It finally occurs to Brad Mills that he is allowed to use pinch hitters who can you know, like HIT, even if it is the imitation league baseball park. Amazing that Barmes is a much worse hitter for the Astros than Adam Everett ever was and yet he gets absolutely NO heck about it from fans. JD mentioned many times tonight that both starting pitchers had given up the most home runs in each’s league and that Astros hitters hadn’t hit one since Hunter Pence was last playing 8 days ago. He then talked about how Fast Eddie had expected Nill Hall to hit all these homers, but he hadn’t, so he was released. He kind of forgot to mention that Barmes was signed for the same reason and that Tommy Manzella would have produced the same for 3 mill less.
Colby Lewis was simply ice – gave up a walk and a couple of singles. In fact, if Bourgeois hadn’t singled in the first, I would have been worrying about getting no-hit. He had superb location for the FB and an almost unhittable slider. Fortunately, he was tired in the Texas heat after 7 scoreless innings, and he left, leading 2-0. Undoubtedly feeling confident that the hitters would easily rack up more runs against the weak Houston pen.
I was shocked to see Angel Sanchez pinch hitting for Corporan to lead off the 8th – not just because Angel can hit and Corporan can’t, not just because I had thought that Towles’ leg was bothering him too much to catch, hit or run and that he wouldn’t be available until Friday, but because it had suddenly occurred to Millsie-poo that hitting is better than not hitting.
I wasn’t shocked to see Angel single off Dave Bush, now relieving and spot-starting for the Rangers (remember, he beat us back in May during one of his spot starts) and I wasn’t shocked to see Michael single up the middle after Angel went to second on a WP. I wasn’t even upset to see JB hit a bullet to short for a 6-3 GIDP because Angel scored and we wouldn’t get shut out for the second time in a week. Kepp then popped out – guess he had been watching Clank do that twice with MOB already.
Wilton Lopez came in and got 1,2,3 out.
Melancon came in to pitch the 8th and couldn’t find the plate. No, it wasn’t the ump, who only made 1 bad call – the called 3rd strike on Clank in the 4th and Clank WAS right, it WAS too low. He walked Endy Chavez on 5 pitches, then Josh Hamilton on a 3-2, got a fly out, then gave up a RBI double to Young. Cruz, who homered in the 6th, grounded out to second and the run couldn’t score. Then he IBB Moreland – and man I HATE intentional walks – seems they fail far too often, but this time it worked, as Torrealba flied out.
He threw 25 pitches, gave up a run, giving Colby back his 2 run lead and with Neftali Feliz coming in, well, I didn’t really have any hope.
But then a miracle occurred. Clank, who had done nothing but popup or strikeout turned on the first pitch, an inside FB and it bounced just over the 3rd base bag and went into the corner for a double – barely. Brett Wallace popped out – he’s in a terrible slump – ofer his last 5 games (with 2 walks), then CJ – you’re not gonna believe this – turned on an inside FB and hit it just over the 3rd base bag where it bounced into the corner for a RBI double. Nice to see the OTHER team’s pitcher have a bit of bad luck.
Astros now down 3-2. If Melancon hadn’t given up that run, we’d be tied.
Jason Michaels hits a ball to deep short and the SS can’t throw him out in time – pulls Moreland off first, and it’s men on first and third.
And then another miracle occurs. Millsie-poo pulls Barmes, who can’t hit for spit and sends in Matt Downs, who CAN hit and hit for power. And on the third pitch, Torrealba misses the ball and it rolls into the corner for a passed ball and CJ slides home with the tying run. So Downs comes up, takes a strike, watches 3 balls, sits on the FB, gets a nice one and hits it over the LF fence.
Astros lead 5-3.
JR fouls off a couple, then pops up – he looks as if he hasn’t swung a bat in a long time, which he hasn’t. Ron Washington pulls his closer, sends in lefty Darren Oliver, who strikes out Michael Bourn.
Melancon comes back – I wondered about that, seeing as how he pitched last night and threw 25 pitches last inning, but he was MUCH sharper – got PH Elvis Andrus swinging, Kinsler ground out and Chavez flew out and yes I know it wasn’t exactly the meat of the order and yes I was glad we didn’t see Gentry.
So they won last night because of a blown save and we won tonight because of a blown save.
A day off tomorrow before the Inferior league comes in. We’ll face Gerry Hunsicker’s team – wonder why Richard Justice keeps thinking he’d leave his good team and come to a terrible team with no hope of not being terrible. Then it’sDallas again, then the Bahstin RedSux – and we’ll get to see all the Houston bandwagon pink hats who pretend that they are really from the Northeast. Seems to me we’ve been playing the East teams a whole lot these past 4 years.
Oh yeah – get this – Jiovanni Mier and his .245 BA/.354/.734 OPS and 10 errors just got promoted. You think he would haved gotten promoted if he had been the 30th round pick? Nope. They are promoting him so they can show that their first rounders, no matter how crappy, are moving up through the ML system. And the farm, since Fast Eddie took over, has not done any better than it did under The Hated Purpura. Will go into that soon…