5/28/08: Entirely Towles’ Fault That Wainwright Beats Astros

Yeah, it WAS sarcasm. At least he REACHED base, which is more than I can say for Kaz Matsui, who couldn’t get Bourn in from third base in the third inning, or Michael Bourn and Towles in the 8th, when Adam Wainwright was tiring. Bourn, in fact, is the only Astro who actually did well all night – the triple, a walk, and a liner that was smoked that Brendan Ryan made an incredible leaping catch on, and what would have been a sure single up the middle if it hadn’t deflected off Wainwright.

I guess am just getting tired of all the people who keep complaining about Towles, who think it is imperative to replace his limp bat and great defensive catching with Quintero’s limp bat and his lousy defensive catching, and I hear tell, difficulty getting along with pitchers.

But Lance and Lee and Pence simply looked absolutely clueless against Wainwright and Miggy only managed one single. You need these guys to come through because Bourn simply can not do it alone.
Let me be kind and say that this wasn’t one of Wandy’s best outings. He had a hard time finding the plate and didn’t have his good curveball. He just couldn’t seem to put hitters away even after getting 2 strikes.

In the first, he gave up a leadoff single, then what should have been a dead easy 4-6-3 and Kaz screwed it up committing his 9th error, throwing the ball into left and allowing both runners to advance a base. Then Uncle was IBB – and this threw off Wandy even more and he couldn’t find the plate at ALL – walked Ryan Ludwick on 4 pitches. He gave up a WP, got a popup, a RBI groundout, a walk and another groundout and there was the score at 3-0.

You can NOT give Wainwright a 3 run lead – dude has always been an Astros killer, and except for the midplate meatballs that he served up to Wiggy, who sent it to the Mac Land sign and to Bourn, who sent it to right center for an easy triple, that was all she wrote. Except for Bourn working a walk after Towles ROE (reached on error) and Lance beating out an infield hit in the 9th.

Wandy only lasted 4.2 innings, gave up 6 runs/3 ER, 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 IBB and 1 FODP. Actually, that was a kewl DP – Ludwick flew out to Pence, who threw the ball to Miggy who might could have tagged out Pujols, trying to advance to second – looks like he missed on the first pass, but got him before he re-touched the bag. Albert was adamant he hadn’t been tagged, but he didn’t argue quiiiite as much as he might could have. Mostly because the ump pointed out that he was NO question out after Miggy re-tagged him after he slid past second…

Cassel came in to mopup – I was surprised not to see either Sampson or Villareal, who should now be our mopup men now that Bork is gone and Moehler is in the rotation. I guess Coop thinks we need THREE mopup guys. Unless he is bound and determined to ruin Sampson by putting him in to pitch the high leverage situations. Anyway, Cassel looked great – threw 2.1 innings giving up only a single.

I do hope this means that they won’t send Cassel back down and keep Villareal, but I bet this is just what they WILL do. Like I said, it’s the money.

And speaking of mopup, I guess it really isn’t REALLY mopup, but Chris Perez, the Cards’ first round pick in 06, came in to pitch the 9th. Looks as if he was a closer in college, and the Cards had him pitching relief and closing from the minute he hit rookie ball in June 06. He finished 37 games at AA and 15 games at AAA. He started the year at AAA this year, finished 17 and saved 8 with a 2.03 ERA and was called up in mid-May after Izzy went down. I’m guessing he will be closing for the Cards pretty soon. He throws a 96-97 MPH FB and a 83-84 MPH slider and the guys had best get used to seeing him, because I think we’re going to be seeing him for a long time.

Man I hope Roy finds his stuff tomorrow. It’s not that Lohse is a Wainwright sort of ace, but we NEED Roy to be ROY.

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24 Responses to “5/28/08: Entirely Towles’ Fault That Wainwright Beats Astros”

  1. Joel B. says:

    i would use sampson in a similar role that qualls had. groundball/double play guy. thats what i miss the most from qualls.

