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.