This post is hard to write. I’m not crying now – that will come later, I know, after the WS is over, the first time I drive past what used to be a baseball stadium and I have to face that baseball in Houston is gone forever and has been replaced with a sham called DH ball.
Sometimes, it is hard to face the cold, hard, painful truth of reality, but sooner or later you have to.
In the meantime, I have to thank Bud Norris for that absolutely awesome pitching performance. He looked like the Bud Norris was was absolutely ACE until his hip problem thingy in May. Tonight, he had the awful Angel Hernandez for a HP ump, but gave up only a double, a single and a HBP and no walks. NO runs, 7.1 IP, ERA FINALLY below 5. And this was with Scott Moore in right field and he is NOT an outfielder. I held my breath more than once, but he managed to make all the plays. For once. Fortunately, no balls were hit to left, where Fernando Martinez was ready to stink it up.
First W since May 21, believe it or not. (It was MORE than obvious that he was hurt his next start, and he didn’t get sent to the DL for several more weeks. This pitching through injury stuff is stupid. Period)
Although he did have some REALLY good pitching performances in which he either got a L or a ND – like Lucas Harrell. You get no run support/bullpen, it don’t matter whether or not You Know How To Win.
2 meh (4 R/6 IP) and 1 pulled because of injury (3 R/3.1 IP) starts in June = 3 L
4 VERY good QS, 1 absolutely HORRIBLE start (9 runs/4.1 IP) in July = 3 L, 2 ND
3 QS, 1 meh 4 R/6 IP and 1 horrible (6 R/3.1 IP) starts in August = 3 L, 2 ND
2 QS with NO runs given up (1 W, 1 ND) and 2 yeccch starts with 5 runs/start = 2 L
He’s got one more scheduled start next week – let’s hope he gets a shutout. He didn’t deserve this many losses. Then again, neither did his fellow pitchers, for the most part.
Best part of today’s W was that it was against Chris Carpenter, who has KILLED the Astros for years and years. I’m impressed that he was actually able to come back this year – but that guy is a real fighter, he surely is.
Jose Altuve hit his homer over the 3rd window of the CBoxes. VERY kewl.
Scott Moore then doubled, went to third on a groundout, then foolishly tried to score on a GB to short by Maxwell, and was dead meat at home. Justin stole second and trotted home on a single to right (for once) by Brett Wallace. Let me be kind and say that Brett has, um, struggled a bit (ahem) this month. He’s really increased his strikeout percentage this year – if he played a full season he’d be having a 180 (approx) strikeout year. Which is nothing like Jason Maxwell’s, true.
It was only 2 runs, and the Stros left men on first and 3rd in the 5th, but fortunately Bud was nails and after he gave up a HBP (which is OK – it would have been a walk anyway) and a ROE then a K in the 8th, Wilton Lopez came in for a 5 out save.
Can’t believe Francie-poo is doing something so Old Skool. But hey, it’s working and there is no reason not to, seeing as how we’re not saving Wilton-ie for the postseason.
Oh yeah – and best news – no more Milo. So hopefully, it will be the end of calling every player a cutesy-poo name with an “ie” at the end of his name as if he were a small child. Unless the new manager continues this, I’ll quit calling all the players like that, seeing as how I don’t need to mock either Millsie-poo or Milo-ie no mo. If Crane has any sense, he’ll get rid of the 2 clowns who try to interject football and golf into every sentence and hire some guys who know and like baseball. And don’t have a northeast/midwest/whatever it is, it’s awful – non-Texan accent. But I doubt it – it might could cost money. And as Maury Brown reports, Crane will be spending most of the new money coming in from MLBAM, the new RSN and the net network deals on the debt.
Remember that preposterous 650 mill price tag that Bud Selig liked because it jacked up values of other franchises, that price tag consisting of money Crane ain’t got, that rpice tag that ensured that Crane would allow the Astros to be dragged into the sewer that is the DH league?
Will be interesting to see how low he is gonna take the payroll next year. Bet it doesn’t exceed 30 mill, if that and yes, he DOES have to sign SOME free agents or the Players Union will complain. Not that it matters, seeing as how they have lost pretty much every single battle to the Owners over the past 10 years and have become a limp, toothless version of its former self, catering only to the very few high priced free agents who comprise less than 5% of major leaguers.
Stupid and short sighted.
But hey, instead of the old shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in 3 generatioons, it’s in 3 decades. Not even that. More like half a generation.
It’s an interesting thing. Pretty much nobody is left from the last strike of 94/95, and remembers what it means to stand up to the owners. You forget how to fight, you don’t bother to remember how to negotiate, next thing you know, all you do is lose more and more until you don’t even have guaranteed contracts.
You need guys with memories. It’s kind of like how my Dogs teach each new Dog in my pack what the Rules are and how to behave. Really.
sigh – back to my team, the Final Days. Day off, then off to Milwaukee, still fighting for that last WC spot, then to Wrigley to end the year. Fitting that we should end up at the field of perpetual losers to end the 50 year existence of the Houston Astros Baseball Club.
Astros don’t even have probable pitchers posted, no surprise, seeing as how everyone is beat up. Edgar Gonzalez and Fernando Abad are apparently too hurt to start and we know that Fernando Rodriguez is most likely going to get a start and I have absolutely NO idea who on earth is going to be able to start. I don’t think they do either.
We’ll face Yo Gallardo (might as well throw someone to the wolves as Yo turns the stros into Little Leaguers anyway) then Marco Estrada and Mike Fiers.