Bud Norris wanted SOOOOO badly to win his first game at his home town stadium and the boy did an outstanding pitching job – 10 K, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 runs – unfortunately, the hits/walks came in the same inning along with a sac-fly. Problem was that Matt Cain was just as good and at the end of 8, the score was tied 2-2.
I noticed that today, Bud had the FB back up to 94 – 95, which I hadn’t seen in a while. He had the slider working well, and in spite of being squoze by the HP ump (but the ump gave him one back, calling out Huff on a 3rd “strike” that was 4″ outside), he didn’t throw way too many pitches to too many hitters. He got em swinging away at high FB. I think he also threw fewer changeups today, too – he didn’t have that one working well.
Matt Cain is one of those pitchers Who Doesn’t Know How To Win – meaning that the media don’t have no respect for him because his team doesn’t score much when he pitches and he has a lot of 1 or 2 run losses/no decisions. When you are a good pitcher, your team always scores lots of runs for you like CC Sabathia. Somehow, Cain has a losing record in spite of a career ERA of 3.30/1.20 WHIP and a .228 BAA – that’s a career 125 ERA+ over 197 GS. Like I said, he’s a VERY good pitcher and he held the Astros to 5 hits, 1 walk and 2 runs over 8 IP.
So it became a battle of the bullpens – and I know that the Giants have a better one.
So in the 8th, it was Wilton Lopez, who got 2 outs, gave up 2 singles, then Wesley Wright came in to get the lefty out. He started the 9th, seeing as how it was leftys – got the first one out, gave up a single and was pulled. I was disappointed – was hoping to see how he would do at second or 3rd or something. Froddy came in and got the next 2 outs.
Meanwhile, the Astros had to face Sergio Romo, fresh off the DL at the top of the 9th. JD struck out, Clank doubled – he’s had 6 hits over the last 7 AB – but caught his ankle on the bag sliding into second and had to come out and Downs had to play first in the next inning. Pinch runner Altuve got stranded by Downs and Bogu.
In the top of the 10th, it’s lefty Jeremy Affeldt – Paredes singles, Corporan sac-bunts him over. For some reason, Bochy leaves in the lefty (what little bit of hitting JMike can do, it’s vs leftys) and he actually manages to hit a baseball for a double and Paredes scores the go ahead run. I’m in shock. Jordan Schafer Ks, a righty is brought in and gets Angel Sanchez out.
Maalox comes in to shut the door. He gets an out, then gives up a single and a stolen base. I swear, Astros pitchers either can’t step it up or catchers can’t throw em out. And sure enough, very next hitter singles him in – Bogu throws him out at second. Bochy gets hisself a case of apoplexy, seeing as how the ump got it wrong, but it’s too bad for them because Beltran, the very next hitter, singles and promptly steals second. So they IBB Pedro Sandoval and strike out Belt.
Yet another Blown Save – #5 out of 21 save opportunities (with another 3 losses) vs 13 saves – if I counted right, and I think I did.
Since becoming closer on May 6, Maalox has had 42 appearances. Of those, he has had 10 in which he got 3 outs, no baserunners. 18 he had baserunners but gave up no runs (of his own) and 14 in which he gave up his own runs. In August, he hasn’t had ONE appearance in which he’s put no men on base.
So it’s the 11th, and it’s righty Ramon Ramirez, who has shut down the Stros over the past few nights. He gets JD (who went ofer) then gives up a double to Altuve, who gets the BA back up to .300 and Downs singles him home before getting caught in a rundown. Bogu, who has had a tough 2 games, grounds out.
So it’s David Carpenter in to slam the door shut – and he hasn’t had it quiiiite as easy here in the majors as he’s had in the minors. He hits the first hitter with his first pitch. Then Miggy Tejada sac-bunts him over. You ever think you’d see Miggy Tejada sac-bunting? But Rowand Ks and Fontenot grounds out and David Carpenter has himself his very first ML save.
And the Astros split the series – which is great, seeing as how this team doesn’t do real too well at Pac Bell.
Tomorrow, we’re back home to face the Pirates, who aren’t quiiiite as successful as they were the last time we faced them. It’s the Wand Man vs Ross Ohlendorf, who hasn’t done real too good against the Astros in his career – 6.17 ERA. Looks as if he’s been hurt most of the year – started 4 games at AAA, 3 in the majors, only 1 since May, and his ERA is 7.24.
It WOULD be nice to win one for the Wand Man. And by the way, I heard tell that the Rox were not exactly the only team who wanted him and was more than happy to pick up his ENTIRE contract. Justice and fans who think that other teams think it is a bad contract are just wrong…