  2. Mark says:

    I think Cassel needed some work. It’ll be interesting to see what they do when Geary comes back.
    I’m not too concerned about Wandy not being real sharp in his first start back. Kaz didn’t help him with th E–you can’t give good teams extra outs. Wanday didn’t help himself much either. I expect him to be better next time out.
    I’m glad Bourn had a good game. He’s been looking much better at the plate lately.
    Wainwright was just good.

  3. Lisa Gray says:

    like, do like detect like a lil sar chasm here????
    things i have in common with hunter pence’s “model”
    1 – dark hair – check
    2 – female – check
    3 – straight (well, she might could be bi, i’m not trying to judge here here)
    but that is about it. i even wear CLOTHES to blog, it would be bad manners to go over to my mother’s house and run around in my underwear, even if she did have a basement….
    – grinning
    and only sistas, no sisters (i got 4 older brothers, but you don’t want them)
    and i think my youngest auntie is around 50. and she doesn’t look like the underwear model trust me on this…

  4. Travis says:

    Lisa I’m going to be more blunt than mots any man ever will be: Men, for the most part me included, can find just about any women hot. They are exceptions of course (like if she has a mustache etc) you can almost always find an attractive feature… however… large round rearends + a bikini will do the trick every time.
    OK back to hardball… i mean baseball… How awesome would it be to see an astros filled NL roster beat the AL in Yankee Stadium’s last year?! Im logging on to vote as we speak………

  5. Joe says:

    Villareal sucks, and I think Cassel should be the 5th Starter instead of Moehler.

  6. Lisa Gray says:

    – grinning
    what’s that old expression – all the grrrls get purtier at closin time?
    reminds me of the time i overheard one of my brothers talking to this guy who took home some older female from a bar
    – my brother sez (cleaned up for non-G rated words) – bra whatchu doin goin home with somebody’s grandmother?
    – other guy – shrug – she was all that was left that wasn’t puking…
    so honestly, i truly do know that most men, um, can, shall we say, expand (ahem) their definition of “hot” if need be….
    which is a good thing or most of us wouldn’t have partners…

  7. Lisa Gray says:

    i agree with you. 100%
    i was always suspiscious of villareal because of bobby cox’ history of not letting pitchers who are any good leave atlanta. that is, without getting something awesome or absolutely necessary in return.
    well, we’ll just have to see how moehler does – if he craps out as he did for the past 3 or 4 years that he was a starter, sampson and cassel are right there…

  8. Dave Thomas says:

    TLA Alert!
    What is ROE as in “after Towles ROE”?
    “MOH” Fast Ball?
    I do know what you mean by Roy being “ROY” however

  9. Lisa Gray says:

    i hope that is not what they are thinking of with sampson. because he’s not qualls. and yeah, no matter how much people complain about qualls, he was a VERY good guy as a stopper.
    and seeing as how neither brocail nor valverde will be available for that work, they should use the next best guy, who is byrdak.
    – grinning
    what is “TLA”?
    ROE is reached on error – sorry, i thought that was a common abbreviation
    MOH is a ytpo I didn’t catch. i meant MPH

  10. Travis says:

    Ive got a nickname for Cassel: The Punisher. (real name was castle. Real being relative…since he is a fictional character but i digress)
    Last night was one of the few games in recent memory that none of the Astros big bats came through, I expect them to come alive tonight.
    Who do you have as early astro favorites to make the Allstar team?

  11. Dave Thomas says:

    TLA = Three Letter Acronym, my employer loves them.
    Thanks for the explanation, I am still learning and loving the complexity that can arise from the simple concept of this game!

  12. wags says:

    In McTaggart’s blog today, in a discussion of who goes when Geary returns, he remarks, “Maybe they get rid of a position player. Does Jose Cruz Jr. even play anymore?
    He’s not even out-hitting Towles.
    To be sort of fair, Jose’s OBP is .302 while JR’s is .267. Must be all those walks.

