Wandy wasn’t great, again, but he was good enough to win, especially after Matt Downs (solo homer) and JD Martinez (grand slam) staked him to an early win. I’m not sure exactly what is different about him this year, but he’s striking out a LOT fewer guys, only 6/9 IP down from his career average of 8+ and his walks are way WAY down, to 2/9 IP from his usual 3.1/ 9 IP, and he’s giving up more hits, 9.5 up from his usual 8.5 – not sure why. Seems it started in his game against the Rangers, the best hitting team in baseball – he gave up 10 hits over 6 innings, but lost because the Astros didn’t hit for spit.
This game was not particularly impressive – not a single 1,2,3 inning.
Wandy The Average is here and Wandy the Ace hasn’t been seen for a month. But he’s had good luck at avoiding losses in which he gave up 7 and 9 runs because the opponent was just as bad. Ah well, he’d best pick it up if Luhnow is gonna get anything for him at the deadline.
Which reminds me – it will shock me, and I’m tough to shock – if Luhnow ADDS any salary, other than some guy earning minimum, to the roster. Crane still wants to dump the big 3 salaries, you know. The only guy on the ML roster I’ve heard they refuse to trade is Jason Castro. Don’t ask me why him.
Where was I?
I checked out the strike zone last night for Happ vs Cain – a good deal of Happ’s problem is that he couldn’t get any strikes on the outside corner called, and the ump had an Eric Gregg zone for Cain, especially as the game progressed. Yes, really. And this afternoon, Barry Zito ran into that same strike zone problem. He started by trying to get out Altuve by pitching up and away, hit the corner, couldn’t get strikes, so Altuve walks. It shook Zito enough that he couldn’t hit the outside corner AND he couldn’t get the knee high strike either, and he walked Bixler – of all people. Finally, he couldn’t get ANY pitch ANYWHERE near the strike zone with Lowrie, walked him on 4 pitches. So then he decides to try the high inside strike and he gets the call, so he tries again, but it catches too much of the plate and Julio Daniel, in yet another slump (not counting yesterday) hits it out.
And he’s 5 down, and Zito is MAD because very next strike is a called strike on the outside corner. Maxwell is a free swinger, and swings 2 pitches outside the zone for strikeout. Then CJ comes up and flails at 2 pitches, BOTH outside the zone. That’s called getting yourself out. Which put some life back into Zito and he breezed through the next 2 innings, giving up 2 infield singles and no more walks. Oh yeah – and getting the outside strike, too.
Wandy only got one strike on the black and none at the knees. Then again, he actually did throw way too many pitches out of the strike zone. He got 5 outs on pitches out of the zone though, which is good. Not sure what happened to his command he had earlier this year. I always suspect pain.
Tomorrow, it’s stupid interleague again, now at the Hotbox in Arlington. I hope they win, just to see Nolan Ryan’s sour expression. I hate that man beyond words for destroying my baseball team.
Jordan Lyles faces Yu Darvish, who seems to be Matsuzaka v2 – walks a LOT of guys even on low walk teams like Seattle and Oakland and hopefully, our swingin boyz will use some sense. Then again, Jordan is facing the best hitting team in the ML.
Saturday, Jordan Lyles faces a brand new callup from AA named Justin Grimm, a 23 year old righty who was the Rangers’ 5th rounder in 2010. You know how the Astros Organization keeps braggin on our suckage from AA they got in trade?
Check out Grimm’s line (and compare it to, say Oberholzer et al, at your own peril) 13 GS over 77 IP: 65 H, 3 HR, 14 BB, 67 K: 16 ER/20 R: 1.87 ERA/1.17 WHIP. Oh yeah.
Sunday afternoon? It’s Colby Lewis vs Bud Norris, macho man, who threw a bullpen today. Sprained knee? Sprained hip? Cmon, what could happen?