    and i am getting tired of hearing that miggy has a great glove because of his high batting average and “leadership”

  19. Travis says:

    Lisa, I know you didnt bring it up, and I understand being frustrated by so much blame being heaped on AE. I was tired of hearing about how horrible Lidge was and how everyone with an internet connection knew how to fix him. It seemed obvious to me, he couldnt throw a fastball for a strike. A slider is no good if no one swings at it!! DUH!! But I digress… its been a long slow day at work before a 3day weekend and Im about to take off outta here and go enjoy a weekend of Spurs and Astros!

  20. lisa gray says:

    i have NO idea why roy doesn’t throw his slider more often because the hitters are not hitting it.
    roy calls his own game, so he chooses the pitches.
    i HOPE he is not finished at age 30, like woody williams.
    but honestly, if he gives up 2 ER/5 IP or 3 ER/ 6 IP or even 4 ER/7 IP every single start, hey, it’s not exactly an ace, but it’s better than woody.
    and it’s better than a LOT of other starters.
    man i HOPE they figure out what is wrong…

  21. charles r cortines says:

    then why doesn!t roy throw that nasty slider much more often especially when ahead on the count instead of throwing his patented gopher ball. the way he is going he his going to pass woody williams in giving up the HR by august 15th. and the league his batting around .330 against roy.
    he looks like he is throwing batting pratice. i love roy and hope he soon can turn things around soon, but really thiink he is done as a top notch starter

  22. charles cortines says:

    point well taken and i did not mean to imply that roy was near has bad as woody . i meant in the home run cartagory only to.p this point in the season.
    and i certainally agree with all the rest of your assetment on roy.if he can do what you are saying it will be very good ansd above by far the regular avg mlb pitcher and with this year offense he can still win quite a few games.
    i still have a lot of hope knowing the intense competitor that roy is he will turn things around