9/1/12: Wilson Valdez Pulls A Buckner To Gift Astros With A Walk-off Win

Missed the Friday game – forgot to record it and haven’t had time to mlb.tv it yet but I see that Fernando Abad kept to the fine Astros tradition of suckage by giving up a 3 run homer to Jay Bruce on a fat one down the middle after the Astros had managed to hit 2 solo homere back to back to tie the game. After the Bruce homer, as usual, the boyz packed it in. Not that I blame them.

In the news – Luhnow has hired Kevin Goldstein, who is a BLOGGER. Yes friends and neighbors and 2 dozen remaining Astros fans, you read that right. He first worked for Baseball America talkin bout prospects, then moved to Baseball Prospectus, doing the same thing. He has been given the job as head of pro scouting – meaning, I guess, that the Astros want the same dishy stuff on other teams prospects that he’s been writing up for BPro. All my statty friends are all agog. We’re like Billy Beane 10 years later, I guess, only without Hudson, Mulder and Zito.

I still can’t figure how this here team is gonna be competitive for years. The new CBA basically doesn’t allow spending for prospects, foreign or domestic and got rid of all the compensation picks – well, practically all of them. Unless a team gets lucky, REALLY lucky 3 or 4 years in a row, I don’t see how any team could get itself out of the basement. Then again, I DO know that spending on, and apparently getting, good prospects sure nuff doesn’t guarantee success. See Royals, KC.

Also, I keep reading that next year’s payroll is supposed to be 50 mill. Not sure where on earth THAT figure comes from. The only arb eligible players are Crystal Lowrie and Bud Norris. And won’t neither one of em make more than 1 or 2 million. Everyone else is minimum wage. I don’t even see 20 mill. I supposed they’ll have to do something about getting a bullpen whose members can do these things called getting outs and not giving up runs. I supposed they’ll have to hire a bunch of el cheapo FA because good players aren’t gonna come to a last place team. And also because teams have begun doing the John Hart thing of giving long contracts under market value to young players and there aren’t really any top FA any more.

Which reminds me – I keep hearing about how wonderful it is for the Astros to have shed all that salary and all I can say is, like why? It’s not like they’re spending it on DIFFERENT or BETTER players. And they certainly aren’t acquiring more major leaguers and they have already shed the 2 fringe guys they DID get, Ben Francisco (traded for the PTBNL to the Rays) and Steve Pearce. And it’s hard to win facing ML teams without ML players.

Which reminds me – the game. Lucas Harrell gave up 1 run in the first on 2 singles and a sac-fly. He started off the second with the giving up 2 singles again, but got a nice GIDP from the pitcher to end the inning and from there, he just sailed through 5 more innings without much of any trouble – a double here and there and a walk. Trouble was that he didn’t get run support as Astros hitters managed just 3 hits and a walk off Homer Bailey (man he luuuuvs seeing the Stros – almost got his ERA under 4). Justin Maxwell hit a ball off the end of the bat which just made it over the RF fence 340′ is still a homer, to tie the game.

They didn’t get anything going until the 8th – got men on first and second with 1 out, but Paredes, then Greene stranded em.

Hector Ambriz pitched 1,2,3 – got Brandon Phillips on a checked swing K and MAN was Brandon ANGRY – not that I blame him, it was a horsestuff call and he HAD checked his swing, but for once, it went the Astros’ way.

In the 9th, Francie-poo reverted to the ol LOOGY thingy using Xavier Cedeno to get Jay Bruce, then bringing in Wilton-ie to get the rightys. Yes, The Closah in a tie game in the 9th, but this is at home, which makes it OK for some reason.

So then, because it’s a tie game in the 9th and an away game, Dusty Baker sends in Sean Marshall instead of Aroldis Chapman – not a bad idea as he’s suppsoed to face 2 leftys and a crappy righty. So Wallace grounds out and Maxwell Ks, then pinch hitter Matt Downs (yes, Downsie-doo is back, along with Mary Jane Schafer) doubles. So Marshall IBBs Dominguez (seriously, the setup man and his 2.98 ERA can’t get out Matt eff Dominguez? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) to face Jordan Schafer. Who can’t hit leftys. Or rightys, for that matter. So Brandon Barnes and his sub Mendoza bat bravely comes up to pinch hit, 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, winning run on second. And is promptly hit by pitch.

So it’s bases loaded, and Jose Altuve, who is supposed to have had the night off, but was brought in to pinch hit in the 8th after all the pinch running substitutions, is up and it’s hero/goat time. And Jose has failed to drive in the winning run without fail (a True Astro) and sure enough, he hits a dead easy grounder at the second baseman, who lets the ball go RIGHT through his legs like Bill Buckner, and there goes the ball game.

