I turned on the game and there was Andy Pettitte – and on short rest, I was pretty surprised, I mean, is it gonna be Roy on short rest tomorrow?
I gotta give TLR his props for outmanaging Ned Yost this afternoon. In the 8th, with the Brewers winning 2-0, men on second and third, 2 out, a righty pitching and Edmonds coming up, Yost called in Shouse, a lefty against who rightys have a BAA over .300 and TLR sent in Encarnacion, a righty who is hitting .316 – an .834 OPS against leftys. So Shouse IBB Encarnacion and then Yost pulls him and sends in the closer, Francisco Cordero (the ex-Ranger closer.) So TLR sends Speizio, who has seen Cordero plenty in all his years in the AL West and hit him well – 5 fer 17 with a homer and a double. And sure enough, Speizio drives in the winning run with a 3 run triple.
So with the Cards pulling it off, Phil had to hope Andy’s sinker would be sinking. It WAS sinking all right. And he had 2 very bad calls go against him – first, pitch #3 to Will Aybar, which was VERY clearly a strike, was called a ball by the HP ump, and sure enough, the very next pitch was hit for a single, sending Adam La Roche to third, then he scored when Marcus Giles bunted – LaRoche got a very late jump and would have been dead if Andy had thrown home; unfortunately, fielding is not one of Andy’s strong points. The next very bad call that went against him was in the 8th when he had squared to bunt and was CLEARLY hit on the foot by a pitch and Bobby Cox got the 3rd base ump to say that Andy had tried to bunt, which, on replay, he clearly had NOT. Andy was FURIOUS – in fact, this was the very first time I had EVER seen him argue angrily with an umpire – Mansolino had to practically push him off the field.
Andy pitched an OUTSTANDING game – 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K and only 79 pitches – guess he must have been tired for Phil to pull him with such a low pitch count, as he had a pretty easy 7th…
He certainly got Clemensed – EIGHT guys LOB – Adam Everett FO with bases loaded in the first, 2 on 2 out by Berkman in the 7th. Then he got Francoed by Trever Miller who gave up a homer to lefty Adam LaRoche on the very first pitch, tying the game.
Poor situational hitting, bad luck for Andy.
is on our side,
yes it isssss
Bobby Cox sends his closer, Bob Wickman, up in the 9th to hold onto the score with a 2-2 tie. Good decision with what was left of his bullpen – I woulda done the exact same.
AWEsome job of baserunning in the 9th by Brad Ausmus who reached on an error – he was on base every single PA today and it wasn’t HIS fault more runs didn’t score – Giles let the ball slip out of his glove into center. Then Chris Burke sends a ball juuuuust slightly past 3rd and Chipper, who barely had a throw, didn’t check the runner at second and when he threw to first, not in time to get Burke, who is very fast, Ausmus alertly scooted to third. VERY heads up.
Then, Orlando Palmeiro singles Brad home and Burke goes to third. Palmeiro sure has picked a great time to suddenly remember how to hit, hasn’t he? With Palmeiro on first and Burke on third and no outs, Mike Lamb hit into a sure 4-6-3- GIDP. Giles throws the ball to Renteria at second – one out, and then Burke draws his throw to let Lamb get to first when so there would only be one out with Lance up. ANOTHER heads up baserunning play.
And Lance who had GIDP his last AB with 2 on, grounds into what should have been ANOTHER easy 6-4-3, but Renteria makes ANOTHER foolish mistake, throws the ball into center field way past Giles, and Burke scores easily, then Lamb keeps running hard as no one seemed to be paying any attention to him, and he scores too. Misplays all over and Roger knows how Wickman feels. I mean, poor guy – how many easy GB outs does he hafta throw? Now he gets a VERY undeserved loss…
Too many fans say – what’s fielding got to do, got to do with it?
What’s fielding, but an overrated nothing
Who needs a glove if the batters all K-ing…
So Trever Miller, who blew Andy’s game, will get the W (is that fair???) if
Brad Lidge can get another save. (Is Dan Wheeler ready??? I got that nervous feeling)
Renteria: ball, strike looking, singles up the middle.
Andruw is up – strike looking, ball in dirt, ball inside, strike swinging (oh pleeeeze) ball (oh bull – looked perfect to me) 5-3 – ONE out – Renteria to second
(Wheeler is warming up juuuuust in case)
Chipper – strike swinging on slider, infield dribbler 4-3 – Renteria to third
Wheeler in to face lefty Brian McCann (they’ve never faced each other – McCann’s never faced Lidge neither, but Brad has had a leeeetle trouble with leftys this year… )
OK. CMON, DAN!!!!
Ball 1, foul, foul, hi pop foul down LF line that both Lamb and Scott miss, ball 2, single to left scoring Renteria…
PH Daryl Ward: ball 1 low – PR to second on FI, swinging K (and they miss picking off the PR who has wandered off second, ball 2 low (BULLSTUFF!!!) – single to center, run scores
Stros 5 – Braves 4
OK Dan – this is crunch time. Everybody been saying you should be closer, Brad got pulled for you, now freaking PROVE IT!!!
LaRoche – ball 1, ball 2, foul, foul, (OK NOW GET IT DONE!!!)
STROS WIN STROS WIN!!!!!
You know, the entire “win” system is so freaking out of date. You can lose another guys game, let his runners score, let more of your own runners score and STILL “win” if your team happens to hit in their next ABs.
And something wrong that relievers can come in with MOB, let them all score but none of your own runners score and your ERA shows nothing. Don’t know quite how to fix that, but still, Borkowski winning the other day and Trever winning today – that is just not fair.
Back to baseball –
Last game of the regular season coming up. It’s a race to the wire this year –
San Diego won, LA won, Philly is out, Reds lost
– we’ve clinched second place for the fifth year in a row.
So San Diego and LA are tied in the NL West – one will be Division winners, the other will be the WC.
Detroit and Minnesota are tied in the AL Central – one will be Division Winner, the other will be the WC
And how about us?
Here’s how it goes:
Sam Dude is pitching against Smoltz tomorrow.
Right now, we’re 82-79 and St. Louis is 83-77
IF we lose, no matter what happens with St. Louis, they win the division.
IF we win AND Milwaukee actually freaking TRIES to beat St. Louis and does, then the Cards hafta play the Giants on Monday. If they lose on Monday, they hafta play us on Tuesday and I would bet that the lil guy with the bulldozer who SHOULD be winning the Cy Young will be pitching…