Brandon Barnes hit another homer and made a great catch and gunned out a fast runner at home. Ah luuuvvv Brandon Barnes. Drafted in the 6th round of the 05 draft – guess Purpura got a few of em right – not once on any sort of prospect list, top 10 list, all star list. And here he is. And if things go well, pretty soon he’ll be the starting CF instead of the PH/DR.
Watched the replay of yesterday’s tie game (mlbtv – YES network). Hadn’t really carefully watched CC since he threw for the Brewers those glorious days back in 08 – things just might have gone a lot better for them instead of being reduced to having re-signing Yuni Betancourt (can’t hit, can’t run, can’t field and is, by all accounts, NOT a good clubhouse guy).
CC didn’t have his no-hit on, that’s fer sher. Walked Altuve, caught him stealing. Their catcher, Chris Stewart, is the first guy I’ve seen behind their plate in years who didn’t have spaghetti for an arm. Then he gave up 3 straight doubles, all on breakers that didn’t, and an RBI single. They’ve got Texan Vernon Wells in left – the Angels were grinning ear to ear and so were the Yankees because apparently, because of how accounting works, them paying him 8 mill a year is counted AGAINST their salary cap. Don’t ask me to explain THAT one. They’ve got ICHIRO!! in right and his legs and arm look every bit of their 39 years. Brett Gardner, in center is a Brandon Barnes clone (hehhehheh).
So the Stros were up 3-0 after the top of the first. Carlos Pena, by the way, was in the lineup. I can’t believe that Bo Don’t Knoe that Carlos Pena hasn’t been able to hit leftys in 3 years. But whatever.
Watched Jeff Ace Peacock closely. For 4 innings, except for a hit by pitch, he got 1,2,3 out. Then, with the last out of the 4th, he had a dead easy groundball hit right to Ronny Cedeno, who bobbled it. Might as well have been Tyler Greene. He then gave up a single to lefty Travis Hafner (Cleveland’s former DH who has spent the last 3 or something years on the DL) right through the shift, which WAS extreme, but Wells popped out to shallow center. He was throwing a 91 MPH FB, which he spotted pretty well, a low 80s breaker, which was working, and a very nice curve, which worked sporadically.
Brandon hit a homer over the LF fence in the 4th.
Astros 4 Yanks 0
By the way, have I mentioned yet that the DH sucks? I really miss seeing what they are gonna do when it’s time for the pitcher to hit. Yes, I like watching pitchers hit because it is one of the biggest youneverknows in baseball.
5th inning – Pena draws a walk – one of the 2 things he can do against leftys, besides swing wildly. With Jason Maxwell up, Carlos Pena gets caught stealing and no I am not kidding – seriously WFT is Carlos Pena doing stealing? He’s a guy having trouble going from first to third on a single to right. We have 4 leadfoots on this team – him, Carter, Fernando Martinez and Brett Wallace. They should NOT be stealing bases.
Peacock has thrown 51 pitches by the end of the 4th. He had a 9:4 first pitch strike to ball ratio (until the E6) and he’s having a bit more trouble locating (from what I could see with the crappy camera angle, the ump was very fair, and the YES guys thought so too). Peacock got most of his outs with flyouts – Maxwell did some running as did Barnes in right (he’s in right because Maxwell is the Designated Center Fielder in spite of the fact that Barnes is far better). Carter, fortunately, did not have to move much and there was no opportunity to check out his arm.
Anyway, Peacock gave up a walk to Eduardo Nunez (substituting for His Jeteriness), who promptly stole second when Cedeno dropped the ball on the swipe tag. Roll eyes.
6th – got to watch Mo Rivera, the greatest Yankee who ever played. Or is that His Jeteriness? I forget. Where was I? Oh yeah – looked great – the usual shattered bats, weakass grounders and a Barnes easy floyout.
Now Wesley Wright – that’s another story – he continued his really lousy spring. In the 6th, everyone except Barnes and Corporan were pulled and in went Singleton at first, Crowe in left (already assigned to the minors), Michael Burgess (minors) in right with Brandon moving to CF, Marwin st short and Brandon Laird at 3rd.
Started of bad because Singleton is a born DH – neither he nor Wesley handled the first dead easy groundout and there was an E1 to start. Followed by a double to Youkilis off the LF wall, then another single by Hafner right through the shoft again, and a terrible overthrow error by Burgess allowing him to go to second – 1 runs already in. No outs, men on second and third. In comes Chuckie Fick, already assigned to AAA, to pour gas on the fire. Gets a K, walk, groundout, single to left, but Trevor Crowe guns down Juan Rivera trying to score. Tie game, 4 all.
Astros didn’t manage to score against David Robertson, RHP, their 8th inning guy (I think) or Joba and his moustache (here and I thought the Yankee players weren’t allowed to have any face hair) or leftys Boone Logan and Valdo Nuno.
Josh Fields looked very good – he doesn’t throw hard, must have a VERY deceptive delivery, although it’s hard for me to see why. single, groundout to third – on which Brandon Laird makes a FANTASTIC play, Cano out on a wicked curve, Youk swings at something.
Rhiner Cruz, who I think has made the team, pitches – double to Hafner, then a failed bunt to Ben Francisco (yeh, the name IS familiar – one of the dungheap pickups last year who got 90 PA before being released), then a WP advancing Hafner to third, then a flyout to center and Brandon Barnes and his arm gun down Hafner at the plate with an absolutely PERFECT throw.
Jose Valdez, pitching the 9th, gets a HBP, swinging K to some minor leaguer, then a 6-4-3 to some minor leaguer.
10th inning – Fernando Martinez, DH in place of Pena, reaches on a dead easy E4. Nolan Fontana, one of The Pimped Ones at A ball, pinch runs and goes to second on a balk. Burgess singles, Fontana, who is very fast, goes to third, Burgess ALERTLY to second on the throw. Burgess is fast, too (is reminding me of Jason Bourgeois). OK, men on second and third, no outs.
Then, we have big time rookie effup. Corporan hits an infield grounder right to the SS and Fontana, running on contact with NO outs, not making sure the ball gets through, breaks for hom and is a dead easy out at home. VERY bad, unless he was specifically instructed to break for home on contact, which is a stupid instruction. Especially bad because Laird flew out to center, and it woulda been a sac-fly and the game winner. And if THAT hadn’t done it, Brandon Barnes flyout to the Wall in right shre woulda have. Instead, it’s still tied.
Andrew Robinson (WHO??) RHP, who is actually our 12th round pick in the 2010 draft, pitches the last inning, getting 1,2,3 out with a single. The batters were all minor leaguers, like him, but still, very good.
Will be VERY interesting to see what becomes of the infield situation, especially with Brandon Laird, who, because of options, is starting the year at AAA. Trouble is that only Marwin and Cedeno can actually PLAY short. But Astros should count their blessings – they snapped up Cedeno before the Brewers, who re-signed Yuni Betancourt. Wonder if Luhnow would have even considered him.