Astros win game 41. Which means they can’t win even ONE more game in September if they Want That Sacred All Time Loss Record. At this point, The Media is convinced that we have the #1 pick in the 2013 draft locked up, even though the Cubs are only 10 games behind us and a whole lot of things can happen in September – remember 2004, when we won all but 4 games to get the WC on the last day? Remember last year when the Red Sox and Braves both collapsed like a popped balloon?

It’s baseball and youneverknow.

Oh yeah – Jose Valdez, the pitcher (and his 4.90 ERA at AAA) has been called up – Juan Abreu, one of the guys we got in the Bourn deal last year and his 6+ ERA have been let go.

Tomorrow afternoon, it’s Bud Norris – hope his blister is healed, vs Bronson Arroyo, who we beat back in June. Yes, beat. We won some games in June – before we decided that losing was teh kewl and went 3 fer July and 5 fer August. That’s an amazing suckage, 8 fer 56. Almost unprecedented.

Anyway, AAA should be over soon – the OKC team is 1.5 games behind Albuquerque and has been decimated by the Astros calling up most of their AAAA guys, so their chances of actually winning anything in the postseason isn’t good. But youneverknow. I hope they call up JB Shuck – I like the guy and I’d rather watch him PLAY than watch Fernando Martinez miss easy catches and strike out a lot. But that’s me.

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20 Responses to “9/1/12: Wilson Valdez Pulls A Buckner To Gift Astros With A Walk-off Win”

  1. wags says:

    Stevie may be Alyson Footer’s replacement, but I doubt he is as smokin’..

    All the losing has been putting me into drowseville, but have the guys actually been striking out less than before, or was I dreaming?

    And when ya parody Millsie/Milo’s nicknamey thingies, I’d suggest calling Lopey the Closey.

  2. Lisa Gray says:


    dreaming. they sure aren’t hitting any better.

    jeezus gawd i hope whoever replaces milo doesn’t feel obligated to call everyone name-ie. it’s so crap-ie. and stupid-ie. and besides, grown men don’t nickname each other with dude-ie. trouble is that a lot of the old nicknames are now politically incorrect, so it’s just kewl to girl-ie down the names

  3. Eric says:

    I did like Alyson Footer..loved those red curls of her.hair. So yeah she’s smoking hot.

    Fortunately I never could hear Milo/Mills ever do those dopey nicknames as the Astros announcers aren’t closed captioned on TV.

  4. Bruce says:

    “Left-hander Xavier Cedeno (0-1) came in and watched his first pitch sail into the seats in right field on Bruce’s 29th homer to tie it at 3-all.

    Bruce, who is from nearby Beaumont, Texas, has three homers and 10 RBIs in nine games here this season. Fans could be heard bellowing ”Bruuuuce,” each time he came to the plate, and there were a group of five people with red shirts each sporting one letter of his last name in the crowd.”

    That’s the nice thing about being out at the park…hard to hear the bellowing on TV .

  5. Lisa Gray says:


    looks like sometimes there’s definite advantages to being deaf. Not hearing milo is near the top of the list. wonder if crane will bother to hire someone good or just stick with the (cheap) clounz he already gots.

    husby do LUUUVVVED alyson footer too. one of the reasons he’s so soured on watching the stros is cuz she ain’t around no mo…


    these days, houston area guys on other teams get to actually HEAR their family and friends – remember when chris young and the DBax were here? you could hear his posse over the TV.

  6. wags says:

    14 K’s just woke me up.
    Guess it’s okay when you win.

  7. Justin says:

    It’s KEVIN Goldstein. You’re a real Norman Einstein.

  8. Steve says:

    As stated, it’s Kevin Goldstein. BP is not a blog. It’s a credentialed baseball website. Astros fans should be excited. He knows his stuff

  9. geo says:

    Kevin Goldstein is not a blogger; never has been. Bloggers blog. He doens not blog. He’s a prospect analyst, which is like a scout, and one of the best ones in the business. Yes, he writes on the Internet, but writing on the Internet does not make one a “blogger.” He was writing for a very highly respected baseball publication and has since before the Internet took off. The fact that Baseball Prospectus established a website and has published some of Goldstein’s writings on it does not make him a blogger.

  10. Joseph says:

    Rocket scientist. You bet your ass I want to know all the ins & outs about alll of every team in MLBs prospects. you know, because of things like trades, waiver wires etc…

  11. Joss Altuvie says:

    The author of this article has clearly shown a lot of #slack.

