At least it wasn't Wandy's fault. To quote baseball historian Randy Jackson, "Dude blew it out the box."
Check it out:
Wandy: 6IP, 1H, 0R, 11K
Capellan: 1IP, 4H, 4ER, 5BB, 1K (ouch)
Salamida: 0IP (2BF), 2H, 2ER
For the Hooks:
Felipe Paulino: 6IP, 4H, 2ER, 1BB, 3K
And Brian Esposito cracked a 2-run trot-off off Chris Salamida for the Hooks win, 6-5.
Good capsule from George Vondracek, who pointed out that three Hooks homers went to right field, where a 19-mph wind was blowing out. But who did that not affect? Wandy.
And Coop also made apologies and explanations for the Curse of Tim Purpura:
“Well, you know what, I think they’re all dead wrong. I’ve heard all the talk,” Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. “We had a chance this spring to see a lot of our young kids play. Yes, we do have some young kids in the system, we do have somewhat of a void at a couple of the levels. But it’s just because we didn’t sign a lot of guys in ’06 and ’07.”
The Astros, of course, are going to insist that life in the sub-major league level isn’t as dire as Baseball America contends — i.e., No. 30 out of 30 organizations. The numbers from last season can’t be ignored, however, because the six Houston affiliates combined for a 278-422 record.
“Well, I think there’s no doubt we’re thin or probably as thin as we’ve been in a long time with our minor-league system,” admitted Astros first baseman Lance Berkman, who served as Houston’s designated hitter Thursday night. “But that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have guys that are talented that are going to be knocking on the door and helping us out.
“Right now I think for so long our system has had so many good players in it. Inevitably every system is maybe going to go through a little bit of some hard times,” Berkman said. “But there are some guys out there that are going to be competitive at a high level.”