Our third come from behind victory this year. And how we NEEDED this one – to stop our second 5 game losing streak of the year.
I had started out in the 8th inning with the title – Not Only Do The Stros Suck Beyond Belief, This Time We Get Swept With A Shutout. Guess the guys could see the computer all the way from Pittsburgh and decided to make me eat my words. Bless their lil hearts.
Oliver Perez, suddenly started looking like the ACE he was back in 04 in his last start. And he continued it this game. And this was a game he shoulda won – had a 3 hit (all singles) 3 walk, 9 K shutout at the end of 8 – and 120 pitches. But for some reason, Jim Tracy sent him out for the 9th – didn’t he trust Damaso Marte, or Roberto Hernandez – both of them Astro killers?
Ah well – hind sight is 20 -20, so they say…
It’s not that Nieve was lousy – he was actually pretty darn good.
Started off a leeeeetle shaky, but then – well let’s see:
1st – 20 pitches – PO, double, GO, walk, GO, leaving men on 1st and third
2nd – 14 pitches – K, GO, PO
3rd -17 pitches – K, BB, GIDP
4th – 11 pitches – FO, HR, GO, K
5th – 17 pitches – FO, K, K
6th – 10 pitches – FO, GO, GO
so here he is, 89 pitches, 3 hits, 2 walks, 5 K, 1 ER – looking great. (Hey, that was Jason Bay who hit what looked like a hanging something – the guy has hit 7 HRs in 6 games in a row – and the ML record is 8 games in a row – Mo was chasing it earlier this year, remember?)
So what happened in the 7th?
- well, could Fernando stressed himself striking out in the 6th???
- a GO, then 2 bloop singles. Which happens. BUT. Then Jose Bautista is up – a guy with a lifetime .554 OPS, with 2 HR over 164 AB over the past 3 years. Fernando throws 2 balls, then hangs something, and Bautista hits it about 360′ – I think it woulda been inside the park at home, near the LF bullpen wall, a double or maybe even an out IF Willy can get there, but here, it’s out, and Fernando gives up a 3 run HR to a guy who hits like Raul Chavez. SO, Fernando is a leeetle shaken, gives up a double to Ronny Paulino, then gets Perez out. In comes Gallo to face Mc Louth (and believe me, after last night, I was hardly breathing) but he GO.
Springer pitches a perfect 8th
Qualls pitches a perfect 9th
BRAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDD pitches a great save, except for a squiggly single to shallow center.
Now, back to the Oliver Perez story -
Phil shook up the lineup AGAIN – gave Adam And Biggio the day off – you bet they needed it, and Lance’s knee was still not feeling good enough for him to play, so Bruntlett and Burke started:
I actually like this – Preston seems to me to do a lot better hitting 5th or 6th – no guaranteed K or GIDP with MOB
- 1st – GO, GO, single K – Mo leaves 1 on
- 2nd – K, GO, K
- 3rd – (grrrrrrr) Bruntlett and Nieve walk. No out. Willy T screws up a bunt and Bruntlett is out. Ausmus FO and Burk Ks, leaving 2 on. Same ol story.
- 4th – Ensberg, Lamb, Preston all K (grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)
- 5th – FO, BB, sac-b, Willy GO leaving 1 on
- 6th – single, Burke PO, Ensberg K, Lamb LO leaving 1 on
- 7th – PO, GO, single, Nieve Ks swinging at 3 straight pitches out of the strike zone – leaving 1 on
- 8th – ROE, GIDP, FO
so here we are – WHY didn’t Tracy send in a reliever after 120 pitches? Especially since it looked as if the Stros couldn’t even hit a BP FB? Good question. It’s not like Perez is Livan Hernandez, and he isn’t used to throwing even 120 pitches and it’s not game 7 of the WS and he’s gotta have enough strength for 26 more starts…
But what goes around comes around. Remember Fernando gave up 2 elcheapo singles to start the 7th? Mo Ensberg finally actually HIT a pitch, a soft bloop single to very shallow left, with Bay playing deep, then Lamb did the same thing.
So out goes Perez, and in comes Mike Gonzalez, with his 1.89 ERA.
And he throws a FB right down the middle, and Preston singles (yes, you read that right. He doesn’t K or GIDP with MOB)
And it’s bases loaded.
And he walks Jason Lane on 4 straight pitches – not even close
Pirates 4, Astros 1. There goes the shutout.
Then Bruntlett hits the 0-1 to very shallow left for an RBI single
Pirates 4 Astros 2
Bases still loaded
Biggio pinch hits, 0-1 FO, no runs score
bases STILL loaded
Willy swings at the first pitch, out of the strike zone. Then 4 straight balls, ANOTHER RBI walk, and it’s
Pirates 4, Astros 3
Bases STILL loaded.
Gonzalez has thrown 14 pitches, gotten ONE out, given up 2 RBI walks and an RBI single and another single. See, Brad Lidge ain’t the only guy who has bad outings…
So in comes Salomen Torres
Ausmus hits a RBI sac-fly
Lance Berkman comes in to pinch hit, but GO on the first pitch.
And it’s extra innings again.
But I guess the guys must be tired, because THIS time they manage to pull it off in the 10th, on a PRESTON WILSON RBI single. Yes, you read that right. He FINALLY comes through.
(And yes, Mike Lamb was a real dumbass to get caught stealing, making the second out with Bruntlett up.)
But HOW we needed this win – we’ve gone 2-5 on this trip with 2 of the 3 worst teams in the NL. Is there some rule saying we GOT to suck in May?
- Oh yeah. One last thing. Steve Phillips said on BBTN that he’s sure Roger won’t be resigning with the Stros, and will be going back to either the BoSox or Yankees because he wants to be on the winningest team. Of course, he hasn’t talked to Roger. Figures. Might could be he wants to me more than one of a bunch of All-Stars, maybe he wants to be THE star, the One Who Saves The Season And Is The ONE Who Takes Us All The Way…
- Too %&#%@#! media guys think the world begins and ends with NY and Boston…