Not a lot of time tonight guys. But here’s the deal. Watching the Angels v. Astros on CBSsportsline online, and Lackey is in a heck of a jam. Craig Biggio singled for just his 10th hit of the year – really! – a Pence strikeout, followed by a Berkman single, and it’s two men on, two outs. Lackey does the sensible thing and pitches around Lee to bring up the #5 spot, Loretta. Sensible because Loretta isn’t Lee, but still a tough spot, as Loretta is batting .317. And he ground rule doubles, bringing in two. Mark your calenders, boys. Because this is one of the only times that Phil Garner has constructed his lineup in an attempt to accomplish a goal – i.e., score runs – and his plan has actually come to fruition.
The Astros are 12th of 16 NL teams in runs scored. I have said before that managers do not hit, they do not pitch, and they never score runs. But this is partially Phil’s fault. This guy is just about sabotaging his players, and we’ve gone over this before as well. But it still blows my mind. Why in the world is Craig Biggio still leading off? There is absolutely no reasonable circumstance – NONE – where you put your worst hitter in the leadoff hole, every single game. And Biggio is their worst hitter. It’s nothing against Craig, it’s just, he’s 41 years old. He needs to be worrying about IRAs and 401Ks, not batting averages. Right now, the dude needs 10 more hits. I’m hoping that the second he reaches that number, Garner yanks the guy and sends him either packing to the 9-hole, or to the end of the bench. The guy has an OBP of .279. If you’re a leadoff hitter, you want your batting average to be, hopefully, above that number. But at least around there. I just don’t understand where Garner is coming from here, unless he is just trying to give Biggio enough AB’s to ensure that he really does make it to 3,000 before the end of the season. I hope that’s it.
But really, does it matter? The Astros aren’t going anywhere this year. They’re not acquiring a Carlos Beltran, or a Roger Clemens, or anything like that. This team is dead in the water. So who cares? Frankly, it’s just really entertaining to see so much drama – the Brad Lidge situation, the Dan Wheeler/Chris Sampson issue, this Biggio deal – all this for a team that, after their July Firesale, (who are they going to sell, by the way? Adam Everett?) will probably finish the year with 95 loses.
And to continue where we left off – in the next AB Lackey allowed a 3-run shot to Mike Lamb. At this point, Lamb is 12 for 18 in his last 5 games, including tonight. He has 13 RBI. Of his 20 RBI total so far this season. Wow. So maybe the Astros’ starship rides Mike Lamb to a 90 loss season instead. Who can tell?
Events have been interesting in Houston this year. We all know these guys aren’t winning a ton of games. And I bet if you ask anyone off the street about them, they’ll tell you, "Hunter Pence." Great. I’m glad Houston is continuing to make such a great contribution to the game. Oh yeah, and that Biggio dude is closing in on 3,000 hits… like a Peruvian mountain sloth. Maybe you should’ve sprung for that Clemens guy after all. Or that Beltran kid. Hmm.
We talked about Brad Lidge making it back to the closer role. Last night Lidge blew his first save opportunity. He gave up a solo, game-tying HR. I’m
inclined to chalk that up to bad luck. It’s not like the guy melted
down on the mound, giving up hit after hit after hit. He just gave up
one hit, on an 0-2 count no less. Just keep throwing him out there,
Phil. After Lidge battled back from his struggles last season, and earlier this season, you have to give him another try. I’m sure people are going to be saying that it must be the 9th-inning pressure that is doing Lidge in. That is false. Think about it – the guy has been pitching for a job all season. There’s no greater pressure than that.
Besides, it’s not like the Astros are serious contenders anyway.
If they were, they wouldn’t keep trotting out Craig Biggio and his .227
average. And, as if it could get any worse, he always leads off. Did Phil Garner take "setting up your batting order 101" from Dusty Baker or
something? Furthermore, what brilliant principle leads Garner to
put Biggio’s .273 OBP in the 1-spot, and Adam Everett’s .278 OBP in the
7-hole? Besides the fact that Everett has 20 FEWER strikeouts, they’re
practically the same player. This is absolute insanity. But he must be doing something right. After all, Houston is 27-37, a whole game and a half out of last place. But honestly… can anyone explain this obvious incompetence to me? Heck, it’s not like Biggio’s been hot at any point in the season. The last time his average was above .270 was after the 5th game.
By the way, want more proof that the fans that cast all-star votes are indeed from the bottom of the baseball intelligence barrel? Houston LF Carlos Lee is leading the NL with 54 RBIs. He’s batting .293. By all accounts, an All-Star worthy selection. However, he must pass Andruw Jones in order to get the nod. Jones has a .217 average with 42 RBI – 10th in the NL. How can he be one of the best eight players in the league if he isn’t even one of the best eight at his position? And trust me, 10th on the RBI list is the highest that Jones appears on any list. Unless you count strikeouts. He’s #4 on that list. He’s #57 in OBP. Right above the great Brian Schneider. Seriously, how many of you guys even know who Brian Schneider is? Whatever. The All-Star game is stupid. And so is letting a bunch of knuckleheads vote for it as often as they want. But I accept it as a necessary evil.
