Wandy wasn’t absolutely ICE, as he was in his last 8 inning shut-outing against the Braves last month, but he was decent, considering he had just returned from the DL. He threw 6 innings, giving up 2 hits and 4 walks, no runs.
He loaded the bases in the first, with a leadoff double and 2 walks – really lousy control, and he had a tough time throwing any pitch for strikes. He got control of the curve before the FB – yeah, I know it sounds strange, but it’s true. By the 4th inning, he had GOOD movement and control of the FB – in spite of having more than a few strikes called as balls. He looked tired in the 6th, had a tough time with command of the FB again, and it took him 23 pitches to get his 1,2,3 out.
I was impressed – it’s tough to keep getting outs when you aren’t really in command of your stuff.
Ah LUUUUUUVVVS mah Wand-man.
Wilton Lopez pitched the 7th, gave up a double, but got his 1,2,3 outs. Sergio Escalona, looking better n better, pitched the 8th, giving up a single while getting his 1,2,3 out.
Lyon came on for the 9th, got 2 outs on 2 pitches, and I was thinkin – well, maybe I wuz wrong about him not being ready for prime time. Then he gave up a double down the LF line – it was a GR double because a fan leaned over a touched it. Then an 11 pitch walk to Hinske, then a juicy FB right down the exact middle and it got deposited in the RF bullpen for a 3 run homer.
3 appearances, 3 games 3 homers. This is not good, you know what I’m sayin here. If I’m a starting pitcher, this is NOT the guy I want to see in high leverage situations, or closing. Uck-say, I believe, is the word.
Lowe wasn’t as good as he was last appearance – took him 17 pitches to get through the first, and 24 to get through the second, then in the 3rd Barmes singled and Pence hit an opposite field job into the RF bullpen for a 2 run lead and the Wand Man nevah looked back. Of course, given the bullpen, he had to be prayin for a few more runs there.
Stros broke it open in the 6th – Kepp singled, then Brett Wallace hit an RBI opposite field double to the LF bullpen, then CJ ground out and JR Towles singled. Lowe got pulled and Ex-Stro Scott Linebrink (from back in 03) came in to face Matt Downs who came in to PH for Wandy (not Jason Michaels, thank God) and he doubled in Brett. Bourn took the count to 3-1, then got IBB.
Barmes sent a sac-fly to the Hill, scoring JR, but Matt Downs is no Michael Bourn and didn’t score from 3rd. Remember Michael scoring from second on a sac-fly to the Hill by Berkman? That was absolutely teh KEWL!!! Pence singled in Downs and Bourn, Clank walked (can you believe the guy has NINE walks in June? I keep checking to make sure is ain’t a typo) and Kepp, who started the inning, grounded out for the last out.
And the Astros led 6-0.
They got another run in the 7th on a Towles sac-fly – and it had to be deep for Brett Wallace, who runs slowern Clank, to score. Then Bourn GIDP 6-4-3. He’s already had 4 GIDP and we aren’t even at the ASB yet.
Makes you really respect Biggio, who had ZERO GIDP in 97 over 744 PA – really a remarkable feat.
Every hitter in the lineup except Clank and Wandy, who is still hitting over his weight, got at least 1 hit.
OH – and check this out – Someone else besides us Astros fans thinks Bourgeois should be playing – maybe if we can dump Clank, he will.
The Pirates come in tomorrow for a mid-week series – wonder if the attendance thru the gate will even break 10K.
Bud Norris will face Jeff Karstens, RHP, who is pitching very well this year. 10 GS, 4 relief appearances with 2 ER/7.2 IP (2.34 ERA) and an overall ERA ov 2.94 ERA/1.15 WHIP and a .214 BAA (you betcha the Yankees wish now that they hadn’t discarded him when he didn’t come up and pitch like a supa dupa ace. Same with Ian Kennedy, ya think?) We beat him last August, bet he’s been pitching better this year.
His last 2 appearances were against the Dbax and Phils – went 7 IP against each, gave up 4 hits, no walks against each, no runs at the Arizona and 1 run at Philly and got 2 ND for his trouble. He’s only had 1 bad outing this year, giving up 5 ER/4 IP at Cincy.
Let’s give it up for Bud Norris – he’s got a 3.67 ERA (lower than the average NL starter ERA – minimum 10 GS, 65 IP, <6 IP in relief – of 3.89) has averaged 6.1 IP/GS, has 7 QS/13 GS. Not real too many fans thought he’s have numbers like this before the ASB, that’s fer SHER.
I guess I shouldn’t mention that he was one of Tim Purpura’s draftees…