We’re in the backyard, which is full of people eating BBQ, cole slaw, corn, red beans and rice and I’m trying to listen to the Astros game which the TV is blaring at top volume out the open – we’re under an awning and I can’t imagine how the fans on the first base side are feeling staring into the sun…
I know that Roy is pitching, Lamb is playing third and Everett and not Loretta is playing short. I hear – single to left, single to left, strikeout, walk, 2 run double down the left field line.
I can’t stand it. I get up, go into the house, wash my hands and call Mama, who is at the game.
WHAT THE *(^&! is going on there???
Well, she says, the ump has no strike zone at all. And it doesn’t help that Roy has no control over his FB or his slider, and his curve isn’t being called for strikes when it IS over the plate. Also Mike Lamb at third made Jeff Kent at second look like the old Robby Alomar. He didn’t even move toward the first 2 grounders to his left or even try for Clark’s shot up the line. Roy is going to have a very hard time getting outs unless Adam Everett tells Lamb to stay closer to the line and he’ll get everything else. While we’re talking, Adam makes an outstanding play on Quentin’s slow roller to short to end the inning. Mama says that Loretta wouldn’t have gotten close. Roy needs 28 pitches to get out of the first inning – it’s going to be a lonnng night if it stays like this.
In the bottom of the ining, Lamb tries to compensate for his lead glove by hitting a high pop fly 335′ over the RF fence. At least we won’t get shut out. Livan throws a 83 MPH “fast”ball.
So I’m fixing more tea and watching – hey, any excuse will do – and Livan is at bat in the top of the second. He hits a popup to shallow left center – Luke Scott has a good bead on it and is settling in on it when Pence, running over from center, for some reason, calls him off when he is still pretty far from the ball, doesn’t get to it in time and the ball bounces off his glove. E8. Even Chris Burke didn’t do stupid stuff like that.
Chris Young, local boy, is up. Slider, up and in, ball 1. Slider, up and in, same spot, strike 1.
Mama is right, this ump crazy. I think he wants to have an interesting game. He won’t establish any sort of strike zone so neither pitcher or hitter can count on either a strike or a ball in a particular location.
It’s gonna be a lonnnnng night.
Go back out, gather the kidssss, get them into the kitchen to get their hands and faces washed BEFORE sticky grubby fingers can mess up a whole lot and they’re staring at the TV and it’s the third and we’re up, bases loaded and no out. The 17 million dollar man is up. He works the count to 3-2, then swings and misses strike 3. Cmon, Mr. RBI man, we deserve better than that.
And then it’s Luuuuuuuuke who draws 3 balls, then starts to head down to first on a FB up and outside which is inexplicably called strike 1. He then takes a high outside slider for strike 2, again starting to head for first. After he is called out on strike 3, which is waaaaaay out of the strike zone, he turns to the ump and says, politely, I’m sure – excuse me please Mr. Umpire, Sir, would you be good enough to tell me where that pitch was – I mean, when it tried to approach the plate?
Then it is Pence, who hits a shallow FB to center which Young drops – the hometown scorer calls it a double – see, that way, the fielder and the hitter are both happy and the pitcher, who gets charged with earned runs, is S.O.L. Two runs score and the Stros lead 3-2.
It’s gonna be a lonnnnnng game, I can see that. It’s just the end of the 3rd inning and it has already been an hour and 20 minutes.
It’s the 4th – Roy still can’t find the plate and there still is no strike zone. Mike Lamb FINALLY makes a play – the ball is chopped. I’ve got it figured – he can catch liners, he’s good at that, and he can play a good percent of balls on a hop, but he is absolutely useless on any grounder or ball hit up the line. Roy gives up 3 singles and a tying run scores.
We’re up. Brad Ausmus, you know, one of the Fan Unfavorites, smacks a double to left off the scoreboard. Roy sac-bunts him to third. Biggio is out, then Lamb hits an RBI single thru the 5.5 hole. Lance hits a single up the middle. Lee hits a single up the middle. Luke whacks the next 83 MPH FB 400′ into the upper deck. Astros 8, Diamondbacks 3. Pence flies out.
Mama says people are getting up and leaving. It’s not THAT hot. I’d say we’re turning into LA, but there, they don’t leave until the 7th.
Looks like Roy is finding his stuff in the 5th after Tracy hits a FB to the LF bullpen (that guy sure LIKES hitting in the Box – grrrrrrrrr) then Clark pops out to left. Then Drew hits a ball to left which goes off Lamb’s glove for a “hit” – trust me Ensberg would have made that play. Quentin hits into what should be an inning ending GIDP, but Biggio can’t turn it fast enough – and that is the 8th time this year. But Roy shrugs and Ks Montero.
Juan Cruz comes in in relief and has two 1,2,3 innings. Roy pitches the 6th – FINALLY looking like his real ROY self and gets 1,2,3 out. The pace is picking up!!!
Roy finishes with another QS – amazing, considering he pitched lousy – 8 hits, 2 BB, 7 K (don’t ask me how) and 3 ER.
Trever Miller pitches a 1,2,3 7th with 2 Ks.
Brian Medders comes on for the D-bax and gives up an opposite field homer to Carlos Lee and a 340′ job into the Crawford Boxes to Pence. I gotta congratulate Pence – it’s the first offspeed pitch I’ve seen him hit.
And it’s Astros 10, D-bax 3.
Brad Lidge comes in – Quintero is catching and Brad Ausmus goes to first – yes, you read that right. Actually, every time I’ve seen him play an infield position, he’s looked good – wonder if he could play short…
Anyhow, Lidge is looking good – fastball is popping and he’s throwing it for strikes. Stephen Drew turns on a 97 MPH inside FB and sends it to center for a double. Robby Hammock then hits a single to left that Ensberg would have gotten (yeah, I KNOW that is getting monotonous – I just want to keep pointing out that Lamb can’t field at third very well, contrary to popular fan opinion)
Brad strikes out the next 3 guys, even though Drew scores on a passed ball – an UER. Quintero has a VERY difficult time catching those nasty sliders – he lets one go for a WP (ahem) and he loses one on strike 3, but finds it in time to throw the runner out. Quintero ALSO has trouble with Chad Qualls’ sliders, too.
I haven’t really been very impressed with anything about Quintero, except for the strength of his arm and the accuracy of his throws. I wonder how Woody Williams feels…
But what is important is that the Astros win, Lamb’s bat compensated for his glove THIS time and Roy gets #6 on his march to his first Cy.
Mothers Day matchup is Wandy vs Doug Davis, the former Brewer, who we know quite well.
So tomorrow, Mama and I are off to the ballgame to celebrate Mothers Day. Most all of the Astros hitters will be using pink bats to honor their own mothers – and remember that Brad Ausmus went 4 fer 4 with a homer last Mothers Day.
Happy Mothers Day to all yall Mamis out there. And guys, remember to thank your Mamas and tell her you love her – us grrrls will always be suckaz for that you know. Along with telling us – I just want you to be happy. (Hint – works with wives and girlfriends too)
Oh, I almost forgot. You wanna know what I mean by “to LLLL” – Lance, Lee, Luke, Lamb.
Da New KiLLLLers….