  13. Travis says:

    Has anyone heard about Hunter Pence’s girlfriend? Since Ausmus being eye candy is a frequent topic here (shaking head sadly) I thought i would bring up HP’s smoking hot bikini model GF. I dont know how he can concentrate long enough to catch a flyball with that hottie waiting for him after the game…

  14. wags says:

    Geez, Travis no link?
    Fear not (unless you’re at work), here is a passel of pixs: a11news.com/136/hunter-pence-girlfriend
    Whole new meaning to fantasy league…
    editor’s comment:
    i have to disallow that link because i can’t have NSFW links posted here on my nice G-rated site. but anyone who wants to add the www. and then paste for him/her self is welcome.
    just so you don’t think it is just me not being able to handle the competition
    and she’s not husband’s type so really, i don’t consider her competition
    – unless she starts an astros blog…

  15. Lisa Gray says:

    i guess i would think of “the punisher” as a hitter – sort of like pujols.
    – grinning
    whereas i would think of a lousy reliever as “the punishMENT”
    early astros all-star faves?
    berkman, tejada and valverde
    i was absolutely ASTOUNDED to see an astros position player in the top 5 of every single position. i mean, i understood it back in 04 when we were gonna have the ASG, but now?????
    then again, baseball is so incredibly popular here in houston that the chron now has the football writer and the basketball writer writing about baseball. i really have to laugh like heck when i hear ignerrint people talking how houston is really a football town waiting for a good team.
    my mama tells me that even in the old days of the oilers luv ya blue that they weren’t NEAR as popular as baseball is now.
    any of all yall who were in houston before i was born in 1980 want to comment on this? my mama just might could be a tetch prejudiced on this here subject…
    i see i need to publish a list of my commonly used abbreviations. thanks for the idea. it will make a great column for the next astros’ day off…
    i do think that towles is more valuable as a catcher, even with an OBP of 267 than cruz is as a DR/PH with a .116/302 line…

  16. Lisa Gray says:

    travis and wags,
    you want me to be printing pics of brad ausmus in a bikini so all yall males can see how hot you are NOT?
    well, do ya?????????
    didn’t THINK so…
    and hunter concentrates just fine because if he does not and he quits being rich/famous, ms boobie prize will vanish fastern a plate of burgers in front of a couple of starving dogsss.
    and interestingly enough,
    i have discovered during the 4 years i been writing this blog and chatting with lots of males that all yall have VERY different ideas of what a “hot” woman is…
    – i had always thought that all (straight) men strongly preferred blond hair + huge boobs (fake or real) + low IQ = ideal female
    not ALL straight men do…

  17. wags says:

    Your astounding command of all things baseball and all things Astros make me giddy with desire. You are my kind of woman!
    Do you have any sisters?…aunts?

  18. wags says:

    grammar correction: makes
    See what you’ve done to me?

  19. Lisa,
    I think we figured out what’s wrong with Roy: he’s trying to hard not to tip his pitches:

  20. wags says:

    You may take it as sar chasm if you wish, but I have found the hottest hotties to offer sumptuous brain candy rather than the eye candy that either quickly dissipates or gets old fast.
    (kidding)Now, about your auntie’s phone number…(/kidding)

  21. Lisa Gray says:

    that was a VERY interesting entry. does josh kalk ROOL or what?????
    but thing is, i thought that pitchers were supposed to have a very tightly controlled release point.
    and when i look at chart #1, it doesn’t seem to me that all of a certain kind of pitch comes from a specific release point.
    but there is NO question that his pitchers have very little movement/break this year compared to last.
    and i think that only one of the homers this year was off a hanging slider – it’s the FB that they are drilling. and of course it was too stupid to throw jim edmonds a curve, no matter HOW good because it is what he’s waiting on…

  22. Josh Kalk is amazing. I wish I could find a break down of result by pitch type, I’d love to see it.

  23. Also, he has a pretty tight grouping for 2007 (chart 1), but it’s insanely tight in 2008 (chart 2). Our thought is/was that if your consciously trying to not tip your pitch, you’re probably losing the life from the ball by keeping things rigid you normally wouldn’t.

  24. Lisa Gray says:

    why don’t you email josh and ask him?
    seems to me that roy would try to not tip pitches/tighten his release point AFTER having trouble. but i think roy was actually having trouble with SOMEthing back in ST…
    is there a difference in the release point data in games he pitched well in – like the philly game and games where he was bombed?