  12. DIANE says:

    Have you even READ any of Goldstein’s work? He is NOT a blogger. He is a very well-respected prospect analyst who just HAPPENS to write/talk about/for his work. YOU, on the other hand, are a blogger (and so am I).

  13. Lisa Gray says:


    i read what kevin wrote back when he wrote for BA, and i have read the few things he has written for BPro that were not behind the paywall. if it concerned the astros, or some (rare) guy who was traded TO the astros. i corresponded with kevin on several occasions when he was still with BA. i know he’s a prospect analyst, it’s what he wrote about for BA and BPro. i don’t know if he had a better paying job as well, because i never asked.

    i’m not exactly buzz bissinger, you know. i don’t think that “blogger” is a dirty word or that blogger = idiot. however, kevin is not a novelist, he wasn’t a journalist, he wasn’t a TV/radio media person. he wrote for an internet site which, far as i’m concerned, made him a blogger.

    i don’t owe him any apology for that. however, i DO owe him a very VERY sincere apology for mixing him together with yankee fan (and BPro writer) steven goldman. too little sleep, not enough editing. kevin is a decent man and didn’t deserve to be called a yankee fan…

  14. Josh Altuving says:

    But he is not a blogger. If that is your definition of a blogger, that is understandable. But he did SOOO much more than writing for BPro. He was a go-to guest for many, many, many radio shows as well as TV shows. He had a weekly podcast that lasted 2+ hours usually discussing scouting, what it means to be a scout, technical terms, as well as various scouts. If you mentioned a name, even if it was an obscure, he could tell you about the prospect and what he can do. BP published yearly books where he was often the main contributor. He has developed many sources within baseball. He didn’t need another job because what he did at BP kept him plenty busy enough.

  15. JC says:

    Two things:

    1) This is a blog. BPro is not.

    2) My guess is that, and I’m just wildly speculating now, he is considered a scout within the industry. He obviously had lots of contacts and connections which usually bloggers don’t have. I mean, a team did hire him to coordinated the pro scouting dept. Seems to me that they have labeled him differently than you. I’d also wager that most of his readers considered him a “scout that wrote” rather than a blogger.

  16. John Franca says:

    Let’s see… talking to sources at all levels of the organization, compiling information from a bunch of different places, combining scouting and statistical analysis, putting together well-written reports and rankings, and being informed about all kinds of obscure players from all levels of the minor leagues… that sound about like what you think a Pro Scouting Coordinator would do?

    Because it’s what Kevin Goldstein has been doing for YEARS now.

  17. Lisa Gray says:

    jose (sorry, had to change your name ther – my blog rules)

    being a guest on radio shows or doing podcasts doesn’t make you not a blogger – i have been asked many times to do podcasts/appear on radio shows and had i done that, i would still be a blogger, just one who also talks. there are more than a few bloggers who have a LOT of sources and who write for blogsite books (such as Hardball Times) – it doesn’t make him not a blogger, but it makes hia an extremely GOOD one and knowledgeable and respected. Blogger and excellence of writing/knowledgeable are not incompatible, you know.

    far as i’m concerned, hiring a blogger as a scouting director is as kewl and revolutionary as allowing females to play major league ball. something that i never thought in my lifetime i would ever see. well, we’ll never see a female playing baseball, no way. not if she could pitch like clemens and hit like babe ruth and field like ozzie.

  18. Lisa Gray says:


    you and i have different definition of blog. i consider BPro a blog with multiple contributors, just like Grantland. Or fangraphs. or hardball times.

    i seriously doubt that kevin is considered a scout – i think he is considered a talent/prospect evaluator, and they are different. i know several other very VERY good minor league talent evaluators and they are most definitely known within the baseball industry and i promise you that NO ONE considers them a scout. it doesn’t mean they aren’t knowledgeable or GOOD evaluators, just not scouts.

  19. Lisa Gray says:

    dear john,

    had to change your posted name a little – no using names of real life ballplayers to post, please.

    it does indeed sound like what a pro scouting coordinator’s job could be. i don’t KNOW what he’ll actually DO because Organizations don’t like being truthful – i’d ask a few people i know, but really, what for? I know it’s what he’s been doing for years, but all his sources inside 29 Organizations are now going to be unavailable to him, seeing as how he’s no longer unbiased and no other team will want him having any of their secrets. So I would gues that he is going to aggregate information given to him only by his Astros scouts/numbers people, and he’ll have a lot less info to work with.

    i LIKE kevin. i wish him the best, i really do.