I try to run a blog that hits on a variety of topics. There are variousschools of thought on this; some people think that if you focus on one
thing, (i.e., the Yankees,) you can develop a hardcore fan base, one
that’s ‘loyal’ and comes back to read your interesting thoughts every
day. People have had success with this method. I haven’t seen many
people do what I do, which is write about all sorts of teams and
players with no commonalities. I guess this leaves people confused as
to where my personal loyalties are. I’ve never properly
introduced myself, (besides my about page, which nobody reads,) so let
me, briefly, explain where I stand in the baseball world. A little
baseball litmus test, if you will.
My favorite team is the New York Yankees. I don’t live in New York,
I’ve only been there twice, and I don’t plan on ever moving there. The
Tigers are my hometown team and I frequently overlook their
organizational missteps because of the Home Team Rule. It’s kind of how
you love your kids no matter what they do. I want to live in Chicago, but I don’t particularly like the White Sox
or the Cubs. My favorite divisions are the AL East, Central, and NL
Central. I prefer the AL to the NL because it’s so much better. I
support the DH rule. Besides the Tigers and Yankees, I like the
Cardinals, A’s, Indians, Braves, Angels, Blue Jays, and Rangers, in
that order. I love baseball and the many nuances of the games. Once the season starts, we’ll be
seeing a lot more player/game/team strength analysis, especially after I
get out of school in early May. Hopefully coverage that blends with what we’re seeing now.
That said, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on lately that’s of
value. So I planned some fun time for us today. Let’s proceed with business.
Bagwell tries to earn his pay
I’m not sure what to make of this whole Jeff Bagwell thing. For some
reason, his contract has him getting paid $17 million this year, which
is ridiculous seeing as he turns 38 in May. If he undergoes this
surgery, he takes himself out for the season, and likely won’t play
again. The Astros are currently trying to recover $15.6 million of the
$17 million they owe him through an insurance policy, but in order for
that to happen he needs to sit out the whole year – which would be
guaranteed if he has the surgery. I get that he needs the surgery, but
seeing as the club holds his option for 2007, it seems like there is
more to the story. Think about it – the Astros recover their jack, and
Jeff gets his shoulder fixed. There’s a very slim chance he’ll be able
to recover and play again. He’ll be 39 by then anyway, and will have to
convince the club to exercise their option on him, which could be
tough. At least Bagwell went out and tried to make the club so he could
actually earn his paycheck, but it looks like he’s through. 99% chance
he won’t come back next year.
I saw a cat fall 80 feet from a tree.
Check this out. It’s unbelievable.
A lot of people have been finding my site by google-ing "MLB.TV 5
minute limit." Well here’s the story. If you’re watching an archived
game on the same day as the game was played, it will stop every 5
minutes. So basically, with MLB.TV you can watch games live or archived
next-day. Also, people have been searching for news on the new media
player. To see that, go here and click on the link in the bottom right, where it says ‘click here for a sneak preview.’ Exciting?
Thanks for reading.
Alright, this is my first real post so forgive me if it’s really disjointed and stuff, I’ll need a few days to get into the groove. Hopefully I’ll pick up some readers along the way.
First off, I think Houston has seriously stepped outside of themselves. They let Jeff Kent go to the Dodgers, and while the guy does have a heck of a moustache he is still a pretty good 2B. Carlos Beltran fled to the Mets, and in all honesty this is probably due more to his SuperAgent, Scott Boras, then the Houston Front Office, (although there’s no telling how hard they really tried to keep him after it became clear it would take A LOT of cash.) Lance Berkman is out for a few more weeks with his knee injury. In any case, the point is that Houston is simply unable to score any runs. Roger Clemens is 41 years old and has an ERA of .32, with a WHIP of .79 with 28 IP. The only run he’s allowed was on a solo shot. Still, in 4 games he only has 1 win. I can’t explain how ridiculious that is. If you only allow 1 run in 4 games, you need to win at least 2, if not 3 of those games, especially when you’re going through the 7th inning in all 4 of those games. After winning his first start 3-2, (in which he allowed that single home run,) Clemens has received a no-decision in his next 3 starts. The score? 0-1, 0-1, and 0-1. In other words, Clemens goes out, pitches an incredible 7 innings, and leaves the game with the score knotted up at 0-0. The bullpen gives up a run somewhere along the lines, and the offense fails to score a single run, and you get a no-decision. This is reminiscent of Randy Johnson’s 2004 season. Dude had an ERA of 2.60, a WHIP of .90, 290 K’s, 245 IP, and on top of all that people were batting .197 against him. Step back and think about that for a second. in 245 innings, Major League hitters batted under the Mendoza line against a 41-year-old pitcher. And if you ever watched the Diamondbacks last year, they were more like a AA team in disguise. When they turned a routine play, you were actually surprised. Anyway, this is one of the best pitching performances ever, and guess what he gets? 16 wins and 14 loses. I’m honestly surprised he didn’t just kill somebody. The point is, it looks like the Rocket might be on his way to having that type of season. If I’m George Steinbrenner, I try like heck to get Roger back, and I give Houston Bernie Williams in return. I know, Bernie’s a Yankee’s Yankee, yeah, but dude is getting old. And yes, I also know there isn’t a chance in heck that Clemens is coming back to New York.
Thats all for now.