You look at this team over the last two days, and it's easy to see how Baseball Prospectus predicted a 66-96 team. Hampton and Ortiz are apparently in a race to see who can get an outright release first. With the exception of Wandy's start, the last three days have seen starting pitchers post the following line:
8IP, 18H/18ER, 6K:7BB. And that's with Roy's injury-shortened start.
Oh yeah, Cubs win 12-3. Astros have given up 10+ER in consecutive games for the second time this season (at least they won one of those against Colorado back in May). Here's the thing:
Ortiz: 2.1IP, 9H/9ER, 3K:3BB, 10/19 first-pitch strikes, 20/36 non-contact strikes (15 called:5 swinging)
Byrdak: 2.2IP, 2H/1ER, 3K:1BB, 8/11 FPS, 11/26 NCS (6c:5s)
Sampson: 2IP, 2H/2ER, 2K:1BB, 5/10 FPS, 9/24 NCS (6c:3s)
Brocail: 1IP, 0H/0ER, 2K:1BB, 3/4 FPS, 4/11 NC (4c)
What the heck can you do? Unlike yesterday, the Astros were actually in it until the bottom of the 3rd. They took a 1-0 lead on Carlos Lee's homer, and then Ortiz gave up four runs on two consecutive 2-run hits. Matsui brought it to 4-3 with a home run, and then Ortiz ran back out and gave up four consecutive hits, including two homers and a single. In the three innings he actually started, he walked the first two batters, and gave up the homer to Fox. Something's gotta give, and I'm betting it's sooner than later. If Roy can make his next start at St. Louis, maybe we'll see Bud Norris pitching in the rotation, and one of Hampton/Ortiz out.
Offensively, there wasn't much to write home about, but at least there were some runs. Blum had the only 2-hit game. Bourn got a hit, but was 1x5 and only saw 17 pitches. Carlos Lee was 1x3 and only saw six pitches. That's a lot of quick ABs, and credit Quintero for racking up 22 pitches on three plate appareances. The Astros have only had 5ABs with RISP in the last two days, after going 1x3 today.
Man of the Match: Jeez. I don't know. Matsui hit a 2-run shot - his 4th - but also committed two errors. Hell, how about Blum?
Goat of the Game: Russ Ortiz. No further explanation needed.