I think what we may be seeing is a little bit of fear on the part of Cecil Cooper. Remember last week it was said that Berkman would be dropped to 5th in the lineup, which, for a .184 hitter is still a pretty generous spot. So where was he last night? Back in the 3-spot. And what did he do? Well, he got a hit.
Manager Cecil Cooper has admitted being concerned about his five-time All-Star’s prolonged slump, which was partly why he planned to drop him to fifth in the order last week before Berkman was sidelined. Yet Cooper hopes the three games (and four days) off help Berkman fit back in the third slot.
It's not exactly a secret that Berkman and Cooper don't go out to Pappasito's after home games. So I wonder how much of the reluctance to drop Berkman until he regains his swing (something he's been more than happy to do with Tejada and Bourn - who both expressed satisfaction with Coop's extension) has to do with trying to keep on Berkman's good side.
“He came up to me and said he wanted to put me back in the three hole and asked if I had a problem with that. I was like, ‘I’m OK either way. Whatever you want to do.’”
That’s where you want your best hitter. That’s where he belongs.”
But Berkman, right now, is not the Astros' best hitter. He's not the fourth-best hitter.
Wandy's success - Pudge-related? It looks that way. So Quintero will catch Hampton tonight (in Hampton's 2009 Parade of Former Teams), and Wandy will stick with Pudge tomorrow.
Proof that Coop has lost his mind:
“I wouldn’t mind getting Smith an at-bat somewhere.”