Goat of the Game: No goat tonight. Even the only guy to not get a hit - Keppinger - got two walks.
Better coverage tomorrow.
"And then all of the sudden I'm in the bullpen. Mentally that's pretty frustrating. Then not only being in the bullpen but just getting, so to speak, 'scrap' work. It's difficult. I was thrown into something that was out of the norm and was expected to do well, apparently. And it was tough to just battle the mental demons inside of just being treated the way that I was."
Let's be honest here. This was on the wall a long time ago, but 2009 could have been avoided. Because Backe deserved better than this. As soon as I get a chance, we'll do a career retrospective, but there was a lot of whining on the part of Backe - some of it justified.
But the whole thing could have been avoided by simply not renewing his contract in December. Backe was moderately healthy, was coming off Tommy John surgery (from which he was rushed back too soon), and that should have been it. Instead he was put through a spring of fighting for SP5. A freak slip off the putching rubber, and it derailed his season, maybe his career.
He was mishandled for six months, and that rests squarely on Ed Wade. I wish him the best, and give him a cap tip. After all, if Cardinals fans hate him, he's alright with me.
"I don't know what I want to do," Backe said. "I have to talk to my agent and to be honest, hopefully, some other team picks me up, and I can get to the big leagues."
"We'll deal with whatever decision he makes," Wade said. "Because of the injury he had during Spring Training, it just put him in a position where other guys have moved ahead of him. We've offered him the opportunity to stay in the organization, but certainly it's his call whether he wants to do that or pursue something outside of the organization."
I'm finally getting my computer issues worked out later today, so there's more to come.
"The Astros, 2-1 losers to Kansas City Tuesday night, have scored the fourth-fewest runs in baseball. How is that possible for team with established power hitters and a bandbox home stadium?"
He was apparently erratic in his simulated game (Paulino, not Cooper), but finished strong.
"We'll sit and talk today and see how he is."
I still vote Bud.
Mike Hampton will throw a side session today, before a couple of simulated games in his rehab.
Ortiz got a season-high 21 outs - his third straight season-high, and second straight quality start, allowing 5H/2ER, with 4K:2BB. He allowed a monster homer to left to Billy Butler, but limited the damage by getting a double play to the previous batter.
The Astros didn't get any extra-base hits, but their best chance came in the 9th. With Berkman on 1st, Tejada on 2nd, and nobody out, Pudge and Matsui struck out swinging and Michaels grounded out to the pitcher.
All in all: 10 hits, 10 singles, 1 run, 1 winnable game lost.
Man of the Match: Russ Ortiz, come on down!
Goat of the Game: There are a few possibilities here, but it goes to Erstad. Starting for Berkman (and congrats to Los Berkmans on the birth of a daughter), Erstad was 0x3 with a GIDP and is now hitting .135
Allow me to recreate the scenario for you, courtesy of the Chronicle:
"(Rodriguez) escaped serious harm Saturday because Alberto Arias screamed at him at the last second to duck from the line drive heading to his head."
1. Arias probably screamed out of a flashback to when he got plunked in the coconut.
2. In what position do you duck to avoid getting drilled in the head, and take it in the ribs?
Post your scenarios now!
Note: Alberto Arias was awarded a Man of the Match.