Another day, another loss, another opportunity to figure out who belongs in Round Rock. Unfortunately, there's a lot of 'em.
The Astros lost to the Reds 8-2 this afternoon. Jeff Fulchino threw two innings, gave up five hits and four runs (two earned, because, surprise! the Astros commited two errors - one by Fulchino, the other by Newhan). Nieve got two outs, but also gave up a hit and two walks - leading to two runs (one earned). Bud Norris threw one inning, gave up two hits and two earned runs. Neal Musser got one out, and recorded one walk. Alberto Arias threw two scoreless innings and gave up three hits. But one of those guys who impressed - on paper, at least - was Gil de la Vara. Two innings, no runs, one walk.
Berkman, Smith, Blum, Sutton, Pence, Manzella and two from Bogusevic accounted for all eight hits. Sutton's two-run jack made up the runs. In the Race for Round Rock, Palmisano went 0-for-3, Quintero 0-for-1.
Despite this, pitching coach Dewey Robinson who has red hands from all the wringin', remains optimistic, because really, what else can he do?
"You start looking at our core guys, and I'm optimistic," Robinson said. "We're throwing six, seven, eight guys a game, and one or two have bad outings, and it weighs on you. But each night, I try to evaluate each pitcher individually. I've been excited about four or five guys who are consistently throwing well."
Robinson also mentions Russ Ortiz and Jose Capellan pulling away for the SP5 spot. Who do you want in there?